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Highlights

February 28th, 2013
  • SkillsUSA had an exhibit at the AACC’s Workforce Development Institute from January 30-February 2 in San Diego. The annual conference is growing in size and a lot of people stopped by the exhibit. National officer Ben Morris was a featured luncheon speaker – the only student speaker in the entire conference – and he was followed by Assistant Secretary of Education Brenda Dann-Messier who had lots of great things to say about Ben and about SkillsUSA. Current SkillsUSA board member Kathy Jo Mannes and past board member Jim McKenney were both in attendance, of course, as well as past board member Greg Rintala.
  • Staff reports that UTI (Universal Technical Institute) will sponsor SkillsUSA University at national conference this year. UTI is talking about the possibility of having representatives from NASCAR attend conference as well.
  • Larry Rabalais, SkillsUSA Louisiana state association director, high school (and a former SkillsUSA board member) reports that 25 students and four teachers from Bonnabel High School participated in the Super Bowl sanctioned 18th Annual Rebuilding Together event in New Orleans. Larry said the event was well-run, the students and teachers worked hard, and it was a positive experience for all concerned. Lowe’s was the “presenting sponsor.”

New Partnership with Gates Corporation Education

February 28th, 2013

Gates Corporation logoSkillsUSA is excited to announce a new partnership with Gates Corporation Education. Their “Tools for Schools” program is a great opportunity for SkillsUSA’s automotive teachers.

The purpose of the “Tools for Schools” program is to provide educators with supplemental educational materials from a global company. Gates assists many of the Original Equipment Manufacturers with their research and development and through this program new products and systems are designed and problems solved. Technology is changing so quickly that it can take years for the latest information to reach you and your students. The “Tools for Schools” program is one way Gates can ensure the latest technology and information are available to you 24/7 simply by accessing their website. Gates hopes you make their site a daily part of your learning curriculum and visit often.

The “Tools for Schools” program is made up of three components: (1) “Tools for Schools” website where all elements of the program can be found; (2) “Tools for Schools” Performance Center eLearning for your students contains a wealth of informative content and tests each student’s ability to retain and understand via an exclusive training quiz found at the end of each segment; and, (3) “Tools for Schools” “Free” tool program. A program designed to reward the school for using the eLearning tool and using Gates products. Schools can earn Gates diagnostic and installation tools by accumulating points based on program participation.

Websites for this Program

Tools for Schools Webpage for the Educator (only): www.gates.com/education

Gates Performance Center for Students: http://gatesaftermarkettrainingcenter.com

For more information, please contact: Bobby Bassett, manager, Training Automotive Aftermarket, Gates Corporation, cell 601-954-4152, email: rbassett@gates.com.

Making the Case for Manufacturing Careers

February 15th, 2013

Mike Rowe and Tim Lawrence

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.

New Student Opportunity from Aggreko

February 14th, 2013

Aggreko logoSkillsUSA is excited to announce Aggreko as a new official partner and they have an exciting opportunity for our SkillsUSA members. Aggreko, the global leader in providing temporary power generation, temperature control, and oil-free compressed air systems, has partnered with the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT) to offer an exclusive opportunity to a select group of SkillsUSA’s mechanically gifted students.

This opportunity, called the Aggreko SelecTech Accelerated Career Program, is a two year rotational program that allows program members to earn valuable experience working on state of the art industrialized equipment while earning an Associate in Applied Science degree in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Mechanics from OSUIT. The two-year, trimester-based program consists of equal parts coursework at OSUIT in Okmulgee, Oklahoma and paid internships at Aggreko facilities and events throughout the U.S., including near their hometown. If you have students who would be interested or if you would like more information, please contact Devin Murphy at devin.murphy@aggreko.com or call him at 281-985-8241 (office) or 832-627-4352 (cell).

SkillsUSA Highlighted during Washington Symposium

January 15th, 2013

Board member Joe Pietrantonio of Air Products served as a panelist at the Talent Driven Innovation – Best Practices Symposium on November 28th at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The Symposium was sponsored by The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte and was moderated by The Manufacturing Institute’s Jennifer McNelly, a member of our Youth Development Foundation Committee. Joe participated in a discussion on “How Global Businesses Operate Public-Private Partnerships.” Joe used Air Products’ positive experience with SkillsUSA extensively in his remarks, and his fellow panelists from Toyota, Alcoa Foundation and Haas Automation also spoke on the benefits of their respective company’s relationships with SkillsUSA. There were positive references to SkillsUSA throughout the Symposium, but especially during the above-referenced panel. Joe said he was pleased with how much positive reaction occurred after the panel discussion, including the enthusiastic support of Assistant Secretary of Labor Jane Oates.

In a related development, in December Deloitte requested additional information about SkillsUSA and our partnerships for a report entitled “Manufacturing for Growth” that Deloitte and the World Economic Forum will premiere at the Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland this month. SkillsUSA was recommended to Deloitte as an example of a best-practice, public-private partnership “based on conversations we have had with leaders around the world.” We sent in all of the information. This will be one more step toward being “internationally known” as we say in Vision 2020.

Highlights

January 15th, 2013
  • 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.

Interstate Batteries Fundraiser Reminder

January 15th, 2013

Interstate Batteries logoAs 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.

Highlights

December 27th, 2012
  • 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.

 

Highlights

December 1st, 2012
  • 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.

Interstate Batteries Fundraiser

November 15th, 2012

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.


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