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Sample Press Release for State Competitions Available Now

April 11th, 2014

A sample template release is on the SkillsUSA advocacy site. It’s a template to be used by state association directors, instructors and others to get the word out to the media and Congress about the students who qualified to compete or won in the state SkillsUSA Championships. The news release can be sent to local news media through the advocacy site, five outlets at a time. It is also possible to send the release to your U.S. Senators and Representatives. The site can be reached by going to http://capwiz.com/skillsusa/home/. We encourage all teachers to use this valuable tool to promote their students and instructional programs.

More Follow-up on National Conference

August 1st, 2013

Mike Rowe: Profoundly DisconnectedThe national staff will be holding a debriefing meeting on August 6 to make sure we capture all of the positive things we want to continue during next year’s conference and to identify those things we need to correct. There are some of both. Addressing them is how we keep improving

I recently heard from Youth Development Foundation member, Cameron Ferguson of Caterpillar — and the person most responsible for getting Mike Rowe to conference — that he’d been in touch with Mike Rowe. Mike said “It was a privilege to speak to those kids. Very satisfying.” He’s also committed to a campaign to confront negative stereotypes about career and technical education — that’s clear in his “Profoundly Disconnected” campaign — and he sees SkillsUSA and companies supporting us as being part of it.

Cameron said Mike also wrote that he was “amazed how few people outside the industry know about SkillsUSA.” He said that of the thousands of comments he’d received online, the majority were surprised and pleased to learn of SkillsUSA’s existence. They also asked for information on how their children can become involved.

To see a brief interview with Mike Rowe while he was in Kansas City, go to: www.kmbc.com/news/kansas-city/dirty-jobs-host-america-undervalues-vocational-training/-/11664182/20731902/-/hexy22z/-/index.html?absolute=true&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=kmbc.

There’s another nice clip of Mike Rowe talking about the SkillsUSA slogan “Champions at Work” at the end of Tom Kercheval’s Week in Review video; but, be sure to watch the whole video. As always, Tom’s done a great job of capturing the atmosphere and excitement of the national conference. Go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S8OECvddJ0&feature=youtu.be.

News releases on the medalists and Skill Point Certificate recipients were sent to the newspapers right after conference, before July 4. News releases on medalists and Skill Point recipients were sent to 7,388 daily and non-daily papers. In addition, we sent releases about Skill Point recipients (there are more of them than medalists) to 2,591 more papers. The results are showing up in clippings.

We’re also emailing letters, copies of the news releases and contact information to Members of Congress, governors and state CTE directors so they’ll know about the success of their constituents and can send commendations. This year, we’re sending the information to the main offices back in the state. Those offices are closer to the constituents, and we’re certainly interested in making ties between the offices back home, state associations and chapters. We’ve received word from the office of Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas that he is interested in holding a reception for Kansas SkillsUSA winners . We hope and trust there will be more.

 

Highlights

August 1st, 2013
  • Welcome to our new members of the board of directors: Dale Derrickson, Region 1; Jennifer Polz, state directors’ association chair; Laurie Hackett, Youth Development Foundation Committee chair; and, Mike deCastro of Air Products (fulfilling Joe Pientrantonio’s term). Congratulations to the officers: James King, president; Brent Kindred, vice president; and, Chris Arvin, secretary. And, thank you for your service and leadership to: Mike Cowles, state directors’ association chair; Gerry Tylka, Region 1; and, Dave Camden, Youth Development Foundation chair.
  • While it’s not news about the national organization, I believe it’s good to share examples of what excellent and far-reaching work our state associations do. Here’s a story about the recent “Paint the Town” community service activity involving 250 students and teachers from 40 schools in Ohio. The intern reporter might need an editor but, I believe, he captured the spirit of the event here.
  • On July 23rd, I spoke on Capitol Hill to a round table of representatives from nearly 30 congressional offices — members of the CTE Congressional Caucus — about SkillsUSA as a CTSO and ways we help students transition from high school to college and work. The student national officers have just been here for nine days of training. And, we’ve established dates for the board meetings. The fall meetings will be Web conferences on November 19 for standing committees and November 20 for the full board. The spring meeting will be March 12-13 at Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology, Nashville. The summer board meeting during conference will move back to Tuesday, June 24 and the Corporation meeting will be on Wednesday, June 25.

SkillsUSA Competitor News Release Template

April 15th, 2013

A sample template release is on the SkillsUSA advocacy site. It’s a template to be used by state association directors, instructors and others to get the word out to the media and Congress about the students who qualified to compete or won in the state SkillsUSA Championships. The news release can be sent to local news media through the advocacy site, five outlets at a time. It is also possible to send the release to your U.S. Senators and Representatives. The site can be reached by going to: www.skillsusa.org/about/policy.shtml and clicking on “advocacy site.” Please encourage your teachers to use this valuable tool to promote their students and instructional programs.

Highlights

August 15th, 2012
  • Newly-elected board President, James King, paid a visit to the SkillsUSA National Leadership Center on August 8-9. He participated in our monthly staff meeting and NLSC debriefing. He also spent time with individual staff during his time with us. We very much enjoyed his visit.
  • Letters have been faxed to Members of Congress, governors and state CTE directors, along with medalist and Skill Point recipient news releases. They were sent out in record time this year, well in advance of the congressional recess. Staff reports we’ve received many requests from Members for home addresses so they can send letters of commendation.
  • Staff traveled to Snap-on headquarters in Kenosha last week to continue planning for the Champion of the Year Dinner where Snap-on CEO, Nick Pinchuk, will be honored on September 18. And, staff met with Bosch at their Chicago headquarters on August 9 to discuss our partnership moving into the future.

Sample Press Release for NLSC Competitors and Participants Reminder

July 12th, 2012

A sample press release has been added to SkillsUSA’s advocacy site. It’s a template to be used by state association directors, instructors, parents and others to help get the word out to the media about the students who competed or participated in some other way (i.e., as a delegate, Courtesy Corps member, etc.) during the National Leadership and Skills Conference.

The press release can be sent to five media outlets at a time through the advocacy site.

Be sure to spread the word about this valuable tool.

CBS Radio Interview

December 31st, 2011

On December 4, CBS Radio (KFWB News Talk 980-AM in Los Angeles) aired an hour-long interview with Jim Lentz of Toyota, Victoria Holbert, our high school national president and me on a program entitled “Unfinished Business.” The subject revolved around training, CTE and what Toyota is doing with SkillsUSA to prepare America’s skilled workforce. The invitation was a direct result of the Champion of the Year dinner attended by Renee Fraser, president and CEO of a communications firm that does a lot of work with Toyota.

Renee and her partner conducted the interview and commented that they were surprised they’d never heard of SkillsUSA. Jim Lentz, who had many wonderful things to say about Toyota’s support of SkillsUSA said something to the effect: “If you look at how SkillsUSA is spending its budget, 93 percent is going back to support their members at the local level not into marketing and PR. It’s up to corporations like Toyota to get SkillsUSA exposure. That’s one of the reasons we’re here talking now.” He also stressed that auto service technicians at Toyota are in good middle-class jobs and some technicians are making “in the six figures.” The link to the interview is on SkillsUSA’s website at: www.skillsusa.org/about/news.shtml.

Highlights

May 1st, 2011
  • The final membership count is in. Regular membership totals 300,985 and alumni membership is 19,302 for a grand total of 320,287. The final membership report is being printed.
  • And, I recently had the opportunity to appear on the radio program The Money Pit. It is a nationally syndicated, call-in radio show that helps listeners with their home repair and improvement problems. You can  listen to a podcast of the interview here: http://www.skillsusa.org/blog/?p=1560. The Money Pit has consistently been named among “America’s 100 Most Important Radio Shows” by Talkers magazine. It’s been on the air for over ten years, and is now carried on over 260 radio affiliates across the nation, as well as on XM satellite radio. Each week, Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete take dozens of calls from listeners who ask about everything from pest problems to deck dilemmas. Their combined experience and expertise allow them to offer solutions to a wide range of problems immediately. If they aren’t sure how to help, which is rare, they can always point callers in the right direction.

The Money Pit

April 26th, 2011

I recently had the opportunity to appear on the radio program The Money Pit. It is a nationally syndicated, call-in radio show that helps listeners with their home repair and improvement problems.

The interview can be heard here: The Money Pit interview with Tim Lawrence

The Money Pit has consistently been named among “America’s 100 Most Important Radio Shows” by Talkers magazine. It’s been on the air for over ten years, and is now carried on over 260 radio affiliates across the nation, as well as on XM satellite radio. Each week, Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete take dozens of calls from listeners who ask about everything from pest problems to deck dilemmas. Their combined experience and expertise allow them to offer solutions to a wide range of problems immediately. If they aren’t sure how to help, which is rare, they can always point callers in the right direction.


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