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Seeking STEM Alumni

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

Stay Connected

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: 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 For contest details and rules, go to:


November 27th, 2013
  • The winter issue of SkillsUSA Champions magazine is traditionally our “insider’s guide” to the national championships. Technical committee chairs are surveyed each year on what competitors need to remember and what they shouldn’t overlook. The current responses are strong, and we also will have a guest column from Gary Beach, author of The U.S. Technology Skills Gap: What Every Technology Executive Must Know to Save America’s Future, who cites SkillsUSA first in his list of model public-private partnerships. This new magazine issue will go to press at the beginning of December.
  • SkillsUSA has signed an agreement with Stratton Publishing & Marketing Inc./Stratton Research in Alexandria, Va., to conduct a strategic communications audit of our print and electronic communications to members. This member-based research will help SkillsUSA assess the appropriateness of our communication mix and make refinements to our strategies. Based on the findings, Stratton will develop a comprehensive report showing how SkillsUSA can better respond to our members’ information needs while providing timely, high-quality and valuable content.
  • The Alumni Coordinating Committee (ACC) fall planning meeting was held in Kansas City, November 1-3. Massachusetts state association director Karen Ward, representing the State Directors Association and former board and YDF member, Greg Rintala, with Snap-on, representing business and industry, were in attendance. Discussions included the new ACC structure, quality standards for state alumni association, business and industry partner involvement and an alumni pin contest to design the “50th conference pin.”
  • We are in the midst of redesigning the SkillsUSA website. We have surveyed staff, teachers, state directors and students and have a finalized project brief. We also have completed an inventory of all the content for the current website. We should have a preliminary site map soon.
  • The Office of Business Partnerships and Development (BPD) is currently working with major partners 3M, Caterpillar, Snap-on, State Farm and Toyota, among others, on their partnership details for the coming year. We are pleased to announce that Praxair has become a significant partner at the $25,000 level by providing scholarships to members in welding occupations.
  • A date for a fundraising breakfast in Louisville, Ky., “Circle of Champions” is set for Thursday, January 16, 2014. BPD will be working closely with the SkillsUSA Foundation Committee to identify ways to support this important initiative.


Making the STEM Connection

October 15th, 2013

Immediately following the closing ceremony of WLTI, on September 25th, I traveled to the headquarters of Deloitte Consulting in Arlington, Va., where I was invited by the STEM Council to participate in a panel discussion on best practices and STEM skills. Edie Fraser, CEO of STEMconnector and Julie Kantor, Chief Partnerships Officer, had attended our NLSC in June and their excitement about SkillsUSA’s work in STEM inspired them to invite us to be a part of the very important meeting. I served on the panel with representatives from Sally Ride Science, Accenture, Mind Research Institute, American Association for University Women and CIO Magazine. SkillsUSA was recognized for our best practices in engaging students in actual application of STEM skills. The response to my presentation was a bit overwhelming (in a very positive way) and I had keen interest from companies like Dow Chemical, CIO Magazine and Qualcomm.

A highlight for me was during the questions and answer session following the panel presentation. The first question came from an audience member from Wisconsin, who asked me if I knew how many SkillsUSA alumni were in the audience. When I asked for any alumni to respond, the same gentleman stood and stated that SkillsUSA had kept him from dropping out of high school in Wisconsin, inspired him to pursue a college degree and he now had a PhD in engineering serving as the chief academic officer for the STEM Academy. I could not have asked for a better testimony.


2013-14 Alumni Coordinating Committee Announced

July 15th, 2013

Following the recent election, the 2013-14 SkillsUSA Alumni Coordinating Committee has been announced:

Executive Chair: Bryan Doxford, N.Y.

Region 1 Representative: Maria Bender, N.J.

Region 2 Representative: Joey Baker, Fla.

Region 3 Representative: Loree Hayden, Ill.

Region 4 Representative: Cody McPherson, Okla.

Region 5 Representative: Coleen Read, Nev.

Executive Secretary: Anne Dew, Ohio

State Association Director Liaison: Karen Ward, Mass.

Members are looking forward to working with their respective state association directors during the coming year. To contact your regional representative, go to:

Alumni Roundtable

June 24th, 2013

Conference preparations continue today and our exhibitors are finishing up their booths in preparation for the opening of SkillsUSA TECHSPO tomorrow morning. Today is also the final day of Leverage/Activate/Engage training sessions.

New this year is the Alumni Roundtable training session. Those begin at 9 a.m. CDT this morning and last until noon. SkillsUSA Alumni will also hold a orientation today at 2 p.m. CDT.


May 15th, 2013
  • The final membership report for the 2012-13 school year is complete and is located at:
  • Staff attended the Texas high school SLSC, held in Corpus Christi April 4-6, and helped to interview state and national officer candidates and run the alumni booth.
  • Staff traveled to Louisville, April 10-12, for 2015 NLSC planning and met with service providers interested in bidding on transportation and security services; met with management at the Kentucky Exposition Center to identify additional meeting space and determine a location for awards photos; and, they met with the exclusive caterer and electrical service provider. They wrapped up the visit by visiting a potential entertainment venue and some hotels interested in providing room blocks.

CPR Certification at National Conference

April 30th, 2013

The SkillsUSA Alumni & Friends Association is proud to offer CPR certification during the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference on Tuesday, June 25 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Kansas City Downtown Marriott, Truman Room B. Online preregistration is required of all participants at:

Certification cost is $20.

CPR Certification Offered during NLSC

April 15th, 2013

The Alumni & Friends Association is proud to offer CPR certification during the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference on Tuesday, June 25 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Kansas City Downtown Marriott, Truman Room B. Online preregistration is required of all participants at:

Inaugural Alumni Roundtable Training and Volunteering at NLSC 2013

April 15th, 2013
Alumni Coordinating Committee

Alumni Coordinating Committee

“Speed date” your National Alumni Coordinating Committee representatives on Monday, June 24 from 9 a.m. to noon. In this fun, fast-paced and exciting roundtable training session, you will gain knowledge in a variety of alumni topics from starting a state association to planning activities for alumni. Reserve your place at the table by June 1:

We are also seeking dedicated individuals to assist with the NLSC. Alumni who volunteer daily at the conference can have their conference registration fee waived. Alumni help is needed on the booth team, leadership team, Championships team and special services team. While at conference, alumni volunteers will also have the opportunity to network with partners, members, staff and other alumni, and will get to participate in conference events. This is a great way for alumni members to stay involved and continue the SkillsUSA journey. The registration deadline to be an alumni volunteer is also June 1.

An NLSC 2013 alumni registration form and the list of alumni activities are enclosed with the hard copy of this Executive Update for state association directors. Please pass it on to alumni from your states. For more information about the alumni training or being an alumni volunteer, please contact Heidi Walsh at, or go to:

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