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Applications Now Available for Activate and Leverage Facilitators

October 15th, 2013

Know someone who enjoys working with student leaders and would make a great facilitator for Activate or Leverage? Applications are now being accepted for 2014 Activate and Leverage facilitators. Application and full details can be found at Deadline to apply has been extended to October 28.

To learn more about this fabulous opportunity, please email Kelly Horton at

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.

Leverage, Activate, Engage!

June 22nd, 2013

Leverage Activate and EngageEven though most conference participants won’t arrive in Kansas City until Monday or Tuesday, there’s still a lot going on as our the conference contest areas are being prepared for the events of the 2013 SkillsUSA Championships. Of course, registration for conference is in full swing in Bartle Hall.

Probably the biggest event of the day is the beginning of the 2013 Leverage, Activate and Engage conferences. These events are dynamic training sessions for state officers, chapter leaders and advisors. They are sponsored by Lowe’s and State Farm.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see the latest photos and get up-to-the-minute news and information about the 2013 NLSC. Of course, we’ll be posting a link to our photos on our home page, or you can access the page directly.

You can also download the official conference program here. It is a PDF document and is viewable on smart phones and tablets.

Engage Training for Chapter Advisors, Activate Training for Chapter Leaders and Engage Training for State Officers

April 15th, 2013

Activate TrainingEngage for Teachers

Engage is the two-and-a-half-day teacher training program from SkillsUSA that empowers teachers to grow their SkillsUSA chapters by using the latest information and tools in employability, leadership development and teaching strategies. The program is taught by experts within youth leadership development such as Dr. Tim Elmore. Dr. Elmore will lead participants to discover their vision for Career and Technical Education as it relates to their classroom.

Advisors will dive deep into the world of chapter operations and discover how to use chapter activities as classroom teaching tools. Answers on how to successfully engage students in chapter meetings, committees, recruitment, fundraising, public relations and the entire program of work will be revealed. Teachers will gain the latest techniques involved in giving clear directions, questions, processing and accessing student achievement.

Engage will focus on new educational resources being launched by SkillsUSA at the National Leadership and Skills Conference. Teachers participating in Engage will receive a set of all the new resources as a part of the training.

Activate for Students

SkillsUSA is all about encouraging students to assume leadership roles and to take action, whether at school, at home, or in their communities. SkillsUSA students serve as role models and on teams that get things done.

This three-day leadership conference will help SkillsUSA members find their “start button” through action-oriented, high-energy and motivational programming. Activate is open to all SkillsUSA members.

Participants will be led through a series of self-discovery, hands-on training which will include the following topics: values and character; maximizing strengths and talents; goal-setting; time management; responsibility and self-discipline; image projection; leadership characteristics; leading without a title; teamwork; building trust; conflict resolution; respecting others; communication; serving others and planning a service project. Students will complete the course feeling empowered with the necessary tools for success.

Leverage for State Officers

Leverage will provide officers with high-energy and motivational training that focuses on servant leadership. State officers will be learning in a way that is fun and unique to the SkillsUSA experience. Participation in the training will not only develop and hone the state officers’ own leadership knowledge and skills, but they also will learn how to teach those leadership strategies to the state members that they serve.

State officer teams are important to the success of the organization. What the officers do and how they do it can have a significant impact – not only on the image and essence of SkillsUSA, but also on career and technical education (CTE) in general. While being elected to a leadership position is a worthy accomplishment, it comes with a set of responsibilities. And for the state officer’s own growth and development, it also presents many opportunities that will last a lifetime.

All three trainings will be held June 22-24 in Bartle Hall in Kansas City, Missouri and the cost is $135.00 per participant. Visit: and/or for full details.

Leverage and Activate Conference Facilitator Application

September 29th, 2012

We need your help in identifying potential Leverage and Activate facilitators for 2013. Do you know of a former national officer, state officer or member that enjoys working with students? Are they passionate about leadership and teamwork? Are they open to learning how to be the best facilitator possible? If you answered yes to these questions, then encourage them to complete an application to become a facilitator. Great opportunities await them for personal growth and achievement. Applications are due October 15.

To complete the Activate/Leverage Application go to:*jpQnIR8Cchqhx-91llLhw. You can use Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader to fill in this form. When you are finished, click Submit on the upper right hand corner to return your data to SkillsUSA. You can also save the form to your computer and return to it later to submit. Get the free latest version of Adobe Reader from:

Pre-conference Hyper-Drive

June 15th, 2012

We’re on the road toward another great conference. On June 6, the Teamsters started moving equipment for the Championships out of storage. The postal carts we use to load supplies for the national office are in our office hallways, and the truck will be leaving for Kansas City on Monday, June 18.

Here are some of the numbers:

  • 9,905 paid registration. A record
  • 5,948 contestants. Another record
  • More than 350 industry and education guests
  • 1,414 volunteers including 163 in the Courtesy Corps
  • 35 high school and college/postsecondary national officer candidates
  • 125 alumni will be attending including 39 former national officers. The most ever to pre-register
  • 100 more people are registered for Leverage, Activate and Engage over last year’s Officer 101/201 and advisors’ conference, a new record and,
  • 300 more tickets have been sold for the Harley-Davidson motorcycle raffle than last year

Special Guests attending conference include Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary of Education (OVAE), Sharon Miller, OVAE, Jane Oates, assistant secretary of Labor (ETA), Simon Bartley, president of WorldSkills International, and Bill Symonds, director of Harvard’s Pathways to Prosperity Project. We will also have 17 Harley-Davidson executives joining us, large groups from State Farm, Caterpillar, IRWIN, NCCER, Snap-on and others.

We will have two ads in the Kansas City Star – one on Thursday, June 21 and a half page on Sunday, June 24, saying thanks for moving the conference to accommodate the All-Star Game.



April 15th, 2012
  • SkillsUSA was invited to help prepare hearings for a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee on April 17. The hearing will be about the skills gap and how to address it. Our staff met with committee staff on Monday, April 2, to discuss the overall agenda, suggest additional witnesses from among our partners and what SkillsUSA is doing that can add to the hearings.
  • On the legislative front, staff attended the National Coordinating Council meeting for the student organizations, and according to a report from the U.S. Department of Education, Perkins is not likely to be folded in with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and reauthorization of Perkins is more likely in 2015 than next year. In a related development, we also understand that Perkins funds are protected from being folded into a workforce investment fund as originally proposed. NASCTEc worked for the change and reports that Perkins is the only program that cannot be consolidated into the unified workforce plan. And, on March 30, Representative Jim Langevin, co-chair of the bipartisan CTE Caucus presented the 2012 SkillsUSA Rhode Island Outstanding Advisor of the Year award in Cranston. That‘s great visibility for SkillsUSA.
  • On March 27, we had a webinar for state association directors on the expanded curriculum and changes to the officer training seminars held during conference, formerly called State Officer 101/201 and advisor training, but now called Leverage (state officers), Activate (chapter leaders) and Engage (advisor training). Seventeen directors joined the webinar and six more have asked for a reprise. Reaction was positive. There have also been six webinars on the Skill Connect Assessments focusing on general administration of the tests and on building student success with the assessments. And, staff reports that four states are using the assessments as part of their state competitions.
  • We have 46 applications in for the SkillsUSA WorldTeam. The interview and selection process will begin soon. We also got the good news that Festo will sponsor our 2013 Mechatronics Team.
  • Staff reports that the March 23 Chapter Management Institute held here at the national center was attended by 22 teachers from Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky.
  • And, finally, the succession plan approved by the board last year has been reviewed by a local consultant sent our way by Tim Zilke of ASE. The consultant commended the plan overall and had some suggestions that we’ll implement soon.

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