I hope your holiday break was an enjoyable and happy time with family and friends. As the New Year gets into full swing, I wanted to write and say how much I appreciate all you do and provide you with a few pieces of information that I hope will be helpful to you and your students.
You Do Change Lives
The reminders of how SkillsUSA changes lives are all around us this time of the year. In December, they showed up in the news stories of community service events conducted by SkillsUSA chapters such as nearly 2,000 food items donated to a food bank in Utica, New York, rocking horses and building blocks built and donated to Toys for Tots in Lewiston, Idaho and - after months of work by 50 students - the restoration and remodeling of the Salvation Army emergency disaster canteen truck in Painesville, Ohio so the Salvation Army can help others in need.
Sometimes the news comes in more directly. On December 21, I received an email from Mary Bell of Caterpillar and a former SkillsUSA board member to tell me about her meeting a new hire at CAT who is a SkillsUSA alumna "and totally poised just as you'd expect." I received word on December 22 from Dan Young, a long-time supporter of SkillsUSA and formerly with the FBI, that the contractor who is building his retirement home is a SkillsUSA alumnus and state medalist in brick masonry. And, board member Marlys Bucher wrote on December 22 that the person who will be hosting the Minnesota welding contest at the state pipe fitters apprenticeship training center was a gold medal winner in 1987 in the VICA Skill Olympics. He told her that as an older, nontraditional student "it was a life-changing event ... and I'm thrilled to be giving back to SkillsUSA."
Of course, this tradition continues. I recently sent Jim Lentz, COO of Toyota and 2011 Champion of the Year a testimonial from Victoria Holbert, national high school president, and from other Massachusetts state officers who participated in the Champion of the Year dinner ceremonies. All of the students remarked on the positive impact they'd experienced meeting person-to-person with business leaders and how important that is for them. Victoria wrote: "This opportunity along with every other that has been offered to me through this organization has humbled me and helped me grow." Here's the link to see the report: www.skillsusa.org/downloads/PDF/CEODinnerReport.pdf.
Thank you for all you do. You are appreciated.
CTE Month and SkillsUSA Week and Activities
February 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 local chapters are doing.
For SkillsUSA Week ideas, see the Chapter Management section on the SkillsUSA website. SkillsUSA offers downloadable public service announcements at: www.skillsusa.org/educators/skillsusaweek.shtml.
For SkillsUSA clothing or gifts, go to: www.skillsusastore.org. Our supply service can also help you with custom items for your events. Call Steve Korker at 703-716-3330, Ext. 137 or email: email@example.com.
On February 7, at 1 p.m. EST, 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: Web address at: this link. To dial in for audio, call: 888-222-0475. Attendee Code: 5692952
National Conference Pin and T-shirt Contest
February 1 is the deadline for the entries to the SkillsUSA National Conference Pin and T-shirt competitions. This event is open to all paid student members of SkillsUSA.
This is a great way to have a student and advisor recognized in front of a national audience. A plaque for the teacher and student, plus a school grant to the advisor of the winning student will be announced at a later date. Rules are in the membership kit and are also posted on the SkillsUSA website at: www.skillsusa.org/compete/pindesign.shtml. Questions may be directed to Heidi Walsh at 703-737-0615 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webinars Coming in 2012 Reminder
Three national Web conferences are scheduled for 2012. It's your chance to hear from and communicate with national staff. We'll provide some training and information on professional development, some updating and motivating advice and tips on being a national leader.
Please join us for one or all of these events. Invite students, officer teams, key advisors, fellow instructors, alumni and others.
Value of Professional Development - January 18, 2012, 1 p.m. (EST)
No matter who you are or what you do, professional skills can make or break you. Business and industry look for quality employability skills, not just technical skills. Find out why this set of skills is important to your future success.
Attendee code: 5692952
SkillsUSA Week: Skilled and Motivated - February 7, 2012, 1 p.m. (EST)
Use this webinar to help kick off SkillsUSA Week celebrations. 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.
Attendee code: 5692952
So You Want to Be a National Officer? - March 14, 2012, 1 p.m. (EST)
Do you have a student you think would make a good national leader? Has he or she wanted to run for a national SkillsUSA office but weren't sure how? Then this webinar is for you! Our experts will provide an overview of the national officer candidate procedures and national officer responsibilities. You will also get to hear first-hand experience from a current national officer.
Attendee code: 5692952
Be Heard, Be Seen, Be You and Be More
(BMOR Through the 26 Seconds Campaign
Did you know 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.
Stand with ACTE and your CTE colleagues from around the nation to help Washington understand that CTE works! Register to attend the ACTE National Policy Seminar (NPS), March 5-7, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va. A special student rate is available and students are welcome to join.
CTE faces many challenges over the coming year, and during the 2012 NPS, you will have the opportunity to connect with legislators who need to see us, understand us—and remember us! At this year's National Policy Seminar, there is something for everyone:
- Strengthen your knowledge of federal policies affecting CTE.
- Learn more about how national assessments and the career-readiness conversation will affect your students.
- Explore overarching issues affecting federal spending for education and workforce development.
- Preview the next reauthorization of the Perkins Act and begin planning ahead.
- Gain new advocacy skills to help you effectively promote your programs.
- Check out the tentative agenda for more details and visit: www.acteonline.org/nps.aspx for the latest updates.
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:
If you have any questions, contact Marsha Daves via email: email@example.com or by phone - 703-737-0605.
Call for SkillsUSA Talent
Do you have a talented singer who would enjoy a special performance opportunity? SkillsUSA seeks talented singers for the opening ceremony or awards ceremony during the 2012 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. We are looking for a SkillsUSA student member to sing the national anthem or another patriotic song appropriate for opening a general session. Singers may sing a capella or to a pre-recorded instrumental track. Send in all audition videotapes on DVD, postmarked by February 1 to: Heidi Walsh, SkillsUSA, 14001 SkillsUSA Way, Leesburg, VA 20176. Questions may be directed to Heidi at 703-737-0610 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2012 SkillsUSA University
We are currently accepting proposals from high-quality presenters of innovative, timely and dynamic educational topic 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 email@example.com.
Possible topics: local chapter activities; fund-raising; 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.
American Airlines Group Travel Discounts SkillsUSA has partnered with American Airlines for five percent off published fares, even sale prices, to attend the following 2012 national conferences:
Procedures for booking airline tickets for the 2012 National Leadership & Skills Conference are as follows:
- Visit www.aa.com. From top menu bar, choose reservations followed by select flight; complete appropriate fields (i.e., travel dates, number of passengers departure and destination city.) At bottom of select flight screen, the last field (field #9) will be promotion code. Enter this code: 6662DA followed by selecting Go. The next screen will contain all flight times for departure and return. Complete reservation as instructed, or
- Call American Airlines Meeting Services Desk at 800-433-1790 and provide agent with code: 6662DA, or purchase tickets through a travel agent and mention 6662DA
Terms and Conditions
Discount is valid June 10-30, 2012 from any destination served by American Airlines to Kansas City (MCI). Discount is available to anyone attending the event. Save a booking fee by using www.aa.com. Name change is allowed with 15OUSD/CAD GMT ticketing change charge. Name must be changed and re-ticketed prior to arrival at the airport. Allowed only on flights operated by American Airlines.All travelers are eligible for accrued flight miles.