December 13th, 2013
President Barack Obama recently unveiled a $100 million competition aimed at finding new ways to better prepare high-school students for the global high-tech economy.
The program, Youth CareerConnect, will award 25 to 40 grants next year for high schools to team up with higher-education institutions and employers, creating innovative programs that give students industry-relevant education and job skills. Grants would range from $2 million to $7 million. Applicants will be required to pony up matching funds of at least 25 percent.
The closing date for applications is January 27, 2014. For more information, go to: www.doleta.gov/ycc.
December 13th, 2013
The Gene Haas Foundation Machining Technology Scholarship helps ease the financial burden of qualified students who are interested in machine operation and maintenance coursework.
Graduating high school seniors, GED recipients and displaced workers (anyone unemployed or looking to change their career) who want to pursue an associate degree or technology certificate in machining, are eligible for the one-year scholarship. Award amounts will range from $1,000 to $2,500 for each scholarship, depending on the cost of the applicants program. Currently the scholarship is available to United States residents only.
The online application for the Gene Haas Machining Technology Scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year is currently available and will remain open until funds are exhausted. Click here for instructions and access to the application. If your computer has spam protection, or a firewall that blocks bulk emails, please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your contacts or whitelist.
December 12th, 2013
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 email@example.com.
December 12th, 2013
Help your graduating students stay connected to valuable industry contacts and potential employment by having them register as SkillsUSA alumni. It’s free, easy and open to all high school and college/postsecondary members. Have students go to: www.skillsusa.org/supporters/alumni.shtml. By registering, alumni members are sent a link to our online SkillsUSA Champions magazine, a quarterly newsletter, as well as social networking that could lead to new opportunities and jobs. Please encourage your students to register now!
SkillsUSA sponsors an alumni pin design competition that is open to all SkillsUSA registered alumni. This year, the winning design will become the official 50th Conference Commemorative pin for the 2014 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. The pin will be produced by the SkillsUSA Store and sold at the alumni booth. If you have questions, please contact Heidi Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org. For contest details and rules, go to: www.skillsusa.org/downloads/PDF/AlumniPinDesign.pdf
December 12th, 2013
Need an end-of-year charitable deduction for your 2013 tax return? You can reduce your tax liability and support SkillsUSA’s mission delivery by making a donation to SkillsUSA’s foundation. Click on the blue “Donate” button on SkillsUSA’s home page and follow instructions. If you already have a standing pledge to the Skills Build America Campaign, you can advance your 2014 pledge payment or make an additional one-time gift.
You may also want to consider a gift of appreciated stock. This offers several advantages.
- Avoid capital gains tax on the stock donated
- Acquire a tax deduction for the value of the stock donated
- Support SkillsUSA students and programs.
Please contact SkillsUSA’s Eric Gearhart at 703.737.0603, email@example.com if you desire to explore a donation of securities.
SkillsUSA is a IRS-designated 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.
December 1st, 2013
We’ve recently had some good opportunities to make some important connections with groups of SkillsUSA stakeholders from across the country.
On November 4-5, I traveled to Houston, Texas and participated in a meeting with Insurance Auto Auctions (IAA) and four of our state association directors. This was one of several regional meetings IAA is holding to connect their local and regional managers with SkillsUSA in the states where they do business. We met at IAA’s Houston facility and were joined there by state directors Stacy Scott and Pat Conner (Texas), Larry Rabalais (La.) and Darren Gibson (Okla.). IAA was represented by their corporate HR director and a corporate vice president (both from their Chicago headquarters), and a branch manager and three managers from the aforementioned states. IAA became an official sponsor last year, and they are very impressed with our students. They are developing strategies to hire our students, and this meeting was a wonderful opportunity to bring our state leaders together face-to-face with the industry leaders who will be doing the hiring. IAA is working with us to plan a similar meeting on the west coast early in 2014.
November 30th, 2013
For three days during first week of November, we hosted a college/postsecondary task force meeting at the SkillsUSA National Leadership Center in Leesburg. This was an extremely important meeting as we brought together key stakeholders from our college/postsecondary markets to help us develop strategies to engage more postsecondary participation in SkillsUSA. This market holds huge potential for us, and the work of the task force will be integrated into our strategic plan. Members of the task force came from across the nation and included state and national student officers, alumni who completed postsecondary programs, two postsecondary state association directors, postsecondary teachers, administrators and current student members. The meetings were led by staff members, Kelly Horton and Gayle Silvey. We provided a report on their work at the Wednesday board meeting.
November 30th, 2013
On November 5, the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) released a report stating that career and technical education is increasingly being recognized as an important part of public education and citing the groundbreaking Pathways to Prosperity report (http://tinyurl.com/pry82fm) issued by Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and two new reports offering more support for CTE.
The first report (http://tinyurl.com/oxh9t3z) was written by Jean-Claude Brizard, a former high school administrator and CEO of Chicago Public Schools and now a senior advisor at The College Board.
The second report (http://tinyurl.com/pelbwq3), co-authored by Harry J. Holzer of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute and the Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality, and Public Policy, Dane Linn of The Business Roundtable, and Wanda Monthey of The College Board, was released this past week. This report emerged from a convening of a large group of CTE researchers, practitioners and policymakers who met to identify what constitutes high-quality CTE. Holzer, Linn and Monthey examine the labor market environment confronting young people today and discuss what they believe to be the characteristics of CTE programs that address those challenges. The report illustrates the interest in CTE being expressed by influential voices outside the immediate field of CTE.
November 29th, 2013
SkillsUSA will be participating at ACTE’s CareerTech Vision 2013 Conference at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada and the booth (#319) will be open on December 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on December 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition, we have three sessions scheduled, and we hope if you’re there, you’ll stop by. Here they are — Enhance Your SkillsUSA Chapter on December 6 from 1-2:30 p.m. in Room N229 and Why SkillsUSA? from 2:45-4:15 p.m. in Room N224. And, Your “Easy Button” Teaching and Assessing Workforce Ready Skills and Career-ready Practices in the CCTC Standards on December 7 from 8:30-10:00 a.m. in Room N224.
Jen Polz, our State Association Director Chairperson and Minnesota director, has been named as a finalist for the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) National Outstanding Educator Award. Our congratulations go to Jen, and we look forward to seeing her on the stage in Las Vegas during the ACTE CareerTech Vision 2013 Convention.
This year’s ACTE CareerTech Vision 2013 awards banquet will feature U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. Also scheduled to be in attendance is the Assistant Secretary of Education from the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Brenda Dann Messier. More information can be found on their webpage at: www.acteonline.org/vision_banquet.
November 29th, 2013
SkillsUSA has signed on as a partner to the “Million Women Mentors” initiative co-sponsored by STEMconnector and the National Girls Collaborative Project. The goal is to engage one million male and female Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics mentors from business, academe, government and non-profit sectors to increase the interest and confidence of girls and young women to persist and succeed in STEM programs, coursework, degrees and careers.
Other partners include Google, Accenture, Cisco, Walmart and 4-H. There are no financial obligations involved in the partnership. At some point, SkillsUSA will be counting and reporting on our female students in STEM-related curricula, national contests and the teachers and business partners that work with them. I will be attending the announcement of this initiative at an event at the National Press Club on December 8.