July 15th, 2013
Our magazine staff is seeking photo submissions for our “Image” page. In this contest, students and advisors can submit photos that show SkillsUSA members in action. We currently do not have a photo selected for the next issue, so please encourage members to enter. The photographer’s chapter will receive a $150 prize check and, of course, the thrill of seeing his or her work in print. For details, email Tom Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 31st, 2013
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 email@example.com. He’ll then set up a specific time to meet with the magazine staff.
In addition, if you have 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!
August 31st, 2012
The Spotlight section of SkillsUSA Champions magazine is the place for chapters to share the news of their local chapter activities. SkillsUSA is putting together an editorial run sheet of our SkillsUSA Champions magazine, so please share your SkillsUSA chapter news and members’ success stories! For the Image page in the back of the magazine, chapters can win $150 if their members’ photos are published. And, we are always looking for questions to answer in the “Ask Tim” editorial. Send any questions or submissions to Tom Hall, director of SkillsUSA’s Office of Publications at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please help us get the word out!
May 31st, 2012
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 email@example.com. He’ll then set up a specific time to meet with the magazine staff.
In addition, if you have a student who is going and 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!
April 30th, 2012
The Summer 2012 issue of SkillsUSA Champions marks the 10th anniversary of our member magazine. This issue, which is arriving in schools now, is also available online: www.skillsusa.org/champions/summer12.shtml
In 2002, it was determined that our members would be well served by a new publication. We didn’t want to be like all the other association magazines, full of snippets and news items that would be meaningless in a few months. Instead, our talented editor E. Thomas Hall and his staff focused on building a magazine rich with personal stories – real lives, real successes, real problems faced and overcome, the greatness and the humanness that connects us.
To celebrate 10 years of SkillsUSA Champions, the new issue features cover models from earlier years and where they are today. Every one of them is a former student member of SkillsUSA. Some, like Ed Soto, have traveled the world. Culinary student Megan Barnes Vissari, who appeared on our first cover, later served in Afghanistan and taught school, but she is now at home, raising a family and baking custom cakes. All who were interviewed felt their SkillsUSA experience made a difference in their lives, and we continue to hear that from the onetime cover models who contacted our staff after the issue went to print.
Stories like these are timeless and inspiring. You can go online and read every single issue of SkillsUSA Champions magazine ever published. Go to: www.skillsusa.org/champions/ There’s a lesson plan to help you share each issue with your students.
March 1st, 2012
We just finished CTE Month and we had a lot going on here at SkillsUSA. That includes social media activity during SkillsUSA Week, a new board member, a new staff member and a shout out from the Assistant Secretary of Labor. So, here are some of the highlights during this shortest month of the year.
- As part of our SkillsUSA Week celebration, February 6-10, we experimented using advertising on Facebook by posting the SkillsUSA public service announcement (PSA) featuring alumna and NASCAR reporter, Wendy Venturini. The ad ran from February 9-12. The campaign reached over 420,000 unique viewers and yielded nearly one million impressions. To view the PSA, go to: www.skillsusa.org/educators/psa.shtml and scroll down to the video window of Wendy. We used the 60-second version.
- Also during SkillsUSA Week, we heard about lots of activity from around the country as our chapters and state associations were engaged in advocacy and service activities. We were happy to have approximately 100 attendees on our SkillsUSA Week webinar on Tuesday, February 7 and pleased by the special guests, Russ Hoffbauer, both student national presidents and one of our business partners, former board member (and SkillsUSA alumnus), John Hinesley, who gave the keynote speech.
- I’m pleased to announce that Lowe’s Senior Vice President, Troy Dally, will be joining the board of directors. And, last week, I had my first phone conversation with the new Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation director, and she sounded excited about the partnership with SkillsUSA.
- Chance Litwin, this year’s SkillsUSA college/postsecondary national student president has been invited to attend the 2012 Building a Grad Nation Summit in Washington, D.C., March 18-21. The annual event brings together community groups, educators, local and state leaders, nonprofit organizations, businesses and youth to discuss efforts to increase high school graduation rates. The Summit is expected to draw 1,000 people including General Colin Powell and U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. Chance was chosen from over 200 student applicants. State Farm is a Premier Sponsor for the Summit.
- On February 21, Christen Battaglia joined the Office of Business Partnerships and Development to help with our fundraising. We’re very glad to have her with us and know you’ll give her a hearty welcome when you meet her.
- Here is the latest on SkillsUSA membership. Remember, tomorrow (March 1), is the deadline for not only competitors, but officer candidates and delegates as well. We have 296,490 members entered now and more states have surpassed their total membership last year. Congratulations to the following state associations for exceeding last year’s overall membership. They are California, Clay Mitchell; Connecticut, Heidi Balch; Hawaii, Gilbert Chun; Maryland, Chuck Wallace; Massachusetts, Karen Ward; Mississippi, Andy Sims; New Hampshire, Lynda Demers; New Jersey, Pete Carey; New York high school division, Bruce Potter; Oklahoma, Darren Gibson; Pennsylvania, Jeri Widdowson; Rhode Island, Josh Klemp; Virginia, Ed Sullivan; and, West Virginia, Paul Lovett. And, a reminder that professional membership and alumni memberships count, so if you have staff, board members, corporate members or others (including yourself), be sure and submit them today. Individuals who are industry partners and other friends not affiliated with a local chapter can join online at the following link: www.skills-register.org/rpts/JoinAsProfessional.aspx.
- SkillsUSA Champions magazine won a silver award this year in the Association Trends All-Media Contest. Among the judge’s comments: “This submitted issue lives up to the mission statement with excellent and focused content and clean and easy-to-read design elements. This organization has a strong Web presence and a digital version to further enhance its commitment to members.” Congratulations to Tom Hall and the Office of Publications. If you would like to see the winners gallery (including honors to past SkillsUSA publications), please visit: www.associationtrends.com/gallery/?cat=261.
- Mike Cowles was in Washington on February 7 as part of a delegation from Columbus, Ohio to visit the White House to discuss metro economic revitalization and job creation and how the city can work with small and large businesses to do it. This was one of 40 similar meetings planned by the White House. The delegation included the mayor of Columbus. Mike joined them because of the role of career and technical education in economic development and education. He told me that at one point during the meeting he started to talk about SkillsUSA, and Assistant Secretary of Labor Jane Oates said to the entire delegation: “SkillsUSA is a great organization. If you’re not involved with it already, you need to be.”
- We’re putting the final touches on a rigorous selection process for SkillsUSA WorldTeam and we’ll be keeping our state association directors informed right up front on the process and the candidates. We’ve also restructured the management team. I will be serving as the official delegate. Scott Norman from Pittsburg, Kan., is our technical expert. Dave Worden is our assistant technical expert and Heidi Ambrose is the team leader.
* The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) held a conference call the other day to ask the career and technical student organizations to help in the promotion and participation in the administration’s National Education Startup Challenge, an entrepreneurial look at education. SkillsUSA is happy to help. While on the subject of OVAE, President Obama’s 2013 budget flat-funds Perkins at $1.13 billion. One of the three key themes in the budget is “Jobs: aligning job training and education programs with workforce demands.”
* Sales of the Skill Connect Assessments are double what they were last year at this time and sales of ASE automotive assessments – in which SkillsUSA shares – are also way ahead of last year. We’ve been very fortunate to have an assessment expert helping us review the Skill Connect system, providing significant advice on how and where we can make improvements to the system and helping to develop a tool to show teachers the weighting of competencies in the tests. That will be a big help to teachers to prepare their students.
* Finally, there were 700 entries in the National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) pin and T-shirt design contest. That’s pretty neat. And, we held our first NLSC staff meeting on Valentine’s Day.
January 14th, 2012
Our magazine, SkillsUSA Champions, has been honored with a silver medal in the Association TRENDS’ All-Media Contest.The annual competition is held exclusively for associations, recognizing the most creative and effective communication vehicles developed during the prior year. The 2011 competition included more than 450 entries in 22 categories of association communications.
The magazine will be on display at the program’s 33rd Annual Salute to Association Excellence, February 12, at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., as well as featured in the January issue of TRENDS, a national newspaper for association executives and suppliers. SkillsUSA Champions last earned this honor in 2008. SkillsUSA is proud of the great work our staff has put into media and communicating with our members. Check out the latest issue here.