Active Advisor News
February 2012

Message from Tim
Work Force Ready System/Skill Connect Assessments

Welcome to our new newsletter format for SkillsUSA active advisors. We’re excited about the new format and the new newsletter is now being archived on our website. So, if you miss an issue or need to check on a previous issue, go to this link. The Active Advisor Newsletter will continue to be sent September through May during the school year and it will include pertinent information for you about SkillsUSA, scholarship ideas for your students, happenings on Capitol Hill relating to career and technical education and more.


CTE Month and SkillsUSA Week Events and Activities Reminder
SkillsUSA WeekFebruary is Career and Technical Education Month and February 5-11 is SkillsUSA Week. SkillsUSA Week activities are a great way to highlight the good work your chapter is doing. For SkillsUSA Week ideas, see the Chapter Management section on the SkillsUSA website. SkillsUSA offers downloadable public service announcements at this link.

For SkillsUSA clothing or gifts, go to our SkillsUSA Store. Our supply service can also help you with custom items for your events. Call Steve Korker at 703-716-3330, Ext. 137 or email: skorker@egroup-inc.com.

Tomorrow, February 7th, at 1 p.m. E.S.T., SkillsUSA will be holding a Web conference to kick off SkillsUSA week of celebration. Hear from your SkillsUSA leaders on the state of the organization. Listen to a special guest speaker on what it means to be "Skilled and Motivated" which is this year's theme. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions. All state directors, instructors and members are welcome to participate in the Web conference.

To participate in the Web conference, go to the following link on February 7 at 1 p.m. EST: Click here to attend. To dial in for audio, call: 888-222-0475 and enter the attendee code: 5692952.


CTE Branding Initiative
As you are most likely aware, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), in cooperation with other organizations in the career and technical education (CTE) community, has developed a new logo and slogan for career and technical education - CTE: Learning that Works for America. SkillsUSA has been involved and supports this initiative.

Equally important, NASDCTEc has gathered the facts and developed the messaging for CTE advocacy so all organizations can be working from the same notes. For more information, visit this link.

You are encouraged to go to the NASDCTEc website for additional information and promotional materials, including videos and PowerPoint presentations. For advocacy information, go to this link. For promotional materials, go to this link. For more information, contact Erin Uy at euy@careertech.org.


Sample Press Release for State Champions
SkillsUSA instructors and students are heading into state competitions and we've put a sample release on our CapWiz advocacy site for use by instructors, parents, or anyone who'd like to send a message to the news media or Congress about the accomplishments of your students at SkillsUSA state competitions. We also encourage you to use the news release to notify Members of Congress of your students' accomplishments. Please keep in mind this is a template only. You should personalize it and use only the parts of the template that work for you.

Many of your students have done well or will do well in their respective competitions over the next few months, and they deserve to be recognized and honored in their hometowns. The sample news release is a guide for you to use when promoting your students as the champions the are.

Another way to enter the advocacy site is to go to the SkillsUSA website, click on about us, advocacy & legislative and advocacy site. Follow the directions and send to your senators and representative and to five of your local media outlets. We look forward to reading about your students in the news!

The site is also available to you to use to promote your SkillsUSA chapter or career and technical education to the president, Capitol Hill or your local media anytime you like. Just fill in your zip code, construct a message and send it on.


Be Heard, Be Seen, Be You and Be More (BMOR) Through the 26 Seconds Campaign
Did you kBMOR logonow that every 26 seconds a young person in the United States drops out of high school? You can help turn that statistic around by participating with SkillsUSA in the 26 Seconds Campaign. By doing so, you can win prizes, scholarships and help SkillsUSA and the student drop-out crisis in the process.

Here is what to do:
Help take back the stat by taking the pledge to graduate via the BMOR Project or on their Facebook page. When you pledge, select SkillsUSA as your affiliation. Then, return to the BMOR Project regularly to participate in the new activities that launch on the 26th of each month. Not only will you be eligible to win prizes, you can also help SkillsUSA. The organization with the highest number of graduation pledges and activity participants per month wins a grant.

Right now, in addition to a chance to win monthly prizes when you participate, you'll also receive a 26 Seconds T-shirt just for pledging. The online activities are fun, easy and show you how to channel your interests into a future after graduation. The grand prize is an end-of-the-year celebration that one lucky student will bring to their school and community. But, you must complete at least five of the activities to be eligible for the grand prize.

Plus, you can share videos, photos, projects (like SkillsUSA's Student2Student Program), artwork and creative writings on the Facebook page. By doing so, your creativity may also be chosen to be featured on www.26seconds.com. Shine a light on yourself, your school and the importance of high school graduation.

Visit 26Seconds.com and the Facebook page to see what students like you are doing and share your story. The 26 Seconds Campaign will be ending on June 30, 2012. 


National Honors for our Flagship Publication
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., and will be featured in an upcoming issue of TRENDS, a national newspaper for association executives and suppliers. Here is a link to the winners listing. 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.


The Technology and Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Associations Promotes a Scholarship Opportunity
The Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) of the American Trucking Associations is offering five truck technician scholarships (diesel technology) in partnership with WyoTech, the University of Northern Ohio and Lincoln Technical Institute.

Scholarship applicants are to be sponsored by a TMC member. TMC members are throughout the United States. Scholarship information and applications along with contact information are available online at: http://tmc.truckline.com.

The scholarships are part of an ongoing effort by TMC's Professional Technician Development Committee (PTDC) to promote and enhance the professionalism of commercial vehicle technicians.

Application deadline is March 15, 2012 and awards will be announced by April 15, 2012.


2012 SkillsUSA University Reminder
We are currently accepting proposals from high-quality presenters of innovative, timely and dynamic educational topics to present at the 2012 SkillsUSA University in Kansas City, Mo. All sessions will take place at the Downtown Marriott Hotel or the Kansas City Convention Center on June 25, 26 and 27.

We ask instructors who would like to present to send emails with proposed topics to Deborah Tripp at dtripp@skillsusa.org.

Possible topics: local chapter activities; fundraising; community service; SkillsUSA Program of Work success stories; business etiquette; communication skills for students; local industry partnerships, etc. These can be best practices (with a local advisor presenting) or an expert in the subject area. If you do not want to present, but you have suggestions for workshop topics, please feel free to forward them to us.

The deadline for proposals is February 24. For more information and a Request for Proposal (RFP), go to: www.skillsusa.org/events/skillsuniv.shtml.

 

WFRSWe offer 47 industry-driven technical and employability assessments, which include 44 Skill Connect assessments and four automotive assessments offered by our co-vender Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Information on our assessments and a complete list of the assessment areas available can be found at www.workforcereadysystem.org. At the site, there are also instructor and administrator resources to help prepare students for testing, a free 10-question demonstration of each Skill Connect Assessment, an option to purchase a 50-question sample test for $10 per assessment area and links to purchase a Skill Connect Assessment for student testing or for instructor or administrator preview.


Honorary Life Membership and/or Outstanding Career and Technical Education Nominees
If you would like to nominate someone for SkillsUSA's national Honorary Life Membership or Outstanding Career and Technical Educator, please submit your nomination by going to the following assigned links and filling out the online application. The deadline for both applications is February 18. The links are below:

www.skillsusa.org/educators/outstandinged.shtml
www.skillsusa.org/about/honlife.shtml

If you have any questions, contact Marsha Daves via email: mdaves@skillsusa.org or by phone - 703-737-0605.


Competition Central
The SkillsUSA Store is here to help your students look their best this conference season. Visit our Competition Central section today to find the full line of SkillsUSA work uniforms, official blazers and wind jackets, along with everything else you need to succeed. And, please reference the official competition uniform chart for photos and descriptions of the uniform components needed for each competition.


Attention National Officer Candidates
National OfficersNow is the time to identify national officer candidates for this June. We know you've got great students who can represent the organization well, and we hope you'll share them with us. National officers receive top-notch training, travel opportunities and many networking experiences. Information for students and candidate forms are posted at
www.skillsusa.org/students/officerapp.shtml. If you have questions, contact Stephanie Bland at 703-737-0622 or by email to sbland@skillsusa.org. The deadline for application submissions is June 1. If elected, the new national officers must attend training in Lansdowne, Virginia, July 19-27, 2012.


Community Service and Success Stories
SkillsUSA is continuing to collect stories about SkillsUSA chapters, community service activities and student success stories. As you can see, we have posted some community service and chapter activity articles and personal SkillsUSA success stories previously on the website at this link. But, SkillsUSA would like to hear more about what is happening with your chapter and students and how SkillsUSA involvement is changing or has changed their lives. Please send the stories to Tom Hall at thall@skillsusa.org. We'd very much like to hear from you.


Chapter Management Institute in Leesburg, Va.
On March 23, SkillsUSA is hosting a State Farm-sponsored Chapter Management Institute (CMI) in Leesburg, Virginia at the SkillsUSA National Leadership Center from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. CMI seminars provide instructors with the tools they need to develop, manage and advise a SkillsUSA chapter in their schools or classrooms. Participants explore the mission of SkillsUSA; learn to use the multitude of resources available and engage in hands-on activities. The training uses interactive sessions and provides answers to questions such as:

  • How do I get students involved?
  • What is the best way to organize our activities?
  • What does a chapter set out to do?
  • What is a Program of Work?
  • What materials are available to help students?

This is a must for beginning or novice advisors wanting to start a chapter or better manage an existing chapter.

As a participant in the CMI Basic Seminar, you will receive the following materials ($80 value):

  • Advisor’s Success Kit (Ask) CD-ROM
  • The SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards 2011-12 CD Package
  • National Conference DVD - A Week of Champions

Training and materials are free to participants. There is a $30 registration fee to cover lunch and breaks. To register, contact Stephanie Bland at 703-737-0622 or by email to sbland@skillsusa.org. The deadline for registration is March 9. For more information on this and other training seminars, please go to this link.


Lowe's Community Improvement and Community Rebuilding Grant Winners
The 2012 SkillsUSA and Lowe's community improvement and community rebuilding grant winners were recently announced. Congratulations to all successful applicants.

Community Improvement: Alabama - Limestone Career Technical Center; Arizona - Buena High School; Arkansas - Cassatot Community College of the University of Arkansas; California - Valley Charter High School, American River College, Downey High School, and Perris High School; Colorado - Ellicott High School; Georgia - Camden County High School; Minnesota - Alexandria Technical and Community College; Missouri - Current River Career Center and Kirksville Area Technical Center; Montana - Montana State University-Northern; New Hampshire - Nashua Technology Center; New
Jersey - Atlantic County Institute of Technology; New Mexico - Navajo Technical
College and Pojoaque Valley High School; New York - Kenton Career & Technical Center and Rockland BOCES, Rockland; North Carolina - Pine Forest High School; North Dakota - Bottineau Public Schools/Bottineau; Oklahoma - Canadian Valley
Technology Center; Gordon Cooper Technology Center; Pennsylvania - Upper Bucks County Technical School and West Side Career & Technology Center; Tennessee -
Tennessee Technology Center at Harriman, Tennessee Technology Center at McKenzie, Tennessee Technology Center at Memphis and Tennessee Technology Center at Oneida/Huntsville; Texas - Rudder High School; Vermont - St. Johnsbury Academy; and,
Virginia - Rockbridge County High School and William N. Neff Center.

Community Rebuilding: New York - Capital Region BOCES Career & Technical School and Broome Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services.


Kavli Save the World Through Science and Engineering Video Contest
The Kavli Save the World Through Science and Engineering Video Contest is open to students in Grades 6-12. Deadline is March 1.

Students make a short video (:30-:90) that shows how scientific discoveries and inventions can improve our lives and change our world, either right now or in the future. Then they enter it on Schooltube.com and compete for cash prizes! First prize is $2,000 and a travel stipend to Washington, D.C. to the USA Science and Engineering Festival, April 28-29, second prize is $750, third prize is $500, and people's choice is $250. Winners will be honored in a special awards ceremony hosted by Bill Nye, the Science Guy. Go to: www.schooltube.com/contests/2012-kavli-save-world-through-science-engineering/ for more information.