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ACTIVE ADVISOR NEWS: January 2014

Update from Tim Lawrence
Happy 2014! I hope your holiday break was an enjoyable and happy time with family and friends. As the New Year gets into full swing, I wanted to write and say how much I appreciate all you do and provide you with a few pieces of information that I hope will be helpful to you and your students.

As we look back at 2013, I am reminded of all the work you do that continues to inspire me, our board of directors and national staff. And, looking even further back to our founding in 1965, I am reminded that more than 11 million members have been impacted by our program. This summer, we will kick off our 50th anniversary celebration at the 50th National Leadership and Skills Conference, and the celebration will continue leading us to our 50th birthday on May 8, 2015. If you or your students have ideas for our celebration, please let me know by emailing me at tlawrence@skillsusa.org.

And, as a way to help SkillsUSA continue to impact lives, the SkillsUSA “Skills Build America” Campaign is in full swing. For more information, please go to: www.skillsusa.org/supporters/supportnew.shtml. I hope you will take time to review the material and consider participating in this very important initiative leading up to our 50th anniversary.

Thank you for all you do for the great students we serve.

Work Force Ready System/Skill Connect Assessments
Work Force Ready SystemAvailable assessments
SkillsUSA assessments offers 42 technical and employability assessments in 10 cluster areas including four co-branded assessments with ASE/AYES and five co-branded assessments with PrintED/GAERF. This year an optional pretest and end-of-program assessment is offered with a pre- and post-comparison report. For a complete list of assessments and the blueprints that describe the standards, competencies, and academic skills tied to each assessment, go to: www.workforcereadysystem.org/technical_areas.shtml.  To order Skill Connect Assessments, go to: www.workforcereadysystem.org.

Historical Reports
Historical data from previous years is now available to access in the new Preceptor platform. Find the data by specifying the date range in any of the following reports: grade book, detailed and summary (aggregated) competency reports, and standard grade and summary (aggregated) reports.

Training Webinars
Training webinars on our assessments are scheduled for this January and March. Join us for one or more on the following topics; “Teacher Tips for Student Success,” “Meeting Industry Demands,” and “Assessment Ordering and Management Tools.” For a complete schedule with descriptions, and to register for a webinar, go to: www.workforcereadysystem.org/webinars.shtml. You will also find an archived webinar – “Assessment Ordering and Management Tools” – offered this past November.

Resources to prepare students for testing
SkillsUSA offers free resources to prepare students for testing. See what’s available at: www.workforcereadysystem.org/resources.shtml. Teacher Preparation Guides are an excellent resource and can be found at: www.workforcereadysystem.org/guides.shtml.  Currently, we have six guides available and plan to have 11 more available by end of January.

If you have used one of our guides, please take a short survey to help us determine content for future guides and periodical updates. Provide feedback at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/TeacherPrepGuides.

Assessment Support
Please note our new phone number, email address and hours of operation.
Direct: 1-866-444-7779
Email: support@skillconnect.org
Help Desk Support Hours: Mon.- Fri. 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST

Regional PDP, CMI AND CSEP Training Seminars Update
State Farm Insurance is, once again, generously sponsoring regional Professional Development Program (PDP), Chapter Management Institute (CMI) seminars and Career Skills Education Program (CSEP) seminars. There will be one training session (CMI, PDP or CSEP) per region. All materials and training will be free to participants. The only cost is $30 for lunch and breaks. PDP participants will receive a complete set of PDP materials and free licenses for each level. CMI participants will receive an ASK CD, a SkillsUSA Leadership Handbook and the SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards CD package. CSEP participants will receive one free CSEP license.

If you would like to sign-up for or host a regional PDP, CMI or CSEP training seminar, please contact Stephanie Bland at 703-737-0622 or sbland@skillsusa.org. A minimum of 25 participants is needed to conduct the training. For the latest seminar information, go to: www.skillsusa.org/educators/training.shtml.

Help Your Students Expand Their World By Expanding Someone Else’s
January is National Mentoring Month. Get your students involved in SkillsUSA’s Student2Student Mentoring Program now! Chapters can submit their projects for a chance to win an opportunity to attend the National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City this summer. In addition, these volunteer hours apply to the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

See our website for materials and information on both programs: www.skillsusa.org/educators/mentoring.shtml.

National Conference Pin and T-shirt Contests
February 1, 2014 is the deadline for entries to the SkillsUSA National Conference Pin and T-shirt competitions. This event is open to all paid student members of SkillsUSA. This is a great way to have a student and advisor from your state recognized in front of a national audience. A plaque for the teacher and student, plus a school grant to the advisor of the winning student will be announced at a later date. Rules are in the membership kit and are also posted on the SkillsUSA website at: www.skillsusa.org/compete/pindesign.shtml. Questions may be directed to Heidi Walsh at 703-737-0615 or by email to hwalsh@skillsusa.org.

National Youth Safety Video Contest
CareerSafe, Safety Education for America’s Future, is sponsoring the 2013-14 National Youth Safety Video Contest. Students across the country are challenged to create a two-minute video demonstrating safety in the workplace. The contest kicked off on October 15, and all submissions should be sent into CareerSafe by March 1, 2014. The winning students will receive a SkillsUSA Prize Pack as well as a scholarship up to $2,500, and the winning school will receive a prize up to $5,000. For more information on the contest, please visit the CareerSafe website at: www.careersafeonline.com.

Call for SkillsUSA Talent Reminder
Do you have a talented singer in your state who would enjoy a special performance opportunity? SkillsUSA seeks talented singers for the Opening Ceremony or Awards Ceremony during the 2014 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. We are looking for a SkillsUSA student or professional member to sing the national anthem or another patriotic song appropriate for opening special sessions. Singers may sing a capella or to a pre-recorded instrumental track. Audition tapes must be the singing of the national anthem.

Send in all audition videotapes of the national anthem only on CD or DVD, postmarked by February 1, 2014 to: Heidi Walsh, SkillsUSA, 14001 SkillsUSA Way, Leesburg, VA 20176.  Questions may be directed to Heidi at 703-737-0615 or hwalsh@skillsusa.org.

Alumni Coordinating Committee Seeks Nominees for Regions 2, 4 and the Executive Chair
SkillsUSA is accepting nominations of qualified alumni for service on the Alumni Coordinating Committee. Nominations are being accepted for Regions 2 and 4, as well as the executive chair (who can be from any state).

All nominees must be active annual, lifetime or honorary life members in good standing of the SkillsUSA Alumni & Friends Association. In addition, a nominee must have been an active member for at least 12 months preceding the date of nomination. Nominations must be submitted to the national headquarters by April 15, 2014. You may nominate yourself or any alumni member in good standing. If you have questions, please email Heidi Walsh, hwalsh@skillsusa.org, 703-737-0615. For nomination guidelines, visit: www.skillsusa.org/supporters/alumni.shtml.

Seeking STEM Alumni
Success with an Associate Degree Workforce experts, Carleen MacKay and Cari Lyn Vinci, are collaborating on a ‘Playbook’ to incorporate into a career and life planning program to help teenage girls. They want to interview successful young women (under 30) with an associate degree in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) industries. They will then incorporate their stories and their advice to inform and motivate teenage girls.

If you were in a STEM program and were a member of SkillsUSA, or if you know of someone who was, contact Heidi Walsh no later than January 10, 2014, at hwalsh@skillsusa.org.

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