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August 15th, 2011
  • On August 1, Phil and Vickie Cronin from Iowa were here to claim their SkillsUSA membership mega prize: a trip to a Washington National’s baseball game. And, it was more than just the game. We were in the N.E.W. Customer Service Companies suite overlooking home plate. We began with a tour of the National Leadership Center and a reception before boarding the bus for Washington accompanied by 12 staff members. Phil has been a construction technology teacher for 34 years and has taken his SkillsUSA membership from 15 when he started to 100 percent of the students in the school. YDF member Bill Maddox from N.E.W. was our generous host.
  • ¬†Toward the end of July, I received a short report on the 10th annual Timberland PRO community service day held during this year’s conference. There are some impressive numbers here. A total of 385 volunteers planted 125 fruit trees and 40 blueberry bushes in an urban orchard. In addition, 1,500 backpack kits were stuffed to feed community children. And, 300 students won free footwear. That’s pretty neat too.
  • Wel have surveyed the National Education Team and the Championships technical committees. There were approximately 10 questions on each survey. The final results will be released later, but the answers to two of the questions from the technical committee survey jumped out at me. When asked if the membership of the 2011 national technical committee reflects a variety of leading companies in their industry, 71 percent strongly agreed and 24 percent agreed. When asked if the 2011 contests reflect current industry expectations for the skills and competencies of an entry-level worker in their occupational specialty, 73 percent strongly agreed and 24 percent agreed.
  • Letters accompanying the state press releases on Championships medalists and Skill Connect recipients have been faxed to all the members of Congress who had constituent winners. They’ve also gone to the governors and state CTE directors. We’ve been getting good responses from both Congress and governors requesting home addresses so they can send letters of congratulations. It makes a difference sending the letters before the congressional recess.
  • And, we’re getting ready for the State Association Directors Annual Professional Development & Training Conference and site visit in Louisville, Ky., August 15-20. I’m pleased to say that as of today, we have 46 state directors attending. That would be our largest turnout in quite some time. The officers have put together a great program. The Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau has been very supportive and has planned some great activities for the directors.

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