Active Advisor News
February 2013

Update from Tim Lawrence
Work Force Ready System Website

Tim LawrenceAlways with teachers and students first and foremost in our minds, the entire national staff was involved January 7-11 during our 13th annual "week of excitement" strategic planning session. This year, we surveyed the field in advance on critical issues and cost cutting or revenue generation. We wrote objectives around what we see are some of the most important areas such as the move of the national conference to Louisville in 2015, infrastructure including staffing, communications planning to best employ both traditional and digital media and state association growth and development. We had a successful week and are well on our way toward development of the FY14-15 plan.

Just another reminder, too, that SkillsUSA is beginning the "Skills Build America" Campaign. For more information, please go to: I hope you will take time to review the material and consider participating in this very important initiative leading up to our 50th anniversary.

CTE Month and SkillsUSA Week Events and Activities
February is Career and Technical Education Month and February 10-16 is SkillsUSA Week. SkillsUSA Week activities are a great way to highlight the good work your local chapters are doing. For SkillsUSA Week ideas, see the Chapter Management section on the SkillsUSA website. SkillsUSA offers downloadable public service announcements at this page.

On February 12th, at 1 p.m. EST, SkillsUSA will be holding a Web conference to kick off SkillsUSA's week of celebration. Hear from your national student leaders and SkillsUSA leaders on the state of the organization. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions. All instructors and members are welcome to participate. To participate, call 1-334-323-0270 or 1-888-537-7715 to hear the discussion and then go to this page to get the link to join. The meeting number is 46844558 and the participant passcode is 5892.

Research Corner
Student photo

  • Globally, technicians rank 1st among the Top 10 jobs employers are having difficulty filling.
  • In the U.S., skilled trades workers are No. 1 among the Top Ten hardest jobs to fill. Technicians rank 4th, behind sales reps and nurses.
    -Talent Shortage Survey Results. 2011, by ManpowerGroup

In a November 2012 email survey of SkillsUSA advisors, among 1,465 respondents,

  • 77 percent said that, in their opinion, involvement with SkillsUSA has made them a better teacher.
  • 74 percent said that, in their opinion, engagement with SkillsUSA has had a positive effect on the academic performance of most of their students.

Special Workshop During NLSC in Kansas City
The SkillsUSA Alumni & Friends Association is proud to offer American Heart Association CPR Certification during the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference on Tuesday, June 25, 2013. Time and location to be determined. Pre-registration fees are $20 at: Contact Heidi Walsh with questions at

Lowe's Grant Winners
Lowes logoThe focus for this year's Lowe's grant program was to identify schools, classrooms or students that have a basic need to improve the quality of the students' educational experience. The grant winners have been selected. There were 27 winners and a total of $354,390 grant dollars given. Congratulations go to the following schools.

Alabama - Cleburne County Career Technical School; Arkansas - Western Arkansas Technical Center; Arizona - Snowflake High School; California - Palmdale High School; Georgia - Cedartown High School and Putnam County High School; Illinois - Lake County High School; Kentucky - Iroquois High School, Kentucky Tech-Carroll County Area Technical Center and Kentucky Tech-Clay County Area Technical Center; Maine - Maine Region Ten Technical High School and Presque Isle Regional Career and Technology Center; Minnesota - Mounds View High School; Missouri - Lebanon Technology & Career Center; Mississippi - Wayne County Career and Technical Education Center; Nebraska - Arlington Public School; New Mexico - Loving High School; Ohio - Columbiana County Career and Technology Center; Pennsylvania - Dauphin County Technical School and Monroe Career & Technical Institute; Rhode Island - Regional Career and Technical Center at Coventry High School; South Carolina - Beaufort-Jasper Academy for Career Excellence; Tennessee - Tennessee Technology Center at Murfreesboro; Texas - Kermit ISD; Washington - Central Kitsap High School; West Virginia - Roane-Jackson Technology Center; and, Wyoming - Eastern Wyoming College.

Scholarship Opportunities Reminder
There are several scholarships opportunities available for students on the SkillsUSA website. Please pass the word.

  • National Technical Honor Society Scholarship (four @ $1,000 each) - Deadline, April 1, 2013 - go to this link.
  • Sharon Melton Myers Memorial Scholarship ($500) - Deadline, April 30, 2013 - go to this link.
  • Alumni Merit Scholarship (two @ $500 each) - Deadline, May 1, 2013 - go to this link.

New Partnership with Interstate BatteriesInterstate Batteries logoReminderSkillsUSA is excited to announce a new partnership with Interstate Batteries and a fundraising program for local chapters. This is a great opportunity for your chapters to raise funds in partnership with a company whose mission and product align very closely with SkillsUSA.

Through this partnership, local chapters can now sell Interstate Batteries products and they will receive 50 percent of the sales. Below is the link for your chapter to sign up today. This is a great program to participate in as you seek to raise funds for district and state events and for leadership development activities and materials. For more information, go to this link.



Work Force Ready System imageSkillsUSA offers 47 technical and employability assessments in 11 cluster areas including four co-branded assessments with ASE/AYES and five co-branded assessments with PrintED/GAERF.

NEW! Teacher Preparation Guides:
Teacher Preparation Guides are now available to assist teachers in preparing students for the Skill Connect Assessments. The first six were released in January: Carpentry, Cosmetology, Criminal Justice/Crime Scene investigation, Television (Video) Production, Nurse Assisting and Welding. The guide will be included as part of the assessment purchase and will be accessible online in the test system to the instructor. Log-on and click the link at the top of the screen "Teacher Preparation Guide." Please be sure to take the survey after you have used the guide. Just click on the link "Tell us what you think" found on the same screen.

NEW! PrintED Student Certification
Beginning with orders placed February 1st, a student who achieves a passing score on any of the SkillsUSA/PrintED Co-branded assessments will be awarded a PrintED/SkillsUSA Student Certification in that subject area, valid for two years. The certification, which does not require work experience, is designed to be the initial step for students seeking to build a career in the graphic communications industry. Additionally, responding to the growing emphasis on accountability in education, this student credential will provide a means for graphic communications courses of study to measure and demonstrate their success. The certificate can be printed online immediately after a student achieves a passing cut-score. Student Certifications are available for the following assessments - Advertising Design, Digital File Preparation & Digital File Output, Graphic Communications, Offset Press Operations & Binding & Finishing, Screen Printing.

Other Resource to Prepare for Testing:
Other resources available to prepare students for testing can be found at this link.

Place your order for student testing online at this link. Our processing turnaround time is 48 business hours from the time the order is placed. Check your email SPAM box if you have not received a confirmation email within that time frame with testing instructions and test codes. Assessments can be used anytime from the time of purchase until July 31, 2013.

Assessment test licenses expire on July 31, 2013. Test licenses not used are not refundable and cannot be transferred to the following school year. We suggest ordering only what you know you will use on the initial order because you can always add to the order later if needed.

To learn more about the implementation process of placing and administering the assessments, click the link "Creating Your Skill Connect Team" at this page and listen to our 30-minute webinar. Learn the responsibilities of the assessment coordinator, proctor and instructor and how each Skill Connect team member can ensure a successful testing experience for the students.

The price is $20 per student assessment. A $10 discount is offered for the number of SkillsUSA members registered in your school at the time you place the order and for PrintED affiliated schools. Details on pricing and payment options can be found at this link.

For general information on our assessments, visit our Work Force Ready System website at:, contact us at 703-737-0633, ext. 1 or email us at

2013 SkillsUSA University
Lowes logoWe are currently accepting proposals from high-quality presenters of innovative, timely and dynamic educational topics to present at the 2013 SkillsUSA University. This year, SkillsUSA University is sponsored by Universal Technical Institute. All sessions will take place at the Downtown Marriott Hotel or the Kansas City Convention Center on June 26, 27 and 28.

We ask state directors or instructors who would like to present to send emails with proposed topics to Nikole Clausen at

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 28. For more information and a Request for Proposal (RFP), go to this link.

Stay Connected
AlumniHelp your graduating students stay connected to valuable industry contacts and potential employment by having them register as SkillsUSA alumni. It's free, easy and open to all high school and college/postsecondary members. Have students go to this link. By registering, alumni members are sent a link to our online SkillsUSA Champions magazine, a quarterly newsletter, as well as social networking that could lead to new opportunities and jobs. Encourage your students to register now!