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The SkillsUSA Championships

June 27th, 2013

Today, 6,000 competitors will compete in 98 contests in Bartle Hall, its Conference Center, Municipal Auditorium, American Royal Center, downtown Marriott and Phillips hotels, Penn Valley Health Science Institute and the Kansas City Firefighting Academy . It’s truly an awe-inspiring event.

Also today, TECHSPO will have its final day of exhibits and SkillsUSA University will continue. The delegate meetings be going on with primary ballots being cast for our new national officers.

This evening, be sure and join us for SkillsUSA night at Worlds of Fun.

A Call to Action and the Opening Ceremony

June 26th, 2013

I hope all chapter advisors will attend the special events today beginning at 7:45 a.m. CDT in the Count Basie Ballroom at the Marriott Downtown in Kansas City. There will be a continental breakfast followed by the Call to Action session where I’ll present SkillsUSA’s priorities for the coming year as well as national trends for career and technical education. Each attendee will receive a gift of appreciation and a chance to win other fabulous prizes. It’s all sponsored by 3M.

Afterwards, be sure and visit the SkillsUSA University session of your choice. A complete listing of sessions can be found here. SkillsUSA TECHSPO exhibits also continue today.

There are also many contests beginning today. SkillsUSA Championships contests are free and open to the public and can be found at Bartle Hall, Municipal Auditorium, American Royal, the Kansas City Firefighting Academy and Penn Valley Health Science Institute.

Tonight, the conference opens officially with the Opening Ceremony and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Kemper Arena. Seating begins at 5:45 p.m. and all participants should arrive at least 45 minutes in advance. The ceremony itself begins at 7 p.m. CDT.

Mike Rowe will be the keynote speaker for the Opening Ceremony at this year’s National Leadership and Skills Conference. Thanks Caterpillar Inc. for sponsoring the Opening Ceremony and making it possible to have  Mike Rowe at our conference.

Remember that the Opening Ceremony will be broadcast via the internet here. Thanks to Lowe’s for sponsoring our live web coverage.

SkillsUSA TECHSPO, TAG Tuesday and Champions Night

June 25th, 2013

SkillsUSA TECHSPOSkillsUSA TECHSPO opens this morning at 8 a.m. It is the largest trade show for technical education. You can find booths outside on 13th Street and North Central between Municipal Auditorium and Bartle Hall. There are also a few special SkillsUSA University sessions beginning this morning.

New this year is TAG Tuesday (Train-Act-Grow). TAG Tuesday is a series of leadership activities to be held for delegates during national conference. In the morning, there will be workshops for high school chapter leaders and high school state officers and there will be separate workshops for college/postsecondary delegates on networking with business. The afternoon will offer experiential sessions for the high school delegates and one-on-one interviews with business representatives for the college/postsecondary delegates. TAG Tuesday is sponsored by Insurance Auto Auctions and Adesa.

Tonight at the Kansas City Power and Light District will be the Champions Night activity. Note: a state/national SkillsUSA shirt is required for entry. Champions Night is sponsored by Carhartt. Also at 7 p.m. is the 100-Percent Advisors Reception at the College Basketball Experience. Sponsored by Air Products, the event is for 100-percent chapter advisors only.

SkillsUSA Championships

June 26th, 2012

Today, nearly 6,000 competitors will compete in 94 contests in Bartle Hall, its Conference Center, Municipal Auditorium, American Royal Center and the downtown Marriott and Phillips hotels. It’s truly an awe-inspiring event.

Also today, TECHSPO will have its final day of exhibits and SkillsUSA University will continue. The delegate meetings are going on with primary ballots being cast for our new national officers.

This evening, be sure and join us for SkillsUSA night. This year, conference attendees will have two choices for the evening: Worlds of Fun or Kauffman Stadium with the Kansas City Royals.

TECHSPO and Champions Night

June 24th, 2012

SkillsUSA TECHSPO and Career Fair open today. Be sure and visit the exhibits. There is always a lot of fun to be had at SkillsUSA TECHSPO. While you’re there, be sure and pick up your free conference souvenir t-shirt, pin and backpack, compliments of Lowe’s, Bosch and SkillsUSA. You can get them between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Municipal Auditorium’s Music Hall foyer. Note: This is for paid registrants only and requires the original giveaway voucher from your conference registration packet.

Tonight, be sure and stop by Champions Night at Power and Light. This is the first official conference event and it takes place at downtown Kansas City’s most popular location: The Living Room in the Power and Light District. Don’t miss the good times with giveaways and live entertainment. An official conference badge, official SkillsUSA or state logo shirt and appropriate attire required for admittance into the P&L Living Room.

It’s going to be a great conference!

SkillsUSA’s Amazing Race

May 11th, 2012

SkillsUSA’s Amazing Race will take place on Monday, June 25, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in connection with TECHSPO during the NLSC in Kansas City. This program will be similar to the TV show where participants are challenged to perform various tasks and move quickly through the TECHSPO territory in order to learn more about exhibitors and win prizes. In addition, SkillsUSA’s Amazing Race will provide interactive fun for students and adults. The passport will be distributed through the state delegation conference materials distributed during the registration appointments at the beginning of the week. Participants will be challenged to follow clues and vendors’ requests to advance to the next exhibit booth. Once at the correct booth, participants must either perform a task or duty in order to qualify for a stamp on their passport cards. There are two roadblocks included in the race. After completing pit stops 1-11 (out of 12), the participant must report to the 12th and final destination and turn in the card at the last booth. The race will conclude at the SkillsUSA Alumni booth where membership will be encouraged. Prizes will be distributed at the alumni booth to participants who complete the race. There is a limited quantity of prizes, so it will be important to complete the race in a timely manner.

Highlights

December 15th, 2011
  • On November 11, I attended the NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) board of trustees meeting in Phoenix. We have some great partners in the group, and they’re still talking about how much they enjoyed their board meeting during our national conference last June.
  • After NCCER, I was off to Chicago for the FABTECH show, November 14 and 15, sponsored by the American Welding Society, Precision Metalforming Association, Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association (AWS, PMA, SME and FMA). SkillsUSA WorldTeam medalists from 2009 Calgary and 2011 London, Joe Young and Brad Clink, were formally recognized during the conference with scholarships and awards. And, I was given the Plummer Memorial Education Lecture Award which was quite an honor. The annual award has been presented since 1986 and is in the name of the AWS president from ’52-’54 and later AWS executive director. The title of my presentation was “Welding Education: Changing Lives and Building the 21st Century Workforce.”
  • Staff reported during our recent staff meeting that Toyota was pleased with the Champion of the Year dinner. The event raised close to $300,000. Radiator Specialty Company has awarded $25,000 in scholarships to students from five SkillsUSA postsecondary chapters. During the same meeting that donations have come in from 45 companies since September, of which 19 are new or are doing more than in the past as a result of the dinner.
  • TECHSPO already has booked 58 indoor booths and 11 outdoor booths for next year’s conference.

 

Visit with Lowe’s in North Carolina

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.

A Call to Action

June 22nd, 2011

Today’s a big day. The Call to Action Session begins this morning at 8:30 and is the only place during NLSC where all instructors/advisors gather in a meeting specifically for teachers and administrators. There will be a thank-you gift for every person attending, and it’s a great time to hear about the latest SkillsUSA happenings and from our partners in Washington, D.C.

SkillsUSA University begins today at 10 a.m. See: www.skillsusa.org/events/skillsuniv.shtml for details. Also, be sure and check out SkillsUSA’s Amazing Race. It’s part of SkillsUSA TECHSPO and begins today at 10:30 a.m. You can find all the details on Page 18 of the conference program: http://www.skillsusa.org/downloads/PDF/NLSC/program.pdf.

The SkillsUSA Delegates continue their important work today with a Meet the Candidates session at 1 p.m.

This evening at 7 p.m., the conference officially begins with our Opening Ceremony at Kemper Arena, sponsored by Bosch and Georgia-Pacific. Our keynote speaker is John McGlade, CEO, Air Products and SkillsUSA’s Champion of the Year for 2010. The ceremony closes with the ribbon cutting for the SkillsUSA Championships. Everything will be broadcast live via Internet.

Log on at www.skillsusa.org/events/nlscvideo.shtml.

Highlights

June 15th, 2011
  • At the recommendation of Frank Carroll, former SkillsUSA board member, president, Bosch Power Tools North America and full-time SkillsUSA champion, we held a meeting here in Leesburg on May 26 with Larry Teverbaugh, CEO of K2Share and Robert Wagner, senior VP, Lowe’s and SkillsUSA board member. The agenda revolved around Vision 2020 and how we can employ the talent and influence of top corporate executives to reach those goals by tapping into their business acumen for strategic guidance – such as developing appropriate and responsive business models for SkillsUSA – and using their leverage appropriately for financial development. It was an excellent half-day meeting and gave the invited staff plenty to think about.
  • Here’s the latest national conference by the numbers. Conference registration – even in these tough financial times – is up over last year to 9,647. A good sign is that state associations are asking for more hotel rooms. And, we have 5,745 contestants registered That’s more than last year even though we have two fewer contests. We have 79 SkillsUSA University seminars scheduled (74 last year) and there are 144 TECHSPO exhibitors, 30 of them are new. The 101 and 201 State Officer and Advisor Training registration is way up (over 70 more participants) this year to 269 participants from 25 states. SkillsUSA’s partners are giving away $100,000 in travel scholarships related to students attending conference.
  • Stephen Gold, CEO of the Manufacturing Alliance, came by for a visit on the morning of May 16. Staff and I provided an overview of SkillsUSA and Gold oriented us to the Alliance. Several of our partners serve on the Manufacturing Alliance board of directors, including CAT, Air Products and Snap-on. Emily DeRocco and I presented to the Manufacturing Alliance board in Washington, D.C. on June 9. Gold sees SkillsUSA as part of the solution for the manufacturing pipeline issue facing the nation’s manufacturers. The Alliance has over 300 manufacturing companies as members. He will also be attending the NLSC.
  • On May 18, I participated in the inaugural meeting of the National Youth Safety Advisory Council. Led by CareerSafe and supported by federal OSHA, the council is comprised of leaders from industry and education. Friends of SkillsUSA on the Council include CAT, FFA, Chad Maclin of Fairfax County (Va.) Public Schools, Dr. Chip Harris from Tennessee State University and Mike Raponi, former SkillsUSA board member and CTE director from Nevada. The Council will be sponsoring the first National Young Worker Safety Day in conjunction with our NLSC on Tuesday, June 21. The goal of NYSAC is to review current and future safety regulations and policies set forth by OSHA and to help determine the best ways to train and educate young workers including methods and data collection processes.
  • Membership in the Alumni & Friends Association is close to 20,000.
  • Lowe’s will have 13 vendor companies attending conference this year.
  • There were 49 signatures on the “Dear Colleague” letter to support Perkins funding when it was sent to the chairman and ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Service and Education in mid-May. It will probably be one of many letters in the months ahead.

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