- We have worked with Youth Development Foundation Committee member Cameron Ferguson and Caterpillar Inc. to confirm that Mike Rowe will indeed be our keynote speaker at the 2013 NLSC Opening Ceremony. CAT will also sponsor the Opening Ceremony and Ribbon Cutting and Dave Bozeman, CAT Vice President of Manufacturing will address the audience at the ceremony. Dave was also a presenter at the Harvard conference. A press release on the event was sent out on April 3. Here is the link: www.prweb.com/releases/2013/4/prweb10588382.htm.
- Staff reports that the State Certified Trainer training in Denver, Colo. on March 15-16 went very well. Eight advisors and one state director attended and the participants came from six states. Wyoming participated for the first time. The participants were all excited about receiving the new materials and looked forward to sharing what they had learned with their states.
- Staff traveled to Atlanta to work with Gayle Silvey on membership strategies for next school year.
- Staff traveled to the Texas High School State Conference in Corpus Christi, April 4-6 to work with alumni initiatives.
Three corporate representatives from Caterpillar – including Youth Development Foundation (YDF) member, Cameron Ferguson – met on January 28 at National Association of Manufacturing (NAM) headquarters with YDF member, Jennifer McNelly, president of The Manufacturing Institute and her communications team, Mike Rowe of mikeroweWORKS, another SkillsUSA staff member and me. The overarching topic was the public image of manufacturing and how to engage all four organizations in a national movement to educate youth about the benefits and opportunities of careers in manufacturing. Jennifer and her team are working on an action plan including media outreach featuring Mike Rowe.
The following day, Mike Rowe and his team met with Cameron and his team and me in Washington, D.C. Mike is a corporate spokesman for Caterpillar as well as a scholarship underwriter for SkillsUSA. We spoke with him about participation in the national conference, doing some promotion for SkillsUSA including the WorldTeam and promotion to recruit students into technical pathways. He’s interested! He loves the SkillsUSA Creed and was happy to hear that of the 50 students who received mikeroweWORKS travel scholarships to conference last year, four took medals and 13 finished in the top ten of their contests. He also enjoyed hearing from Cameron and friends about the students they’d met that morning from Washington County Technical High School in Hagerstown, Md. The students said what they believe is important is to do something for others and leave the world a better place. I believe Mike Rowe liked that as much as he liked the SkillsUSA Creed.
The National Leadership and Skills Conference is always an exciting—transforming—experience involving 15,000 of our closest friends. It’s also humbling to realize how much our collective work affects lives. Many teachers said to me and to staff: “Thank you for what you do for our students.”
Of course, that includes you. By way of example, board member Greg Rintala forwarded an email he received from Tina Oswald-White of mikeroweWORKS Foundation with an attached thank-you note from a student who received a mikeroweWORKS travel scholarship. The email commended the board members “who work so hard behind the scenes . . . and do so much not only for the organization but for the students and our future workforce.” The student’s note said in part “[This experience] opened my eyes to how much potential I have in the world, something I have never seen before.”
I wish everyone could have heard the Assistant Secretary of Labor Jane Oates say during the Special Guest Breakfast on Tuesday, “Scholarships and internships are wonderful for individuals. Support for SkillsUSA is an investment in capacity building for the American workforce.”
All of our special guests including Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary of Education Brenda Dann-Messier, Bill Symonds of the Harvard Pathways to Prosperity Project and many more were all amazed by the conference. As one of our first-time guests said to me, “If Secretary of Education Arne Duncan could see this, he’d stop talking about ‘islands of excellence’ in CTE.”
I’m not even going to start recounting all of the corporate executives in attendance, but it was delightful to have the top executives from two of our best sponsors attending the conference together, Jim Lentz of Toyota and Nick Pinchuk of Snap-on. I understand each had a marvelous time and I know Jim was in the news more than once. Here’s one TV clip including Jim – http://fox4kc.com/2012/06/26/students-showing-off-talents-at-skillsusa-competition/.
Speaking of news, the early report on coverage in the Kansas City area media includes 79 separate stories and that doesn’t even include stories that are coming in on area winners. For the first time ever this year, we had three of the four TV networks covering the Championships live simultaneously and multiple times on Tuesday morning. There were 24 stories on Tuesday alone. Several years ago, we asked the Convention and Visitors Association what other Kansas City convention SkillsUSA should use as a benchmark for news coverage. The answer was “SkillsUSA is the benchmark. No organization gets the coverage you get.” We’re also picking up national coverage.
The mikeroweWORKS Foundation, in partnership with SkillsUSA, is proud to announce a new scholarship opportunity for SkillsUSA members who have competed and placed first in their state association competition. Get the details here: www.skillsusa.org/supporters/mikerowe2.shtml. A total of 50 $1,000 scholarships will be awarded. The application deadline is June 1.
- On July 21, I had dinner with our new student officer team. They were just beginning nine days of training at the National Conference Center in Ashburn, Va. This is a great group of students. They’re diverse, highly qualified and they’ve already got their hands around their leadership skills.
- On the morning of July 18, I attended a meeting at The Manufacturing Institute of the partners in the Skills for America’s Future Program announced by President Obama in June. The meeting was hosted by YDF member, Emily DeRocco. We discussed a job-match service being provided by The White House to manufacturing and education to pull qualified workers into partnering manufacturing companies. We also started to develop our work plans and the quarterly reporting process. SkillsUSA will be working with Air Products to recruit students to manufacturing careers and to bring more partners to the process.
- In the afternoon I met with Bradley Hull, deputy executive director of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE). Brad told me that NASBE had identified five organizations they want to work with on advocacy initiatives and SkillsUSA is one of them. His particular interest is in finding a common voice for the arts and career and technical education because we face some common challenges including being among the “first to get cut” when school budgets are tight. Our discussions will continue.
- July 12-14, I was in Atlanta conducting SkillsUSA Georgia High School Division board training and strategic planning. State association director, Gayle Silvey, has a great board and together I believe they came up with a good plan with attainable goals. While there, I also attended the Georgia ACTE Conference and met with all of the Georgia construction teachers. SkillsUSA’s great friend, “Sonny” Cannon, was presented with the Outstanding Educator of the Year Award just prior to his retirement. Sonny leaves a legacy including business foundations to support CTE and the model of how to use our national conference as a VIP event to capture industry and policy maker attention.
- The news coverage keeps coming in. We’ve now received a final report on news coverage in the greater-Kansas City area and we’re up to 85 stories. We were on the front page of the Kansas City Star twice. The “Money Pit” radio show (syndicated on 250 stations nationwide) aired on July 18 and featured interviews with John Gaal, former SkillsUSA board member from ACTE and the Carpenters District Council of Greater St. Louis, two national student officers, Mike Rowe and me. To listen to the broadcast, go to this link.
- Speaking of Mike Rowe, SkillsUSA is featured on the mikerowWORKS website with information on the scholarship winners from this year’s conference, and they’ve posted video streaming from the Collision Repair Technology contest area by Collisionhub. The host was Bob Medved of State Farm Insurance. To see the news and the videos, please go to: www.mikeroweworks.com/2011/07/bob-medved-interviews-pablo-fuentes-ceo-of-workers-now-at-skillsusa/. There’s also a video of Tina White of mikeroweWORKS. And, SkillsUSA also received a mention on the CNN Money/Fortune site in relation to Proven.com. The link here is: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/07/21/social-networking-for-bricklayers/.
- As mentioned earlier, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education consortium (NASDCTEc) has been working for nearly a year on a new brand for CTE. Mark Williams, our new board member from NASDCTEc, introduced the new brand during the Call to Action session in Kansas City. SkillsUSA has been helping on the communications advisory committee (Tom Holdsworth was recently a co-presenter with the president of the PR firm that developed the brand) and the state directors’ website has now been updated. The slogan is CTE: Learning that Works for America. Presentations, talking points and other supporting materials for the initiative can be found at www.careertech.org under the tab “resources.”
- The Association of Career and Technical Education released a paper on how career and technical education student organizations (CTSOs) expand career readiness for students. The July 6 ACTE news release says: ”National dialogue has escalated around the concepts of college and career readiness, but most of the focus has been on academic skills alone. Th[is] paper . . . concentrates on how elements of the CTE system support students’ academic, technical and employability skill development.” Among the bullet points: “Students who participate in CTSOs demonstrate higher levels of academic engagement and motivation, civic engagement, career self-efficacy, and employability skills than other students, and the more students participate in CTSO activities, the better the results.” The paper is available at: www.acteonline.org/uploadedFiles/Publications_and_Online_Media/files/CTSO_Career_Readiness.pdf. We’re pleased that the photo right up top is from the SkillsUSA conference this year.
- Planning is already under way for the 2012 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. We held our post-conference meeting on the 19th and we’re pulling together the top-ten list for improvements. On the 21st, staff was in Richmond, Va. to meet with the design team for TeamWorks to create the state association-level contest and our championships director is pulling together all the information and data he’ll need to take to the state association directors at their meeting in August to determine official and demonstration contests for 2012.
- And, finally, here’s a story from Springfield, Mo. about two Ozarks Technical Community College culinary students who were invited to cook for Sheryl Crow and her band along with her private chef just because they’d been in the SkillsUSA Championships. I just think that’s kind of neat. To view the story, go to www.news-leader.com/article/20110715/NEWS04/107150363/Students-OTC-cook-Crow-band?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE.
The mikeroweWORKS Foundation, in partnership with SkillsUSA, recently provided a new scholarship opportunity for SkillsUSA members who placed first in their state association contests this year. Twenty $1,000 scholarships have been awarded to offset costs of travel and conference participation. Winners will also have the opportunity to attend a luncheon with a member of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation staff. The winners are:
- Justin Holbrooks, Wood County Technical Center in Parkersburg, W.V.
- Josie Colonna, Monmouth County Career Center in Freehold, N.J.
- Brittany Belgarde, Helena High School in Helena, Mont.
- Forrest Barker, Suwannee-Hamilton Tech. Center in Live Oak, Fla.
- Carrick Ashworth, Sabin Schellenberg Center in Milwaukie, Ore.
- Forrest Teague, Lawrence County Center of Technology in Moulton, Ala.
- Luzbeth Rodriguez, Warwick Area Career and Technical Center in Warwick, R.I.
- Forrest Smith, Warwick Area Career and Technical Center in Warwick, R.I.
- Nina Palombo, Chariho Regional High School in Wood River Junction, R.I.
- Kelli Green, Kamiah High School in Kamiah, Ore.
- Pamela Roberts, Sullivan South High School in Kingsport, Tenn.
- Heidi Smith, H. C. Wilcox Technical High School in Meriden, Conn.
- Scott Eckensberger, Seminole Vocational Education Center in Seminole, Fla.
- Drew Forrest, Spring Lake Park High School in Spring Lake Park, Minn.
- Terri Haupt, Seminole Vocational Education Center in Seminole, Fla.
- Bryanna Auverson, Lewiston Senior High School in Lewiston, Idaho
- Monica Briner, Highland Community College Technical Center in Atchison, Kan.
- Supansa Banker, Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Mich.
- Julian Ellison, Carver-Scott Educational Cooperative in Chaska, Minn.
- Brian Murphy, Communications High School in Wall, N.J.
The mikeroweWORKS Foundation, in partnership with SkillsUSA, is announcing a new scholarship opportunity for SkillsUSA members who have placed first in their state association contests this year. The scholarship is to provide support for state contest winners who have insufficient chapter, school or community resources to participate in the 2011 National SkillsUSA Championships.
Twenty $1,000 scholarships will be given away to offset costs of travel and conference participation. Winners will also have the opportunity to attend a luncheon with a member of The mikeroweWORKS Foundation staff.
Acceptance is based on a one-page narrative submitted by the student and a letter of support from the student’s advisor or state association director. Applications must be postmarked by June 3. Winners will be notified the following week.
For additional information and the application form, please link to www.skillsusa.org/supporters/mikerowe2.shtml
The video is on SkillsUSA’s YouTube Channel here.
We’re also very excited to announce that Mike mentions SkillsUSA and our national conference on his Web site, mikeroweWORKS.com, along with another video greeting to our members: www.mikeroweworks.com/tool-shed/.
We are excited to be affiliated with Mike Rowe and appreciate his support. Please visit Mike’s site and thanks for all the hard work you do each day!
SkillsUSA is thrilled to announce that Mike Rowe, host of the Discovery Channel show Dirty Jobs, will be sending a personal message to SkillsUSA via video, which will be shown as a part of the Opening Ceremony of the National Leadership and Skills Conference. Be sure to visit mikeroweWORKS.com to view how Mike is drawing attention to career and technical education and those entering America’s skilled work force!
Through our contacts at State Farm, SkillsUSA is now mentioned on Mike Rowe’s personal Web site: www.mikeroweworks.com/job-site. If you are not aware, Mike Rowe is the host of the Discovery Channel show “Dirty Jobs.” One of Mike’s personal projects is to promote skilled labor and Career and Technical Education. State Farm has had calls with Mike’s business group and will be uploading video to the site as well. At our National Leadership and Skills Conference, State Farm plans to conduct interviews with various partners to also post on Mike’s site.