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SkillsUSA National Week of Service: May 4-10

April 11th, 2014
We invite all our chapters to participate in the SkillsUSA National Week of Service on May 4-10. Chapters may participate in two ways: 1) conduct a community service project during that week; or 2) promote a service project the chapter did earlier in the school year during that week. This will help commemorate the founding of SkillsUSA on May 8, 1965. The SkillsUSA National Week of Service not only shines a spotlight on SkillsUSA’s dedication to serving others, but it also showcases the skills and expertise of career and technical education students who are learning to become tomorrow’s leaders.
We encourage chapter advisors to send a brief report on their community service activities to Gayle Silvey at the national headquarters – gsilvey@skillsusa.org. Please let us know in a paragraph or two what the chapter does to help the community, and we’ll post these reports and photos online.  The first 50 chapters that report Week of Service plans to the national headquarters will receive a free item.
For planning materials, go to: www.skillsusa.org/events/service.shtml.

President’s Volunteer Service Award Reminder

November 26th, 2013

Because SkillsUSA is a certifying organization of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, advisors, student members and registered alumni can earn recognition for community service activities and time spent as a volunteer.

This award is a presidential honor that recognizes the valuable contributions of volunteers nationwide who are answering a national call to serve others through their current volunteer activities or lifetime service. As a certifying organization, SkillsUSA can identify eligible recipients, verify their service hours and distribute the award to outstanding volunteers.

Given participation in ongoing service activities, advisors and students may already meet the requirements to receive the award. To qualify, SkillsUSA members, advisors or alumni can submit a record of their service hours. State directors are also encouraged to document service hours and apply for the award.

For details on qualifying hours and requirements for submission, visit: www.skillsusa.org/students/volsvc.shtml. Applications must be received (not postmarked) by April 1, 2014.

Community Service and the Awards Ceremony

June 28th, 2013

Awards CeremonyFor the past 12 years, Timberland PRO has hosted service events during our conference to provide students with hands-on opportunities. SkillsUSA students have applied their skills and provided direct benefit to the Kansas City community. This year, volunteers will have the opportunity to pack up food at the Kansas City region’s largest food bank, Harvesters, which provides food for assistance for up to 66,000 individuals every week. Other volunteers will  be doing gardening activities for Niles Home for Children or cleaning, gardening and other enhancements for My Father’s House.

SkillsUSA University sessions finish up today as do the delegate meetings. The final votes will be cast for national officers today.

Also today, the annual blood drive, sponsored by the Kansas City Community Blood Center, will be in Bartle Hall 2105. Hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The National Courtesy Corps auction begins at 11 a.m. in Bartle Hall 2215C. Proceeds benefit the NCC.

Tonight, the conference reaches its peak of excitement with the awards ceremony. Seating begins at 4:30 p.m. The ceremony starts at 6 p.m. CDT. Don’t forget, if you aren’t with us in Kansas City, you can watch the excitement online here: www.skillsusa.org/events/nlscvideo.shtml. The Awards Ceremony and live video streaming are sponsored by Lowe’s.

It’s going to be a great night!

Timberland PRO and Harvester’s Community Food Network Food Drive

May 31st, 2013

HarvestersThis year, Timberland PRO is again sponsoring SkillsUSA and the NLSC in multiple ways: by managing the Community Service competition; providing footwear to over 150 competition winners, including 20 members of the WorldTeam; hosting the mobile marketing booth at conference; hosting the 12th annual community service day on Friday, June 28th; and, sponsoring a virtual food drive in support of Harvester’s Community Food Network.

This year’s food drive has begun, and we encourage you to go to the Timberland/Harvesters virtual food drive and make a donation. Harvester’s is recognized for excellence in the use of donated resources, as they use less than 3 percent of monies donated towards administration and fundraising, with the bulk being spent on food acquisition, distribution and education. Timberland PRO hopes to raise a total of $1,000 to help Harvester’s reach their goal of distributing 66,000 meals every week. A donation of $1 can feed five people and Timberland PRO will match donations up to $1,000. Every person who donates will be entered into a raffle to win a $250 American Express gift card. The link to the virtual food drive is: www.timberland.harvesters.org. The drive is now open, and they will accept donations through Friday, June 28th. Please contact Christy Greco with questions at (603) 773-1720 or by email to christy_greco@vfc.com.

National Week of Service Reminder

May 1st, 2013

National Week of ServiceWe invite all our chapters to participate in the SkillsUSA National Week of Service on May 6-12. Chapters may participate in two ways: 1) conduct a community service project during that week; or 2) promote a service project the chapter did earlier in the school year during that week. This will help commemorate the founding of SkillsUSA on May 8, 1965. The SkillsUSA National Week of Service not only shines a spotlight on SkillsUSA’s dedication to serving others, but it also showcases the skills and expertise of career and technical education students who are learning to become tomorrow’s leaders.

We encourage chapter advisors to send a brief report on their community service activities to Kelly Horton at the national headquarters: khorton@skillsusa.org. Please let us know in a paragraph or two what the chapter does to help the community and we’ll post these reports and photos online. The first 50 chapters that report Week of Service plans to the national headquarters will receive a free item.

For planning materials, go to: www.skillsusa.org/events/service.shtml.

Timberland Service and the Awards Ceremony

June 27th, 2012

For the past 11 years, Timberland PRO has hosted service events during our conference to provide students with hands-on opportunities. SkillsUSA students have applied their skills and provided direct benefit to the Kansas City community. This year, volunteers will have the opportunity to pack up food at the Kansas City region’s largest food bank, Harvesters, which provides food for assistance for up to 66,000 individuals every week. They can also choose to serve outdoors by planting fruit and nut trees to build a new urban orchard in downtown Kansas City. Thanks to all the volunteers for giving up sleep and relaxation time to serve others.

SkillsUSA University sessions finish up today as do the delegate meetings. The final votes will be cast for national officers today.

Also today, the annual blood drive, sponsored by the Kansas City Community Blood Center, will be in Bartle Hall 2105. Hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The National Courtesy Corps auction begins at 11 a.m. in Bartle Hall 2215C. Proceeds benefit the NCC.

Tonight, the conference reaches its peak of excitement with the awards ceremony. Seating begins at 4:30 p.m. The ceremony starts at 6 p.m. Don’t forget, if you aren’t with us in Kansas City, you can watch the excitement online here: www.skillsusa.org/events/nlscvideo.shtml. Our live video streaming is sponsored by Lowe’s.

It’s going to be a great night!

National Week of Service Reminder

April 11th, 2012

We invite all our chapters to participate in the SkillsUSA National Week of Service on May 6-12. Chapters may participate in two ways:

  1. Conduct a community service project during that week; or
  2. Promote a service project the chapter did earlier in the school year during that week.

This will help commemorate the founding of SkillsUSA on May 8, 1965. The SkillsUSA National Week of Service not only shines a spotlight on SkillsUSA’s dedication to serving others, but it also showcases the skills and expertise of career and technical education students who are learning to become tomorrow’s leaders.

We encourage chapter advisors to send a brief report on their community service activities to Niki Clausen at the national headquarters – nclausen@skillsusa.org. Please let us know in a paragraph or two what the chapter does to help the community and we’ll post these reports and photos online.  The first 50 chapters that report Week of Service plans to the national headquarters will receive a free item.

Imagine one amazing week in May when SkillsUSA students nationwide are busy reporting about their community service event or conducting service projects in their communities. Imagine the power they’ll hold in their hands as they and their fellow SkillsUSA members work nationwide to improve the lives of their neighbors in countless ways. Imagine the difference one week can make.

For planning materials, go to: www.skillsusa.org/events/service.shtml.

2012 Timberland PRO/SkillsUSA Community Service Day Registration Reminder

April 11th, 2012

Timberland PRO will again host the Community Service Day on Wednesday, June 27, in Kansas City, and they hope to recruit 350 volunteers.  Beginning April 16, state advisors and directors can register the volunteers online at: http://timberlandserviceday.eventbrite.com. The password is Timberland.  All volunteers MUST be registered online.

PLEASE NOTE: Each state has been allotted a certain number of spots. We will be informing state association directors of their numbers. Please do not register more than your state’s allotted amount.  If a state registers more than its allotted registration limit, Timberland will remove the extra registrants from the state. Volunteers will receive service day tickets as proof of registration. Tickets must be taken to the service day event.

Don’t miss out on this fun opportunity as space is limited. Register your group online today and help give back to the Kansas City community. If you have questions or problems registering, please contact Christy Greco at Cgreco@timberland.com.

CTE Month and Highlights

March 1st, 2012

We just finished CTE Month and we had a lot going on here at SkillsUSA. That includes social media activity during SkillsUSA Week, a new board member, a new staff member and a shout out from the Assistant Secretary of Labor. So, here are some of the highlights during this shortest month of the year.

  • As part of our SkillsUSA Week celebration, February 6-10, we experimented using advertising on Facebook by posting the SkillsUSA public service announcement (PSA) featuring alumna and NASCAR reporter, Wendy Venturini. The ad ran from February 9-12. The campaign reached over 420,000 unique viewers and yielded nearly one million impressions. To view the PSA, go to: www.skillsusa.org/educators/psa.shtml and scroll down to the video window of Wendy. We used the 60-second version.
  • Also during SkillsUSA Week, we heard about lots of activity from around the country as our chapters and state associations were engaged in advocacy and service activities. We were happy to have approximately 100 attendees on our SkillsUSA Week webinar on Tuesday, February 7 and pleased by the special guests, Russ Hoffbauer, both student national presidents and one of our business partners, former board member (and SkillsUSA alumnus), John Hinesley, who gave the keynote speech.
  • I’m pleased to announce that Lowe’s Senior Vice President, Troy Dally, will be joining the board of directors. And, last week, I had my first phone conversation with the new Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation director, and she sounded excited about the partnership with SkillsUSA.
  • Chance Litwin, this year’s SkillsUSA college/postsecondary national student president has been invited to attend the 2012 Building a Grad Nation Summit in Washington, D.C., March 18-21. The annual event brings together community groups, educators, local and state leaders, nonprofit organizations, businesses and youth to discuss efforts to increase high school graduation rates. The Summit is expected to draw 1,000 people including General Colin Powell and U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. Chance was chosen from over 200 student applicants. State Farm is a Premier Sponsor for the Summit.
  • On February 21, Christen Battaglia joined the Office of Business Partnerships and Development to help with our fundraising. We’re very glad to have her with us and know you’ll give her a hearty welcome when you meet her.
  • Here is the latest on SkillsUSA membership. Remember, tomorrow (March 1), is the deadline for not only competitors, but officer candidates and delegates as well. We have 296,490 members entered now and more states have surpassed their total membership last year. Congratulations to the following state associations for exceeding last year’s overall membership. They are California, Clay Mitchell; Connecticut, Heidi Balch; Hawaii, Gilbert Chun; Maryland, Chuck Wallace; Massachusetts, Karen Ward; Mississippi, Andy Sims; New Hampshire, Lynda Demers; New Jersey, Pete Carey; New York high school division, Bruce Potter; Oklahoma, Darren Gibson; Pennsylvania, Jeri Widdowson; Rhode Island, Josh Klemp; Virginia, Ed Sullivan; and, West Virginia, Paul Lovett. And, a reminder that professional membership and alumni memberships count, so if you have staff, board members, corporate members or others (including yourself), be sure and submit them today. Individuals who are industry partners and other friends not affiliated with a local chapter can join online at the following link: www.skills-register.org/rpts/JoinAsProfessional.aspx.
  • SkillsUSA Champions magazine won a silver award this year in the Association Trends All-Media Contest. Among the judge’s comments: “This submitted issue lives up to the mission statement with excellent and focused content and clean and easy-to-read design elements. This organization has a strong Web presence and a digital version to further enhance its commitment to members.” Congratulations to Tom Hall and the Office of Publications. If you would like to see the winners gallery (including honors to past SkillsUSA publications), please visit: www.associationtrends.com/gallery/?cat=261.
  • Mike Cowles was in Washington on February 7 as part of a delegation from Columbus, Ohio to visit the White House to discuss metro economic revitalization and job creation and how the city can work with small and large businesses to do it. This was one of 40 similar meetings planned by the White House. The delegation included the mayor of Columbus. Mike joined them because of the role of career and technical education in economic development and education. He told me that at one point during the meeting he started to talk about SkillsUSA, and Assistant Secretary of Labor Jane Oates said to the entire delegation: “SkillsUSA is a great organization. If you’re not involved with it already, you need to be.”
  •  We’re putting the final touches on a rigorous selection process for SkillsUSA WorldTeam and we’ll be keeping our state association directors informed right up front on the process and the candidates. We’ve also restructured the management team. I will be serving as the official delegate. Scott Norman from Pittsburg, Kan., is our technical expert. Dave Worden is our assistant technical expert and Heidi Ambrose is the team leader.

* The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) held a conference call the other day to ask the career and technical student organizations to help in the promotion and participation in the administration’s National Education Startup Challenge, an entrepreneurial look at education. SkillsUSA is happy to help. While on the subject of OVAE, President Obama’s 2013 budget flat-funds Perkins at $1.13 billion. One of the three key themes in the budget is “Jobs: aligning job training and education programs with workforce demands.”

* Sales of the Skill Connect Assessments are double what they were last year at this time and sales of ASE automotive assessments – in which SkillsUSA shares – are also way ahead of last year. We’ve been very fortunate to have an assessment expert helping us review the Skill Connect system, providing significant advice on how and where we can make improvements to the system and helping to develop a tool to show teachers the weighting of competencies in the tests. That will be a big help to teachers to prepare their students.

* Finally, there were 700 entries in the National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) pin and T-shirt design contest. That’s pretty neat. And, we held our first NLSC staff meeting on Valentine’s Day.

Highlights

January 15th, 2012
  • On January 4, I traveled to the offices of the Manufacturing Institute in Washington, D.C. to meet with Vince Bertram, the new executive director of Project Lead the Way (PLTW), and with the executive director and staff from the Technology Student Association (TSA). Vince is interested in revitalizing the Engineering Alliance (EA), the online joint venture between TSA and SkillsUSA for students in PLTW. He said he likes the concept for leadership and competitive events, and he wants us to prepare a proposal to seek a sustained commitment to EA.
  • On January 5, I met with executives from Rebuilding Together, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to rehabilitating housing in poor communities. Every year, they hold what they call “Big Builds” and some involve well-known personalities and big events. (They’re even tied into the Super Bowl this year.) Americorps is also involved. Their proposal is that we initiate a pilot project pairing 10 of our best chapters with 10 of their best affiliates to work on community service projects together. We’ll be reaching out to select state directors to pair local chapters with the strong affiliates that Rebuilding Together identifies as the preferred pilot sites. This initiative certainly helps SkillsUSA meet the request in recent student polls to make available more local service opportunities. Representatives from Rebuilding Together will attend our national conference, have an exhibit booth and make a SkillsUSA University presentation.
  • Congratulations to the following state associations for exceeding last year’s overall membership. They are California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In the next few weeks, we’ll be announcing more states as they exceed last year’s overall numbers. A reminder – professional membership and alumni membership counts. Individuals like industry partners and other friends not affiliated with a local chapter can join too online at the following link: www.skills-register.org/rpts/JoinAsProfessional.aspx.

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