- 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.
- On Wednesday, December 9, several staff members rolled up their sleeves and put on their reading glasses to help review the hundreds of Lowe’s and State Farm grant applications for community and campus improvements and sustainability projects. Finalist selections were sent to Lowe’s and State Farm last Thursday. We’re looking forward to announcing the grants in January (State Farm) and February (Lowe’s).
- Thanks to board members Curtis Barnett, Moe Broom, John Gaal and Larry Rabalais who joined a conference call to work on NLSC hotel lottery issues on December 10. Also on December 10, we had an all day meeting with intelitek to discuss marketing strategy for the Skill Connect assessments. Board member Greg Rintala flew in to be a part of the meeting.
- As I mentioned previously, Jackie Parker of Newell Rubbermaid worked with our Inclusion and Diversity Committee at the end of November. Due to that work, the committee has created a new statement on inclusion and diversity for SkillsUSA: “In keeping with a tradition of respect for the individuality of our members and our role in work force development, SkillsUSA strives to ensure inclusive participation in all of our programs, partnerships and employment opportunities.”
- Staff attended the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals Conference in Chicago, December 7-9, to exhibit the Work Force Ready System. More than 600 people attended – an increase from last year – with representatives from 33 states and 2 territories. This was our first time at this conference for the people who run programs such as Job Corps. They report they had quality conversations with some strong potential leads.
- Staff attended the Georgia Fall Leadership Conference for Postsecondary in Atlanta in late November. It was reported that 600 people attended, half of them SkillsUSA members, and that Cassie Palmer did a great job managing the conference. Staff also said that because Commissioner Jackson was so impressed by our national conference in Kansas City this year she’s endorsed SkillsUSA in Georgia and is promoting SkillsUSA membership in the colleges.
- This coming March, SkillsUSA will be helping Skills Canada to conduct its first leadership institute to mirror what we do in leadership training at the national conference. This is coming about in part at the request of Lowe’s which is supporting Skills Canada and would like the association to move beyond only contests in its program.
- Staff reports that sales are up for the revised levels one and two of the Professional Development Program Online “and usage is way up.”
- And, all the updated computers are installed (so staff using PCs are happier about that), warmer weather and programmable thermostats are making a positive change in our heating bills (and staff is warm and happy about that), and on Friday we went to Mount Vernon for our annual SkillsUSA Holiday Celebration. It was cold, but we were all together and honored several staff members for their service, so staff is happy about that too.
SkillsUSA has scheduled a national Web Conference to demonstrate the all new PDP Online. Join us on October 14, 2009 at 11:30 a.m. (EST). Please invite your key advisors or others to participate. The URL published previously has changed. Please use this one.
Please join us by Web conference:
Meeting URL: http://web.ganconference.com/?meeting=9849321
Participant access code: 6837807
When: October 14, 2009 at 11:30 a.m. (EST)
- The 2009-10 new national officers excelled in training and have selected their officers. The presidents are Andrew Zigler from Texas (high school) and Annalee Santos from Florida (college/postsecondary). Brandon Mullings from Florida is the college/postsecondary vice president and JEC (junior executive council) chair. The entire 2009-10 national officer listing can be found here.
- Plans are underway for this year’s Washington Leadership Training Institute, and we are delighted to announce that Deputy Assistant Secretary Glen Cummings from the U.S. Department of Education has accepted our invitation to be the luncheon speaker on Monday, September 21. We’ve also invited Jane Oates, the new Assistant Secretary for Labor, to be our opening speaker and Dane Linn, Director of Education for the National Governors Association, to be with us as part of a panel presentation for advisors.
- SkillsUSA’s WorldTeam will be coming to town on August 27 for a final team gathering before leaving for Calgary. We have requested and are hopeful that Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will host a recognition event for them.
- Levels 1 and 2 of the new PDP online will be beta tested by about 30 teachers in August with plans to have these levels finished and ready for purchase by September 2.
- The Engineering Alliance initiative is moving forward. The Web site will be up this fall, and online leadership modules and contests are scheduled to be completed and ready for teachers in January.