The city of red tape became the city of red blazers at the most recent Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI), as 216 SkillsUSA students, advisors and state association directors climbed Capitol Hill to champion the cause of career and technical education.
Coincidentally, a Senate committee would be meeting the next day to discuss the Perkins Act, the authorizing legislation for career and technical education. Aware of the opportunity to make an influential impression, the SkillsUSA representatives, in the words of Executive Director Tim Lawrence, “hit a home run.”
SkillsUSA members met with the departments of Labor, Commerce and Education, offering living examples not cold statistics of the myriad benefits of SkillsUSA involvement and technical education. The response? According to Lawrence, “overwhelmingly positive.”
A successful journey begins with a plan. What’s the destination? What’s the best route? Where will you stop along the way? Planning your career should be no different, and a new website CareerVoyages.com will help you set off with confidence.
The result of a collaboration between the U.S. departments of Labor and Education, CareerVoyages.com provides information on high-growth, high-demand occupations, as well as available training opportunities in your state, sources of financial support and more. Whether you’re a student, an adult, a parent or a career counselor, this site may well help you or someone you care about arrive at a little place we like to call...success!
If you’re a regular reader of these pages (and who isn’t?), you’re aware of the great lengths SkillsUSA has gone to over the past few years to establish a unified organizational image. You’ve seen the shiny new logo. You’ve memorized the shiny new slogan, “SkillsUSA: Champions at Work.” But have you heard the new “core message”? A-ha!
OK, it’s metaphor time. Have you ever listened to a group of off-key singers? What effect does this cacophonous aural assault have on an audience? Usually, it makes them walk away. Sometimes, if it’s really bad, they might even run away. But what happens when that same group begins singing in perfect harmony? The audience listens, and the song is all the more powerful and memorable.
Having a unified core message is just as important to an organization as having a unified look and image. It’s all part of the brand that makes an organization memorable to the general public, not to mention the news media.
So, the next time you’re wondering how to describe SkillsUSA in your chapter’s promotional materials, you’re cordially invited to use the following words: “SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. We help each student excel.”
This core message explains the basic structure and goals of our organization in a concise way. Over the last 40 years, those goals have been implemented in the lives of over 8.5 million individuals. As public recognition of SkillsUSA grows, one thing’s for sure: It won’t take 40 years to reach eight million more.
The “members only” section of the SkillsUSA website (www.skillsusa.org/members.html) has recently been given an “HTML makeover.” Download new desktop patterns for your computer, access the Employment Network, get special coupons, find scholarship information and more. To get into the site, you’ll need a SkillsUSA membership card, where you’ll find the appropriate user ID and password. (Sure, we could just give you the user ID and password here, but where’s the fun in that?) As a SkillsUSA member, you should’ve already received this card. If you haven’t, check with your chapter advisor.
Want a free and easy way to promote your chapter in your community? We thought you would. That’s why SkillsUSA has produced three radio public service announcements (PSAs) to be used as part of your chapter’s promotional efforts. Radio stations regularly air PSAs from nonprofit groups at no cost; in fact, they’re often searching for new material to air. That’s where you come in.
Your chapter can download these files (60-, 30- and 15-second versions of the same message), burn them to CD and send them to your local radio stations, along with a cover letter and any other material you’d like to include. Presto, free publicity for you and SkillsUSA! Go to www.skillsusa.org/psa.html for download links and more detailed instructions.
SkillsUSA Champions | Winter 2005 | Volume 39, No. 2