October 15th, 2012
On September 20, I flew to Chattanooga, Tennessee to address the Tennessee Board of Regents thanks to SkillsUSA Board President James King. The day started with a one-on-one tour of the new Volkswagen manufacturing plant and the Volkswagen Training Academy operated by Chattanooga State Community College /Tennessee Technology Center (CSCC/TTC) in partnership with Volkswagen. Students training at the academy are in an employment pathway and are hired at the Chattanooga plant when their training is complete. Courses are in precision machining, welding, industrial maintenance, lean manufacturing, teambuilding and mechatronics. Since the students are enrolled through CSCC/TTC, they are also SkillsUSA members. They had a national bronze medal Mechatronics Team at the Championships this year. Both Volkswagen and the college are proud of their team.
From Chattanooga, I traveled with Dr. Jim Barrott from CSCC/TTC to Cleveland State Community College for the Board of Regents meeting. Dr. King reported on the success of the Tennessee Technology Centers over the past year and told them SkillsUSA is an integral component of the TTC system and a proven method of delivering employability skills. After showing a brief SkillsUSA video, I gave a national overview of our program. I also commended TTC and Dr. King for their national leadership in education reform and in SkillsUSA at the college/postsecondary level. National officers Mary Kamuiru and Mark Roark spoke and then Mark introduced all 16 SkillsUSA Tennessee College/Postsecondary national gold medalists. The students presented each board member with a state gold medal. This was a great way to impress the leaders of the state’s postsecondary system. Thanks go to James King.
August 1st, 2010
On July 15 I arrived in California for two days of meetings with the new board of directors. We began with a day of board training and then moved into the preparation of the strategic plan on the second day. Four of our national partners – Toyota, Snap-on, State Farm and Lowe’s – have representatives on the California board of directors. It looks to me as though the association now has the leadership and resources it needs to grow SkillsUSA California.
August 1st, 2010
On July 18, I attended the Georgia Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Conference. I believe there were 3,000 teachers in attendance and there’s no doubt that CTE has top-level respect in Georgia. They did two “Legislator of the Year” awards, and the legislators showed up.
I did two well-received and well-attended presentations on the Work Force Ready System on the 19th. My sessions included representatives from the Georgia Department of Education. A real highlight during the conference was the announcement that the department of education has not only added the full list of Skill Connect Assessments to the state-approved list, it’s also making the resources available for the students to take them.
State association director Gayle Silvey held her first annual Georgia SkillsUSA University. Approximately 75 teachers and administrators attended and they received some great materials in addition to the training.
April 1st, 2010
Thanks to State Association Director Toni Decklever, I had some very productive meetings with the 11-member Wyoming board of directors, March 19 through 21, in Casper. The board has a good balance of industry representatives, teachers and administrators. I did some board training, and then, we plowed right through a strategic plan for next year. The draft plan was in their hands last week.