Happy 2013! 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.
Just a reminder, too, that SkillsUSA is beginning the "Skills Build America" Campaign. For more information, please go to this link. I hope you will take time to review the material and consider participating in this very important initiative leading up to our 50th anniversary.
January is National Mentoring Month
Encourage students to get involved in SkillsUSA's Student2Student Mentoring Program. Chapters can submit their projects for a chance to win an opportunity to attend the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City this summer. In addition, volunteer hours will be applied to the President's Volunteer Service Award. See our website for materials and information on both programs.
CTE Month and SkillsUSA Week 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 state association and 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 link.
On February 12, 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 state directors, instructors and members are welcome to participate in the Web conference.
2013 SkillsUSA University
We are currently accepting proposals from high-quality presenters of innovative, timely and dynamic educational topics to present at the 2013 SkillsUSA University in Kansas City, Mo. 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 email@example.com.
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.
Free Webinars Coming in 2013
Free national Web conferences are scheduled for 2013. 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 both of these events and encourage your state leaders and chapters to participate. Invite students, officer teams, key advisors, fellow instructors, alumni and others.
SkillsUSA Week: Prepared with the Skills America Needs - February 12, 2013, 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 what it means to be "Prepared with the Skills America Needs," which is this year's theme. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions.
So You Want to Be a National Officer? - March 19, 2013, 1 p.m. (EST) Do you have a student you think would make a good national leader? Has he/she wanted to run for a national SkillsUSA office, but wasn't sure how? Then this webinar is for that student. Our experts will provide an overview of the national officer candidate procedures and national officer responsibilities. They will also get to hear first-hand experience from a current national officer.
Educational Resources Catalog
Our next Educational Resources Catalog will have a new look. The catalog will be in digest format, with items organized in relation to the SkillsUSA Program of Work and now includes an index to help you quickly find what you need. Look for the new catalog this January.
Regional PDP, CMI and CSEP Training Seminars Update
State Farm Insurance is, once again, generously sponsoring regional Professional Development Program (PDP), Chapter Management Institute (CMI) seminars and Career Skills Education Program (CSEP) seminars. There will be one training session (CMI, PDP or CSEP) per region. All materials and training will be free to participants. The only cost is $30 for lunch and breaks. PDP participants will receive a complete set of PDP materials and free licenses for each level. CMI participants will receive an Advisor's Success Kit (ASK) CD, a SkillsUSA Leadership Handbook and the SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards CD package. CSEP participants will receive one free CSEP license.
If you would like to sign-up for or to host a regional PDP, CMI or CSEP training seminar, please contact Stephanie Bland at 703-737-0622 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A minimum of 25 participants is needed to conduct the training. For the latest seminar information, go to this link.
National Conference Pin and T-shirt Contest Reminder
February 1, 2013 is the deadline for 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 here. Questions may be directed to Heidi Walsh at 703-737-0615 or to: email@example.com.
New Partnership with Interstate BatteriesReminder
SkillsUSA 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.
SkillsUSA 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 will be available to assist teachers in preparing students for the Skill Connect Assessments. The first six are scheduled to be 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 to the instructor whose name is provided on the online order form.
Resources to Prepare Students
Additional resources to help prepare your students for testing can be found here.
Pre & Post Testing
Re-testing a student is permitted. Review the set-up options on how you would like the test scores to appear before testing the student a second time at this link.
For information on our assessments, visit the Work Force Ready System website or or contact us at 703-737-0633, Ext. 1, or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Percentage of students who achieve proficiency on state mathematics assessments (2009):
CTE concentrators = 77 percent
All students = 71.5 percent
- Table 1.2, FY 2010 Annual Performance Report, U.S. Dept. of Education
Percentage of students who achieve proficiency on state reading assessments (2009):
CTE concentrators = 80 percent
All students = 72.6 percent
- Table 1.1, FY 2010 Annual Performance Report, U.S. Dept. of Education
Basic statements and facts about SkillsUSA have been compiled into a Common Data Set, which can be accessed at this link. If you have suggestions about additional data you'd like to see added to the Common Data Set, contact Eric Gearhart at email@example.com.
Alumni Pin Design
The SkillsUSA Alumni & Friends Association is sponsoring an alumni pin design contest. The winning design will become the official alumni pin for the 2013 National Leadership and Skills Conference. The deadline for pin designs to be received by the national office is February 28. Designs must be received, not postmarked by February 28, and those submitting designs must be registered alumni members. If you have any questions, please contact Heidi Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-737-0615. For more information and contest guidelines, go to this link.
Alumni Coordinating Committee Nominations
The SkillsUSA Alumni Coordinating Committee (ACC) is seeking nominations for Regions I, III and V. If you, or someone you know, would like to run for a position on the committee, please complete the nomination form. The form is posted online at this link. This dynamic group provides leadership and guidance in furthering the goals and purposes of SkillsUSA and its alumni. This group of elected volunteers works directly with the national staff and meets regularly to carry out alumni projects. Please contact Heidi Walsh at email@example.com if you have questions or would like more information.
Help 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!
Call for SkillsUSA Talent Reminder
Do you have a talented singer in your school who would enjoy a special performance opportunity? SkillsUSA seeks talented singers for the Opening Ceremony or Awards Ceremony during the 2013 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 special sessions. Singers may sing a capella or to a pre-recorded instrumental track.
Send in all audition videotapes on DVD, postmarked by February 1, 2013 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.