May 12th, 2012
We have posted many SkillsUSA Championships contest updates on our Web page. To view them, please visit: www.skillsusa.org/compete/updates.shtml and make sure the information gets to the national competitors.
There aren’t updates in every contest; just in some. If new information is presented about a contest, the information can be critical to a student’s competition. We request technical committee chairs complete contest updates by June 1st so the students can prepare. If they do add or change anything after June 1, we have to mail (by first-class mail) the information directly to the competitors.
If we don’t have a competitor’s home address in our records, the information will go to the state association director to be sent to the students. After June 1, please make all students should check their mail for any contest update information.
May 1st, 2012
On April 2, SkillsUSA briefed staff of a U.S. Senate Commerce Committee subcommittee preparing for hearings to discuss ways to address the skills gap. Staff was particularly interested in things done by and with our partners, such as the CAT ThinkBig program. The staff also appreciated our helping them to secure potential witnesses from among our sponsors. One of the witnesses on April 17 was from the American Welding Society.
More in the “it’s nice to be asked”category. Staff and I had a conference call with the Boston Consulting Group on Monday. The Group is working with Harvard Business School on the topic of U.S. competitiveness. The goal of the project is to identify a set of actions that companies can take to improve competitiveness, and they thought SkillsUSA would be a good source. We were also called for an interview on the increasing popularity of “trade schools” by “Fox Business.” (We can’t correct everything in the news.) Here is the link to the story: www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/04/06/going-to-trade-school-should-do-it. And, staff member Eric Gearhart and Bob Skodzinsky of Haas Technical Education Center Network were the primary sources for a tremendous three-page feature article entitled “Student Journey: From SkillsUSA to WorldSkills”printed in the March 2012 edition of Manufacturing Engineering published by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. The article really ties together the need for skilled workers, SkillsUSA, the Championships and the WorldTeam.
During the first week of April, we signed an agreement to coordinate where we can with Rebuilding Together (formerly known as “Christmas in April”), an organization dedicated to renovating homes owned by the poor and elderly. They do 10,000 projects every year. We’ll encourage our members and partners to work with Rebuilding Together and serve on their local affiliate boards. For their part, they have several major partners and several excellent visibility opportunities every year, including the Super Bowl.
Skill Connect assessment sales are brisk. SkillsUSA University has 75 classes confirmed and eight more pending. We have a record number of President’s Volunteer Service Award winners with 122 individual awards representing 34,251 hours of service and 11 team awards totaling 19,097 service hours.
April 30th, 2012
All SkillsUSA Championships competition clothing should be purchased through SkillsUSA’s officially licensed merchandiser, EGroup. If EGroup doesn’t offer some item of official competition clothing required by some contests (e.g., plain black slacks, culinary tunics), such items of competition clothing may be purchased from non-EGroup sources, but must comply with clothing rules set forth in the Technical Standards 2011-2012 or in the contest updates, if cited. Official competition clothing can be purchased at: www.skillsusastore.org/skillsusa/productthumbnails.asp.
March 31st, 2012
Students can now earn additional recognition for their participation in SkillsUSA under a grant from the MacArthur and Mozilla Foundations. The Manufacturing Institute led the proposal with input from SkillsUSA and Project Lead the Way to earn digital badges credentialing students who have attained skills through learning organizations. Over 500 teams applied for the grants and only four were selected. Other winners include Disney/Pixar and NASA’s Robotics and STEM System.
SkillsUSA students in manufacturing programs will earn the badge by doing two of the following: earning a Skill Connect certificate; winning a medal in a state-level Championships; earning levels one and two in the Professional Development Program; and, receiving a manufacturing certification.
March 15th, 2012
Nearly 80 SkillsUSA Championships technical committee chairs and members attended meetings on February 29 – March 1 in Louisville, Ky., in preparation for the move of the National Leadership and Skills Conference from Kansas City in 2015. This was our first face-to-face pre-conference meeting in quite some time. For the past few years, technical committee members have held webinars because they know the layout in Kansas City. In this instance, they got to explore.
An essential part of the meetings was a tour of the Kentucky Exposition Center. Committee members were impressed by the space. They liked the plan to group contests into occupational clusters. One of the committee members said: “That’ll be good for the industry.” Staff also took the opportunity to review the Championships Technical Standards, policies, operations and judging with new and “seasoned” committee members.
December 1st, 2011
Because Kansas City will be hosting the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2012 and the schedule conflicted with the annual conference schedule,
SkillsUSA has agreed to move the National Leadership and Skills Conference up by a couple of days in 2012 only. Following is the revised schedule for NLSC 2012.
48th NLSC – Kansas City, Mo – June 23-27, 2012.
So, the 2012 NLSC schedule will be from Saturday to Wednesday. This means
- The Opening Ceremony will be held on Monday, June 25
- The SkillsUSA Championships will be held Monday and -Tuesday, June 25-26
- The Awards Ceremony will be held Wednesday, June 27.
For the NLSC 2012 condensed agenda, go to: www.skillsusa.org/events/nlscagenda.shtml.
October 15th, 2011
Last year we changed the technical standards to be valid for two years. These standards are the result of many hours of work from a collaboration of industry partners, subject matter experts and SkillsUSA staff who worked diligently to create a user‑friendly product. The standards provide our chapters and students with an up‑to‑date official competition guide for both the 2011 and 2012 SkillsUSA Championships. We will post changes to any of the contests on our website Contest Updates page.
The CD‑ROM package, including the standards, an information piece, a poster and 2011 contest projects, can be purchased for $19.95 through the SkillsUSA online catalog at: www.skillsusa.org/store/contests.html. Contest singles cost $10.95 each and include the 2011 contest project (if available). If you purchased the two CD‑Rom package last year, you need only purchase the 2011 contest projects as a single CD for $15.95 ea.
Upon request, we are also offering a 606‑page, perfect‑bound book version for $32.95, plus shipping and handling. To purchase this printed version through the online catalog, look beneath the listing for the CD‑ROM package and locate the blue and yellow “LuLu button.” This button will take you to LuLu.com to place your order. To further our efforts to produce more eco‑friendly materials, we’ve chosen LuLu to deliver this on‑demand printed version. Delivery time is approximately three to five days, depending on the selected delivery option. Please know the book version of the technical standards does not contain the 2011 SkillsUSA Championships contest projects.
October 14th, 2011
Because Kansas City will be hosting the Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game in 2012 and the schedule conflicted with the annual conference schedule, SkillsUSA has agreed to move the National Leadership and Skills Conference up by a couple of days in 2012 only. Following is the revised schedule for NLSC 2012.
48th NLSC – Kansas City, Mo – June 23-27, 2012. This means the 2012 NLSC schedule will be from Saturday to Wednesday. This means the Opening Ceremony will be held on Monday, June 25, the SkillsUSA Championships will be held Monday and -Tuesday, June 25-26, and the Awards Ceremony will be held Wednesday, June 27.
October 14th, 2011
Relive the excitement of the 2011 Week of Champions! The 2011 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference DVD is now available. Use it to share the memories with your students or friends. The DVD is organized in chapters for each major NLSC event so it can easily be divided into instructional topics. The DVD is $14.95. To order, call 800-321-8422 or go to www.skillsusa.org/store/dvd.html.
September 15th, 2011
We had a great meeting with Kelly Persons, Shannon Delp, Greg Palese and Troy Dally at Lowe’s on August 24. In addition to a discussion of how things went at this year’s national conference and initiatives for next year, we also had an extensive discussion of how to involve more vendor partners through the Championships, TECHSPO and “lunch and learn” sessions hosted by partners. Along those lines, Electrolux had four corporate representatives at a breakfast meeting with us. Kelly Persons encouraged their greater involvement in the Championships and to join the YDF. There were also outstanding presentations by two of our new student national officers: Victoria Holbert, high school division president and Diego Carvallo, high school division Region II vice president. There was a great dialogue session among the students and the Electrolux executives, and the students provided input throughout the meetings.