- On December 17th, members of the Office of Business Partnership and Development and Education, Training and Assessments Office joined me for a visit with the CEO of ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence), and the executive directors of NATEF (National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation) and AYES (Automotive Youth Educational Systems) to talk about strengthening our mutual alliance and capitalizing on a shared vision of our business partners. We also discussed customizing the Professional Development Program (PDP) to make the curriculum auto industry specific. NATEF wants to include employability skills in its curriculum and believes this is a way to do it. We’ll be meeting again soon and will seek funding to design and publish the polished up PDP.
- Staff reported last week that we’ve secured a $50,000 grant from the Alcoa Foundation for the purpose of informing youth about careers in manufacturing in two communities where Alcoa has facilities. We’ll be informing state associations of the locations once Alcoa has determined them.
- We now have state association support for four additional demonstration competitions during this year’s Championships: Community Action Project; Graphic Imaging Sublimation (graphic imaging); Humanoid Robotics (programming robots for dangerous tasks); and, Urban Search and Rescue (a RoboRescue Challenge). This will take us to six demonstration contests and a total of 98 contests overall.
As you recall, SkillsUSA announced a new partnership with Interstate Batteries and a fundraising program for local chapters. This is a great opportunity for your chapters to raise funds in partnership with a company whose mission and product align very closely with SkillsUSA. Through this partnership, local chapters can now sell Interstate Batteries’ products, and they will receive 50 percent of the sales. Below is the link for your chapter to sign up today. This is a great program to participate in as you seek to raise funds for district and state events and for leadership development activities and materials. For more information, go to www.Interstatebatteries.com/fundraising/SkillsUSA.
- Staff met recently with representatives of the ALCOA Foundation on future support. ALCOA is a past SkillsUSA partner. And, staff met in Washington, D.C. with superintendent of Arizona Public Instruction and his chief of staff to discuss the Skill Connect Assessments.
- Janet Conner, state association director for the high school division of SkillsUSA Texas visited the National Leadership Center on December 5 to review new SkillsUSA conference management software. Because of the association’s size, Texas is often a driver of association services that benefit other state associations.
- We recently finalized a new partnership with the Gates Corporation (automotive division and a manufacturer/supplier of automotive hoses, belts, tensioners, pulleys and a variety of other parts). A Gates representative serves on our national auto service technical committee and came in at the official sponsor level ($25,000 minimum). We are thrilled to have them on board. We will be sending out information on how Gates would like to work with state associations and local chapters.
- And, in the “it’s nice to be asked” category, we’re pleased that a congressional office has consulted SkillsUSA to ask what our priorities for CTE are in the 113th Congress and what we would recommend to promote CTE. Discussion included the administration’s blueprint for CTE, Perkins, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, high school and postsecondary CTE, SkillsUSA WorldTeam and the importance of industry involvement. There will be further discussion in the weeks ahead.
- On November 7, a staff member and I took the train to West Orange, N.J. to meet with the CEO, two group VPs, the marketing director and the business development director of Lincoln Educational Systems, the parent company of Lincoln Technical Institute among several other colleges. We were joined by Pete Carey, New Jersey state association director, three of his advisors and two of his state officers, both from the Gloucester County Institute of Technology.
- The Alumni Coordinating Committee met at the national center for a three-day meeting, November 9-11. They reviewed their FY13 objectives, did some FY14 planning and put together plans for the national conference.
- We recently received some good news on sponsorship. 3M Company, which was a sponsor years ago, has pledged in-kind support for the SkillsUSA Championships and pledged $36,000 to support our WorldTeam Cabinetmaking contestant. And, Interstate Battery System of America has already pledged $25,000 for next year. Interstate is pleased by the response of our chapters to the fundraising plan calling it the “best early response by any organization.”
- Two staff members represented the national office during the recent Mid-America Conference in Columbus, Nebraska. They report it was a highly successful experience for all of the students and teachers attending and that Greg Stahr, Nebraska state association director, did a great job leading the event.
- Welcome to our newest board member representing NASDCTEc, Scott Stump, Colorado associate provost for career and technical education. Scott is currently serving as NASDCTEc’s secretary/treasurer, and he knows student organizations having worked for National FFA and served as state FFA advisor.
- And, finally, the board will be meeting by webinar, December 3-4. The spring board meeting will be held on March 13, hosted by Nick Mastrone at IRWIN corporate headquarters in Huntersville, N.C.
SkillsUSA is excited to announce a new partnership with the Interstate Batteries fundraising program for local chapters. This is a great opportunity for our chapters to raise funds in partnership with a company whose mission and product align very closely with SkillsUSA.
Through this partnership, local chapters would sell Interstate Batteries products and will receive 50 percent of the sales.
Below is the link for local chapters to sign up today. We encourage you to promote this program and encourage all chapters to participate in this program as they seek to raise funds for district and state events and leadership development activities and materials.
For more information, go to: www.Interstatebatteries.com/fundraising/SkillsUSA.
On October 3, staff and I traveled to Brandywine, Md. to attend a live auto auction with our new official sponsor Insurance Auto Auctions (IAA). State association directors Peyton Holland (N.C.) and Tyler Kercher (Fla.) accompanied us and did an incredible job representing the state directors in the Eastern Region. This trip was designed to familiarize SkillsUSA with the auto auction business and to introduce our state directors to IAA regional managers. While at the facility, we experienced the auction process and learned about the Brandywine facility. IAA has 161 locations across the nation. We look forward to working with IAA in building successful pilot projects in four eastern states which will include introductions of IAA managers to state association directors and local advisors, meeting space at IAA facilities and offering internships and employment to SkillsUSA students.
IAA is a $2 billion enterprise and sells autos in every state and in 61 countries around the world. We appreciate board member Russ Hoffbauer making the introduction to IAA for SkillsUSA. Thanks to IAA Vice President Don Hermanek and HR Director Rita Figi for facilitating the meeting and to Peyton and Tyler for representing SkillsUSA so well.
I was invited to attend a Council on Competitiveness Symposium on October 4-5 at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. The invitation was extended by Council member John McGlade, chairman and CEO of Air Products. Board member Joe Pientrantonio and YDF member Laurie Gostley were heavily involved in organizing the event. The theme was “Leveraging the Talent Development Process to Drive Innovation.” Hosts for the symposium were Alice Gast, Lehigh University president; Deborah Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the Council and John McGlade. Special guests and speakers included executives from Lockheed Martin, Deloitte, NanoMech; workforce development leaders from regional economic development and workforce investment boards; and, education leaders from leading universities and education agencies. Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, was the closing speaker and she commended SkillsUSA and Air Products for our model partnership.
On both days of the meeting, I was able to spend some quality time with our great friend, John McGlade. John was a “live commercial” for SkillsUSA during the entire event and spoke passionately about our program at the dinner of the Council on Thursday evening. He also had SkillsUSA members from Lehigh Valley Schools in red blazers at every table. He recognized each one of them by name and their training program (most were in manufacturing pathways of study). and he also recognized our WorldSkills cabinetmaking competitor from Pennsylvania, Daniel Berrios, from Northampton Community College in Tannersville, Pa.
John would like for us to be at the next Council meeting in Washington, D.C. on November 16, and he is trying to get us a seat at the table. The Council is proposing a national “Skills Agenda,” and John is one of the primary drivers of this concept that will focus the federal government and business executives on the skilled worker issue. Big thanks to John and Air Products for making SkillsUSA a significant component in the Council’s discussion about our future skilled workforce.
- On October 1-3, our Education, Training and Assessments department staff were engaged in intense training with Quantum Learning’s nationally respected trainer Mark Reardon. Our training staff learned the latest training and motivational techniques; and will be incorporating these into our training seminars and workshops for students and advisors. The training included focus on effective meetings, new teacher training and the most current training trends and techniques. Staff tells me they were excited about the training and even more excited about implementing what they learned with our stakeholders.
- As a follow up to the Champion of the Year Dinner and great connections from YDF member Dave Camden of Toyota, we are working with Interstate Batteries to introduce a national fundraising campaign for our local chapters. In our discussions with local advisors and student leaders, fundraising is a critical component of local involvement in SkillsUSA. Chapters will have the opportunity to sell Interstate alkaline batteries and keep approximately 50 percent of all sales.
- I’m also pleased to announce that earlier last month, Interstate Batteries announced a partnership with SkillsUSA. Starting this year, participating SkillsUSA student chapters will be able to sell a wide variety of Interstate Batteries products from AAA, AA, C, D and 9V batteries to flashlights and organizers with testers. And, for each Interstate Batteries product sold, SkillsUSA student chapters will receive 50 percent of the sale price.
- Finally, staff reports that we are almost ready to travel to Brazil with 11 of our finest students to compete in WorldSkills Americas in November. Our final count of participants is complete, and we are in the last days of planning for the event.
he following organizations, through their cash and/or documented in-kind donations, have qualified for SkillsUSA’s Official Sponsor status of $25,000 or more in calendar year 2012. We also award Official Sponsor status to organizations making unrestricted financial donations of $15,000 or more.
We encourage SkillsUSA teachers and students to patronize these organizations when the opportunity arises.
- 3Dconnexion, Inc.
- Air Products
- Architectural Woodwork Institute
- Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers
- Robert Bosch Tool Corporation
- Calculated Industries, Inc.
- CareerSafe, LLC
- Carhartt, Inc.
- The Culinary Institute of America
- Deere & Company
- Delmar, Cengage Learning
- DELTA Power Equipment Corporation
- ETA International
- Google, Inc.
- Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation
- Harley-Davidson Motor Co., Inc.
- International Training Institute for the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Industry
- Interstate Battery System of America, Inc.
- IRWIN Industrial Tool Company
- Johns Manville
- Lincoln Electric Company
- Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
- mikeroweWORKS Foundation
- Miller Electric Mfg. Co, Inc.
- National Association of the Remodeling Industry
- National Center for Construction Education and Research
- Navistar, Inc.
- PHCC Educational Foundation
- Pivot Point International Inc.
- RSC Chemical Solutions
- SawStop, LLC
- Snap-on Industrial
- Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.
- State Farm Insurance Companies, Inc.
- Timberland PRO
- Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A, Inc.
- On September 11, Don Hermanek and Rita Figi of IAA (Insurance Auto Auctions) came by the national office to discuss the launch of a partnership to reach out to support SkillsUSA state associations and chapters and to offer training and employment opportunities to SkillsUSA students from many training program areas. They expressed particular interest in students competing in the leadership contests. They started the meeting with the presentation of a $25,000 check. We are to get back together in early October to further develop our strategy.
- Along similar lines, staff and I met on September 13 with NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research). They’re predicting an uptick in construction hiring and so they’re looking for ways to hire our construction graduates.
- Thanks to Bill Maddox and Wanzel Jessie of YDF member N.E.W., we were able to take the Mega Prize winner John Lee and his wife, Samantha, to the owner’s box at a Washington Nationals baseball game September 7th and then I took them on a Segue tour of the Washington monuments on the 8th. Both John and Samantha are big baseball fans so they were just over the moon about the prize. John teaches diesel equipment technology at Tennessee Technology Center in Elizabethton. He’s also a state certified trainer, he’s had national contestants, has a national officer this year and he was a Virginia state officer many years ago.
- And, finally, the WorldTeam had its first webinar on August 3. Most of the contestants, experts, management team and a few state association directors participated. It was an orientation for the team and to check on how we’re doing on communications and training. We met with state association directors Karen Ward and Mike Cowles on September 10 to discuss several topics including state director certification, new training structures and registration procedures and the hotel lottery at national conference among others. The staff values their input. Past national officer, national staff member and all-around good friend to SkillsUSA, Bill Prince and his wife Patty came by to visit with the national staff on September 12. Bill addressed the staff meeting on the early history of SkillsUSA and exciting moments he recalled such as the appearance of President Reagan at our national conference.