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Executive Director’s Report: August 1, 2014

August 1st, 2014

National Officers Preparing to Lead
We had 15 fine young students here from July 22 to July 30. As is often the case, they were a highly motivated group of achievers with lots of volunteer activity. Many of them credit SkillsUSA and career and technical education for changing their lives. (One officer wrote in his biographical summary that he was “acting out” more and more in school until he walked through the doors of the career center “and decided I’d better turn my life around.”) Many of them are AP students, honor society members and have leadership positions in other school organizations. They’re studying computer animation, criminal justice, automotive service, healthcare, pre-engineering and welding among others. And the work experience is varied too as it logically would be with 10 high school students and five college/postsecondary students. But, most of them have been working at something whether it’s delivering pizzas, babysitting and doing lawn care or working in an assisted living facility, welding and being a machine operator.

While they were here, they learned about facilitating, parliamentary procedure, branding, etiquette, ceremonies and public speaking. This is where they crafted their standard speech for the year. They also attended an outdoor team-building activity we call the “ropes course” and went on a tour of Washington, D.C.

The Big Conference Move
Everyone marvels at the Championships. I believe the most common response I hear from newcomers is “I didn’t know it was this big. You’ve got to be here to see it to believe it.” Well, after 21 years in Kansas City, this year we had to pack up that great big show, send it to Louisville and pack it away until next June. No one got to see it happen but Dave Worden and Jim Kregiel have been working for well over a year to move the Championships inventory to a new warehouse at a price SkillsUSA could afford. It’s done. The last trailer unloaded on July 6. I just thought I’d share some of the figures and highlight some of the support that made it possible:

  • We moved 21 semi-trailers and one flatbed trailer of materials totaling just about 770,000 lbs. of material.
  • We used 3,100 gallons of fuel in the move because the trucks were making round trips. There were four round trips total in convoys ranging from three to nine trucks.
  • A total of 24,610 miles were driven during the move. That’s slightly over eight trips across the continental United States.
  • The Teamsters locals in both Kansas City and Louisville were instrumental. We had 18 drivers from Kansas City and Louisville in addition to tractors and trailers. We also had tractors and trailers from Indianapolis and Minnesota Teamsters.
  • YRC (Yellow Roadway Corporation) provided two load drivers and a tractor and trailer
  • Idealease loaned us two tractors and 17 trailers.
  • We’ve used approximately three-quarters of the warehouse space. Added to the inventory are 18 new table saws for cabinetmaking and 65 new electric ranges.
  • Jim estimates the total savings made on the move was $159,000. Volunteer time from the Teamsters would be valued at $34,000 and the loaned equipment would have cost SkillsUSA $125,000.
  • And, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore was bowled over by the materials donated in Kansas City from PVC pipe and plywood to bricks and the retired stoves. According to the Kansas City Star, ReStore contracted with drivers for two semi-trucks with flatbed trailers to haul things away. We don’t know how many trips they made.

A big thank you and congratulations to Dave and Jim and all the partners who helped us move the big show to a new place.

Highlights

  • News releases on medalists and on Skill Point Certificate recipients were emailed to daily newspapers, weeklies and to Chambers of Commerce before July 4. In all, 4,198 releases were sent on the medalists and 8,910 on the Skill Point recipients. We’re now in the process of sending the releases and information to Members of Congress and the governors.
  • I took a look at national conference participation in a great report Judy Garrison creates every year. While we didn’t have the large increases in female participation in attending the conference (34 percent) and as contestants (32 percent) as we did last year, we did see the trend continue. This year there were 4 percent more female contestants and 8 percent  more female participants than last year. Females were 39 percent of our conference participants and they were 37 percent our total membership last year. I was also pleased to see 1,585 of our chapters (schools) were represented at the conference. That’s an increase over last year and 43 percent of all our member schools.

That’s it for now. Until next time, thank you for all you do for the great students and teachers we serve.

 

National Conference Survey

July 31st, 2014

If you attended the 2014 National Leadership and Skills Conference (including the SkillsUSA Championships) in June, we would like your feedback concerning the quality of your experience in Kansas City.

Please take a few minutes to complete our survey at the link below. All feedback is used for program improvement. To take the survey, go to: www.surveymonkey.com/s/NLSC14.

 

 

Executive Director’s Report: July 15, 2014

July 15th, 2014

Superlatives are in place for SkillsUSA’s 50th National Leadership and Skills Conference and we certainly can say:

  • This was our largest conference in history.
  • It was a great celebration with some excellent speakers including Bill Prince at the Call to Action session. Bill was a student at the SkillsUSA founding in Nashville and a great example of what this organization is about.
  • Dynamic general sessions thanks to CAT and Lowe’s and to Cameron Ferguson and Chris Arvin (Caterpillar Inc.) and Troy Dally (Lowe’s Companies, Inc.), and of course, our own national staff).
* There were the most competitors ever with more than 6,000 entrants in 99 contests.
  • We had 466 special guests attending, 322 from business and 144 from education.
  • There were 1,985 volunteers for the SkillsUSA Championships alone including judges, technical committee and national education team members to name just a few.
  • And, we awarded 996 medals, gold, silver and bronze.

SkillsUSA was in the news before, during and after the conference week appearing on all four network affiliates numerous times, several times in the Kansas City Star including front page above the fold, and in other publications and radio. Our Kansas City media report lists 96 different instances of coverage prior to and shortly after conference. No wonder the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association says SkillsUSA is the gold standard when it comes to convention coverage.

Here’s one of my favorite superlatives. It’s a quote emailed to me from a Freightliner executive in Georgia. “The entire SkillsUSA National event has renewed my faith in the youth of today. Y’all do a really great job in helping those students find direction and purpose for their lives. I was really impressed with just how focused, driven, articulate and polite the SkillsUSA students were. They’re a real breath of fresh air. Congratulations on 50 years. What an inspirational couple days!”

And the members were talking and sharing on social media too. According to Craig Moore:

  • Our pre-conference Facebook “likes” grew over 1,500 to 19,976 post-conference.
  • Our YouTube views for the past 30 days are 17,667. That’s a 336 percent increase from the previous 30-day period.
  • Viewers watched a total of 63,279 minutes on YouTube during the past 30 days. That equals 43 days and 22 hours viewing, an increase of 140 percent over the previous 30-day period.
  • And, 55 percent of the viewers watched on computer, 30 percent on a mobile phone and 13 percent on a tablet.

But the best part is to tune in and read some of the posts from the students themselves. Craig has created a tagboard so you can scroll through Tweets, Instagram photos, Facebook posts and Google+ posts using the conference hashtag. Just go to the tagboard at https://tagboard.com/NLSC14/180380.

There’s also an outstanding “Week in Review” video from Tom Kercheval that does a great job of capturing the excitement of the conference in just five minutes, including the appearance of Mike Rowe at the end. Enjoy at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKO9Yw7qKUM#t=17 and thanks to the partners who made it possible

Meeting with the Chiefs

Tuesday through Thursday this week, I was in Florida for the Chief State School Officers Career Readiness Task Force of 18 people including five of the chiefs and some education experts. (That’s where I come in.) We reviewed a draft of guiding principles and recommended action steps and best practices to teach career readiness. The goal of the task force is to help every student graduate “career ready.” Not surprisingly, defining “career ready” was one of the major discussions during the meeting. SkillsUSA was cited several times as an excellent model for business-education partnerships. The next meeting is in Washington D.C. in September, and in October, there will be a tour of two European education systems. The final report is due in November.

One of the pluses is getting quality time with the chiefs. I had extended visits with four of the five chiefs including Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland and Wisconsin. The chief from Kentucky has already promised me he’ll attend our national conference next year. I also spoke at length with a representative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce foundation regarding a new vision and policy recommendations the foundation is working on for employer engagement with education. The focus is to develop the workforce that will close the skills gap. I’ve been asked to name one of our business partners to serve on the Chamber committee. And, I had a great visit with board member Scott Stump.

Highlights

  • Congratulations to Wisconsin high school state director, Brent Kindred, for his election as president of the SkillsUSA Board of Directors, to Mike de Castro of Air Products as Vice President and to Chris Arvin of Caterpillar Inc. for his continuing role as Secretary. And, welcome to Maryland state director, Chuck Wallace, representing Region 1 and Alex Gromada representing ACTE and Southern Illinois CJAP.
  • And, finally, I just received the news release today on Friday that Colorado State CTE Director and board member Scott Stump has been elected president of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education consortium (NASDCTEc) for the upcoming year. Congratulations, Scott.

That’s it for now. Until next time, thank you for all you do for the great students and teachers we serve.

Thank you for a great conference!

June 30th, 2014

A HUGE thank you for all who helped to make our 50th National Leadership and Skills Conference the biggest and best in our history.  What an incredible week we had! It would have not been possible without dedicated students, advisors, state directors, alumni, business partners, volunteers and staff.

We have our Opening and Awards ceremonies archived and you can watch them online here:

www.skillsusa.org/events/nlscvideo.shtml

Just a note, the Opening Ceremony videos are jumpy because of some connectivity problems in Kemper Arena, but it does eventually even out.

You can find listings of medalists here: http://skillsusa-register.org/rpts/EventMedalists.aspx.

Scores will not be posted until we have a chance to to get the data and material back from Kansas City. Watch our home page and it will be announced there. As a reminder, only the individual who competed is authorized to retrieve their score.

Thank you again for all you do every day to show the world that SkillsUSA members are true Champions at Work.

Kansas City Here We Come!

June 18th, 2014

This afternoon a huge tractor trailer left the SkillsUSA National Leadership Center here in Leesburg headed to Kansas City.  The truck was “loaded to the max” with NLSC programs, office equipment, electronics for registration and the Championships and every file and document imaginable to support our big event.  Some staff is already on site and more leave everyday headed to Kansas City.

This 50th NLSC marks what will be the largest national conference in our history with the largest group ever registered for the conference and the SkillsUSA Championships.  There will be dynamic sessions, lots of learning and growing and thousands of lives changed for the better.

Non-profit organizations like SkillsUSA don’t last 50 years without a dedicated team of hard working people who make great things happen every day.  And I realize, as does the board, staff and foundation, that this event continues to grow and impact more students and teachers for one primary reason – the outstanding work that you provide to your state association.  No student comes to NLSC without the encouragement of that special instructor, dedicated administrator and the leadership of the state director.  We salute you, thank you and look forward to seeing you in just a few short days.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in a few days. Safe travels to all of you and your delegations!

Executive Director’s Report: June 15, 2014

June 15th, 2014

Chiefs Career Readiness Initiative Launched
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states. The Council is unquestionably one of the most influential organizations in public education. It works to gain consensus among members on major educational issues and to express those views to Congress, federal agencies and the public. As an example, the CCSSO issued a report in 2010 on transforming educator preparation and entry into the profession. That report led to policy changes and reforms in 44 states to date. The Chiefs want to promote high-quality career and technical education, and they want all of public education to recognize the importance and role of CTE. The Chiefs have pulled together a small task force of 18 people who they call “the best people in the country” to draft recommendations for their report. On May 21, we had our first meeting of the Career Readiness Task Force. The group includes six state chiefs, three state CTE directors, two state leaders of postsecondary programs –including Board Member Scott Stump– two business leaders and five national experts. (That’s where I fit in. I am the only student organization representative on the task force.) Our agenda included a discussion on the economic imperative for our work and how to identify and support high-quality career readiness programs. I served on a subcommittee that discussed what kinds of things will spark student career interests and serve as student incentives. Not surprisingly, the work of student organizations came up in that meeting, and I wasn’t the only one talking about them. The task force members will be working offline during the coming months, and we have two formal meetings scheduled for July and September. The Chiefs want to deliver the report during their national conference in November. This is a great opportunity to work at the highest levels of education policy.

“A Common Framework for Employability Skills”
On May 22, Niki Clausen represented SkillsUSA during the U.S. Department of Education Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) webinar entitled “A Common Framework for Employability Skills.” The webinar focused on why employability skills matter and featured the Employability Skills Framework and website (at http://cte.ed.gov/employabilityskills/) and implementation strategies including career and technical student organizations. In addition to Niki, other guest presenters included: Sharon Miller from OCTAE, Kim Green with NASDCTEc, Steve DeWitt at ACTE, Laura Rasmussen Foster at RTI International, Pamela Frugoli with the U.S. Department of Labor, and SkillsUSA Board Member Kathy Mannes with American Association of Community Colleges. There were 320 participants nationwide. This presentation, as well as the archived webinar, will be available online. I also received a call that week from the U.S. Department of State asking if I would be part of a U.S. Embassy speakers’ program later this year. The embassy wants to help policymakers, employers and practitioners in a faraway country understand the role of technical education in preparing youth for employment. I’m in discussion with the Department of State. It’s nice to be asked.

Highlights

  • We received some nice quotes from students who were in the USA Science & Engineering Festival booth in April including this one from Laura Gouillon, SkillsUSA national high school vice president: “I am honored to have been able to give a presentation on the MikeRoweWorks Pavilion stage about how Varsity STEM, CTE, and SkillsUSA are revolutionizing the way students enter the workforce and prepare for their future careers . . . And, it was such an amazing feeling to teach individuals how 3D printers work and how our SkillsUSA members in classrooms across the country are applying our technical STEM and CTE skills through the use of such modern equipment.”
  • On May 15, Tom Holdsworth and I had a conference call with Hillary Wells, an executive producer at WGBH, the PBS Boston affiliate that produces two-thirds of PBS programming. Hillary attended the Massachusetts Leadership and Skills Conference with me earlier this month. She’s interested in many aspects of SkillsUSA including corporate support, the Championships and how it helps connect students with jobs and our membership, particularly at the high school and middle school levels. Hillary and two of her colleagues will be attending the national conference in Kansas City. She says she sees many areas for cooperation on projects and promotion. More to come.
  • Thea Phalon, the new executive director of the Pennsylvania SkillsUSA Council for Lehigh Valley, came to the national center for a visit and orientation on May 19. She met with staff during a reception first thing in the morning and then individually with department directors through lunch. She called the visit both “exhilarating and productive.” We feel the same about her.
  • On May 23, Senators Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the co-chairs of the Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus sent a letter to President Obama urging him to establish a Presidential CTE Scholars Award program to recognize and value the efforts of American students who have chosen a CTE pathway. The U.S. Presidential Scholars program is 50 years old and was created by President Johnson to honor graduating high school seniors for academic excellence, artistic accomplishments and civic contributions. In the letter, the senators state: “It is our national interest to not only provide all students access to rigorous CTE programs of study, but to also encourage high attainment by CTE students.” They go on to cite successes of CTE including graduation rates “And, CTE students are competing in world class competitions to test their knowledge in ways no standardized test could.” Their sole example was the SkillsUSA WorldTeam earning a silver medal in Leipzig, Germany. On June 3, I sent an email as a constituent to Sen. Kaine thanking him for proposing the award program and telling him I’d welcome the opportunity to talk about our WorldTeam and SkillsUSA.
  • On May 27, I attended a reception for the National Research Center for College and University Admissions in Washington D.C. It was a great networking opportunity with people attending from the National Science Foundation, STEM Connector and several nonprofit organizations. The reception was hosted by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. I persuaded several people attending the reception to join us in Kansas City for the conference.
  • Massachusetts State Association Director Karen Ward was with us here at the National Leadership Center early in June to meet with Kim Graham and Steve Lake in the Administration and Finance office. They reviewed the state association financial system and looked into ways the state could align its reporting with national reporting.
  • Kim Graham is pleased to announce that all of the national office computers have been replaced and files transferred. It’s been a lot of work and Kim’s done a fabulous job.
  • Congratulations to Business Partnerships and Development team members Christen Battaglia and Carol Lowery for securing $20,000 in ad sales for the 50th Anniversary NLSC Awards and Recognition Book. And thank you, TECHSPO partners and corporate sponsors, for your support!
  • The boxes are piling up, there are multiple meetings in offices among the staff and outside calls buzzing as we prepare for the SkillsUSA 50th National Leadership and Skills Conference. The first national staff members will set up the base of operations in Kansas City on June 14. I’ll be joining them on the 19th and activities really get underway with the national officers on the 20th. It’s going to be great!
  • National conference registration will set a new record again this year. We currently have 10,207 registrants. Last year’s registration — which was also record breaking — was 10,000. And, 6,084 contestants are registered to compete.
  • Gayle Silvey is looking for volunteers to assist with Leverage training on Monday, June 23, from 10:45 a.m – noon at the national conference. Leverage helps students learn how to make proper business introductions and engage in meaningful casual conversations. Volunteers from business and industry engage participating students in conversation to provide real-life experience and help student practice what they’ve learned. Gayle can be reached at gsilvey@skillsusa.org if you and a colleague or two can help.
  • Marsha Daves reports that we have 28 national officer candidates this year.
  • And, if you’d like a smile and a really quick look at how exciting SkillsUSA is to students, just read a few of these tweets at https://twitter.com/hashtag/skillsusa?src=hash.

That’s it for now. We look forward to seeing many of you in Kansas City. There will be

Got Champions?

June 13th, 2014

At the national conference, the staff of SkillsUSA Champions magazine will be on the lookout for interview subjects and cover models.

If you know of a SkillsUSA student, advisor, industry representative or alumnus who will be at conference and whose story would be motivating and inspirational, please email Tom Hall at thall@skillsusa.org. He’ll then set up a specific time to meet with the magazine staff.

In addition, if you know a student who is going to the national conference and he or she could be a potential cover model, there will be designated “photo studio” hours. Please let Tom know, and he will contact you with the available times. Four students’ photos will be chosen to appear on SkillsUSA Champions covers next year. The remaining photos will appear in various materials, from the membership poster to other promotions. Our magazine staff looks forward to meeting your Champions at conference!

Executive Director’s Report: June 1, 2014

June 1st, 2014

A Report from the Road
From April 24-26, I participated in the NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) board of trustees meeting in Napa, California. It’s great to connect with some of America’s top commercial contractors. NCCER is sponsoring our national Carpentry and Masonry competitions, and companies around the table are all making contributions to the national contests. I was also part of a presentation on a new “Skills to Industry” program that will connect our construction trades graduates to contractor employment opportunities. And, I met new board members to start a dialogue about support for SkillsUSA at the state and national levels.

From California, I flew to Pensacola for the Florida State Leadership and Skills Conference at the Pensacola Civic Center. Board President, James King, met me there. The conference was a beautiful set-up with a huge stage and lots of exciting A/V and competition areas both inside and outdoors. Special tents were set up and wired for competitions from welding to TeamWorks. Another special part of the conference was a career fair called the “World of Possibilities.” About 2,000 middle and elementary school students toured the contests, business and industry displays and interactive demonstrations. From Gulf Power to Lincoln Electric, there were several partners engaged with the young students to teach them about career pathways. There was also a job fair so the public could meet with employers (while also seeing the Florida SLSC).

State Director, Tyler Kercher, and his conference team had a huge challenge when Mother Nature intervened and dumped two feet of rain in a 24-hour period. Tents had to be removed and contests moved to alternate locations. On awards night, the storm knocked out power in the arena, delaying awards by several minutes. Some schools were stranded at the convention center and conferees slept there because high waters prevented them from returning to their hotels. But, as always seems to happen in SkillsUSA, so many people stepped up to help that the awards were completed in grand fashion. Advisors, partners, Tyler, state board members and staff all pitched in to help those in need. It was indeed a great conference, and one that will long be remembered by all who attended.

From Pensacola, I flew back to Washington D.C. for a meeting on May 1 of the National Coordinating Council for Career and Technical Student Organizations (NCC-CTSO), held in HOSA’s Washington, D.C. office. Representatives from the state directors of CTE and ACTE reported that Perkins is being discussed in Congress, but it will come behind other pieces of legislation, including the Workforce Investment Act. During recent congressional testimony, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was challenged by Representatives on why the administration hadn’t requested more funding for CTE. The Coordinating Council also reviewed the CTSOS.org website that SkillsUSA has been heavily involved in and gave us good feedback. All CTSOs had positive reports on membership and conference participation, and we reviewed new criteria for the definition of a CTSO and NCC-CTSO guidelines for inclusion in the group. These guidelines will be approved at the next meeting in July.

From D.C., I flew to Boston to meet Massachusetts State Director Karen Ward and her board for the 40th SkillsUSA Massachusetts State Leadership and Skills Conference. I arrived in time to drive to Marlborough and attend an incredible opening ceremony with approximately 2,500 students and teachers in attendance. The state officer team was amazing. National Officer Brittany Velez was the keynote speaker and she did an incredible job. The production of the ceremony, the ribbon cutting and VIP reception were second to none. Karen has a great team and a great board of directors.

Thanks to Washington DC-based STEM Connector, two representatives from WGBH—the PBS affiliate in Boston — attended the conference and they will attend the national conference in June. They were thoroughly impressed with all aspects of the Massachusetts conference and especially with the poise and professionalism of the student officers and competitors. Karen and I are hopeful that the visit will result in future regional and national coverage by PBS. They see SkillsUSA as a great story on filling the jobs pipeline and our competitions as a great way for students to display their skills to employers.

On May 2, approximately 2,100 students competed in the Massachusetts SkillsUSA Championships at Blackstone Regional Technical High School. It was a full day of action with excellent contests and lots of business support. Superintendents and administrators from across the state attended. The next morning, the trade center pavilion was packed with students and their parents for a grand awards ceremony. I spoke to the group. It was great to see so many parents there to support their sons and daughters in a crowd of red coats. Thanks to Karen Ward, Assistant State Director Kevin Lopez, the SkillsUSA Massachusetts board of directors and Brittany Velez for their hospitality and the opportunity to attend their 40th.

From Boston, I flew to Kansas City on May 6 for a special tribute to the volunteers and others who have helped us with NLSC for the past 20 years. Shelly Coates organized a great “farewell party” for these special people. From the bus company, to the hoteliers and city officials from the Kansas City CVA, it was a great time to honor them for their work and friendship during our two decades in Kansas City. During the time in KC, I was also honored to serve as keynote speaker for the Kansas City Metro Schools Recognition Luncheon. Byekwaso Gilbert has managed the KC Metro project for 14 years, and it was great to also honor him for his work with these schools in Missouri and Kansas. Students attending were local Metro student officers and state gold, silver and bronze medalists. The event was held at the Kauffman Center, and it was very nicely done. A great celebration for the city and the incredible students and teachers we serve. Rick Hughes from the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association (KCCVA) said “In inimitable SkillsUSA fashion, you put on a great event last evening! Thank you for the kind words, the wonderful imagery and your hospitality. Even in the dimmed lighting, you could see many glassy eyes in the audience. You will be missed!”

Highlights

  • Following up on the last Executive Update, Dave Worden reported that 325,000 people — including 180,000 students and teachers — attended the USA Science & Engineering Festival, April 25 — 27 in Washington DC. Dave said the SkillsUSA exhibit was nearly overwhelmed with traffic. Six students from C.S. Monroe Tech in Leesburg, two students from Thomas Edison High School and two students from Fairfax County Schools (all from Virginia) put on demonstrations illustrating STEM education in CTE. Three national officers also participated — Cole Fallis, Ohio; Brittany Velez, Massachusetts; and, Laura Goullion, California. Dave says that Walmart executives were pleased with the results of including SkillsUSA in the exhibit, and many additional new business and industry contacts were made. Special thanks to Niki Clausen for attending all four days and to Dave Worden and Jim Kregiel for pulling SkillsUSA’s participation together for us.
  • The 2014-15 membership kit will be ready to preview at NLSC.
  • A SkillsUSA 50th anniversary save-the-date postcard will be mailed soon.
  • A new SkillsUSA Alumni Newsletter is ready and can be found at this link.
  • The SkillsUSA FY13 Annual Report is complete. Get ready for some good stories about a few of the students and a teacher who are SkillsUSA. To view it online, go to this page.
  • With a little more than three weeks until our capstone event, Kelly Persons is pleased to report that nearly 50 cash and in-kind sponsorsare onboard to support SkillsUSA’s 50th annual NLSC. Welcome to our eight (to date) new partners: Delcam, FoldFactory.com Corp., NAPA, Praxair Inc., Safelite Fulfillment Inc., TIC-The Industrial Company, Walmart Foundation and Zep, Inc. A big shout out to five partners that have upgraded their support this year: 3M Company, Air Products, Asurion, Caterpillar Inc., and Hypertherm, Inc. A heartfelt thank you goes to all of our partners, cash and in-kind, we couldn’t do our work without them.
  • Please remember that a great way to share your excitement about SkillsUSA with colleagues and business partners is to invite them to Kansas City for an opportunity to see SkillsUSA students in action. Please contact Karen Beatty, kbeatty@skillsusa.org for assistance in registering your guests.

That’s it for now. Thanks for all you do for the great students and teachers we serve.

Got Champions?

June 1st, 2014

At the national conference, the staff of SkillsUSA Champions magazine will be on the lookout for interview subjects and cover models.

If you know of a SkillsUSA student, advisor, industry representative or alumnus who will be at conference and whose story would be motivating and inspirational, please email Tom Hall at thall@skillsusa.org. He’ll then set up a specific time to meet with the magazine staff.

In addition, if you know a student who is going to the national conference and he or she could be a potential cover model, there will be designated “photo studio” hours. Please let Tom know, and he will contact you with the available times. Four students’ photos will be chosen to appear on SkillsUSA Champions covers next year. The remaining photos will appear in various materials, from the membership poster to other promotions. Our magazine staff looks forward to meeting your Champions at conference!

SkillsUSA Championships Contest Updates

May 14th, 2014

We have posted all SkillsUSA Championships contest updates we’ve received on our Web page. To view them, please visit this page and make sure the information gets to the national competitors. There aren’t updates in every contest. If new information is presented about a contest, the information can be critical to a student’s competition.

We’ve requested technical committee chairs complete contest updates by June 1st so the students can prepare. If they do add or change anything after June 1, we have to mail (by first-class mail) the information directly to the competitors. State association directors – please be sure we have competitor home addresses when students are registered for conference. If we don’t have home address information in our records, the information will go to the state association directors to be sent on to the students. After June 1, students should check their mail often.


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