February was CTE Month, and we celebrated SkillsUSA during the second full week of February every year. We held a webinar on February 12th for members and state associations and we had triple presidents with Board President James King, Sergio Cavazos, national high school president and Ben Morris, national college/postsecondary present all delivering powerful messages. We hope to be learning soon of the activities chapters carried out across the nation.
It’s February, so it’s CTE Month once again, a time for all ten of the career and technical student organizations (CTSOs) and related professional associations to talk about the value of career and technical education.
SkillsUSA Week is Feb. 10-16. SkillsUSA Week is a fantastic way to highlight all the great things your state association and chapters are doing. We have a lot of great resources on our website to help you plan activities for the week. Be sure and visit www.skillsusa.org/educators/skillsusaweek.shtml for tools to celebrate and publicize career and technical education. ACTE also has many resources to help you celebrate CTE Month at: www.acteonline.org.
When President Obama visited the campus of Northern Virginia Community College in June of 2011, he highlighted the importance of CTE for our country, and described it as the backbone of our nation.
He said, “I see a United States where this nation is able to out-compete every country on Earth, where we continue to be the world’s engine for innovation and discovery. I see a future where we train workers who make things here in the United States, and continue a important and honorable tradition of folks working with their hands, creating value, not just shuffling paper. That’s part of what has built the American Dream.”
That’s what we represent and what we stand for. What are you going to do for SkillsUSA Week?
February is Career and Technical Education Month and February 10-16 is SkillsUSA Week. SkillsUSA Week activities are a great way to highlight the good work your state association and local chapters are doing. For SkillsUSA Week ideas, see the chapter management section on the SkillsUSA website. SkillsUSA offers downloadable public service announcements at: www.skillsusa.org/educators/skillsusaweek.shtml.
On February 12th, at 1 p.m. EST, SkillsUSA will be holding a Web conference to kick off SkillsUSA’s week of celebration. Hear from your national student leaders and SkillsUSA leaders on the state of the organization. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions. All state directors, instructors and members are welcome to participate in the Web conference. To participate, call 1-334-323-0270 or 1-888-537-7715 to hear the discussion and then go to: www.skillsusa.org/educators/skillsusaweek.shtml to get the link to join. The meeting number is 46844558 and the participant passcode is 5892.
February is Career and Technical Education Month and February 10-16 is SkillsUSA Week. SkillsUSA Week activities are a great way to highlight the good work your state association and local chapters are doing. For SkillsUSA Week ideas, see the Chapter Management section on the SkillsUSA website. SkillsUSA offers downloadable public service announcements at: www.skillsusa.org/educators/skillsusaweek.shtml.
On February 12th, at 1 p.m. EST, SkillsUSA will be holding a Web conference to kick off SkillsUSA’s week of celebration. Hear from your national student leaders and SkillsUSA leaders on the state of the organization. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions. All state directors, instructors and members are welcome to participate in the Web conference.
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) has launched a new student contest for CTE Month- the CTE Month Promotional Poster Contest. It is seeking student’s best and most creative poster designs promoting CTE Month. The contest is open to all CTE students, secondary and postsecondary, and ACTE will accept submissions until October 19. After that six finalists will be selected and their entries will be posted on ACTE’s Facebook page. Anyone can then vote for his/her favorite for one week. At week’s end, whoever receives the most votes in each category will be the winning poster design.
ACTE is hoping to generate more attention for CTE Month. The winning posters can be used by CTE teachers, CTSO advisors and other CTE Month celebrants to promote CTE Month and social media advocacy week—being held February 11-15. Winners from each category will receive a prize pack including a copy of the Adobe CS6 Suite.
Here is the link to the contest rules on ACTE’s web page: www.acteonline.org/ctemonth.aspx#Challenge
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.
February is Career and Technical Education Month and February 5-11 is SkillsUSA Week.
SkillsUSA Week activities are a great way to highlight the good work you are doing. For SkillsUSA Week ideas, see the Chapter Management section on the SkillsUSA website: www.skillsusa.org/educators/skillsusaweek.shtml. SkillsUSA offers downloadable public service announcements at: www.skillsusa.org/educators/psa.shtml.
For SkillsUSA clothing or gifts, go to: www.skillsusastore.org.
On February 7, at 1 p.m. EST, SkillsUSA will be holding a Web conference to kick off SkillsUSA’s week of celebration. Hear from your SkillsUSA leaders on the state of the organization. Listen to a special guest speaker on what it means to be “Skilled and Motivated” which is this year’s theme. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions. All state directors, instructors and student members are welcome to participate.
To participate in the Web conference, go to the following link on February 7 at 1 p.m. EST: Web address at http://web.ganconference.com/?meeting=1736891. To dial in for audio, call: 888-222-0475. Attendee Code: 5692952
CTE Month and SkillsUSA Week, February 5 – 11 are coming up. The news stories are already coming in. I’m seeing stories about school open houses, community service events conducted by our chapters like Fairfield Career Center in Ohio working to help homeless teenagers and examples of how CTE and SkillsUSA change lives.
Of course, CTE is even more than that. It keeps students in school. Ninety percent of CTE concentrators graduate from high school. That’s in comparison to the average national freshman graduation rate of 74.9 percent.
And, those students are preparing for the careers America desperately needs.
During his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday, President Obama spoke of the need for training and the need for education. I hope federal and state policymakers wake up to the fact they’ve got the answer on their doorstep. It’s called CTE. It needs their support through the Perkins Act and appropriations in Washington and in statehouses across this country.
CTE Month and SkillsUSA Week are great opportunities to tell your community and policymakers that CTE is learning that works for America. I’ll be sending more on that soon. Happy CTE Month.
February is Career and Technical Education Month and February 7-11 is SkillsUSA Week. SkillsUSA Week activities are a great way to highlight the good work your state association and local chapters are doing. For SkillsUSA Week ideas, see the Chapter Management section on the SkillsUSA website. SkillsUSA offers downloadable public service announcements at: www.skillsusa.org/educators/skillsusaweek.shtml.
For SkillsUSA clothing or gifts, go to: www.skillsusastore.org. Our supply service can also help you with custom items for your state conference or other events. Call Steve Korker at 703-716-3330, Ext. 137 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On February 8th, at 1 p.m. EST, SkillsUSA will be holding a Web conference. The theme will be based on this year’s national theme “Respecting all Perspectives” and will include a SkillsUSA update. All state directors, instructors and members are welcome to participate in the Web conference.
To participate in the Web conference, go to the following link on February 8 at 1 p.m. EST:
Web address at http://web.ganconference.com/?meeting=4188616. To dial in for audio, call: 888-222-0475. Attendee Code: 6837807
- SkillsUSA staff is collecting items for relief efforts in Haiti. In addition, our office will be a drop-site for local residents looking to assist in the Haiti relief efforts. Staff is collecting goods from the community on February 11 and goods will then be taken to Catholic Relief Services and The Greater Washington Haitian Relief Committee for distribution in Haiti. The effort was organized by a friend of a staff member who has worked closely with the Haitian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
- On January 25, SkillsUSA sent out the news release announcing CTE Month in February on behalf of the CTE community. This is the release prepared by the Association of Career and Technical Education, The National Association of State Directors for Career and Technical Education consortium and all of the student organizations to celebrate CTE Month and makes a unified case for CTE. We used the VOCUS system for distribution, and the release went not only to the news media but also to all of the major internet sites such as Google and Yahoo… so it should get really good exposure and pick up. Here’s just part of the message. “As America continues to tackle economic, education and workforce issues, recent research illustrates the critical need to earn a high school diploma and complete some form of postsecondary education or training. For instance, The Economic Benefits of Halving the Dropout Rate: A Boom to Businesses in the Nation’s Largest Metropolitan Areas, a report released this month by the Alliance for Excellent Education, examines the impact of cutting a single class’s dropout rate in half. The report states that more than 30,000 jobs could be created in one year based on increased spending and investments, with an estimated $5.3 billion boon to local economies by the time this one class of graduates reaches the midpoint of their careers.”
- Finally, Region I Board Member Holly Harriel submitted her resignation this week effective February 1, 2010. She’s leaving the Rhode Island Department of Education to fill a leadership role at Brown University. We wish her continued success and thank her for her service.