Active Advisor News
October 2012

Update from Tim Lawrence
Work Force Ready System Website

Tim LawrenceThe SkillsUSA Washington Leadership Training Institute definitely hit a new registration high with 314 attending representing 27 states and Puerto Rico. It took six buses just to get the group around. We had some great presenters, including top staff from the U.S. Department of Education who talked about the administration's Blueprint for reauthorizing career and technical education (CTE), congressional staff to talk about the outlook for Perkins, and experts on the Common Core State Standards Project and the Common Career Technical Core. And, we had exciting trainers and training for the students. It was a great five days.

The Champion of the Year dinner honoring Nick Pinchuk, Snap-on chairman and CEO was an outstanding event. We had over one hundred students join in the excitement. We also had super support from our own partners on the board and the Youth Development Foundation. There were also letters of congratulations from Assistant Secretary of Education and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor Jane Oates, Senators Herb Kohl, Ron Johnson, Mike Enzi and Mark Warner and from five U.S. Representatives. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker declared September 18 "Nick Pinchuk Day."

As part of the Champion of the Year festivities, there was a press conference at the National Press Club at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, September 18th. Nick Pinchuk spoke on the national imperative to prepare a skilled workforce and the importance of career and technical education and organizations such as SkillsUSA to close the gap.


New Support from Workboots.com
On October 1, WorkBoots.com, a customer service-focused Internet retailer based in Chesterfield, Mo. will give their customers a chance to support SkillsUSA during the checkout process. Donators can choose from a variety of dollar amounts with all proceeds going directly to SkillsUSA.

"As a retailer who caters to the working men and women of America, we want to show our support of the essential skills and contributions they make every day," said Chad Weinman, CEO of WorkBoots.com. "Not only are we helping to support this foundation, but this also gives current workers the opportunity to sponsor the next generation of skilled workers by making a donation to their education."

Here's the link to the work boots superstore: http://workboots.com.


SkillsUSA Advisor WebinarAdvisor image
The 2012-2013 SkillsUSA membership kit is loaded with new resources, best practices and lesson plans to ensure your chapter is prepared for a successful year. Please join us on Thursday, October 18 at 11 a.m. or 3:30 p.m. (EDT) as we discuss the many uses of the information and resources included in the kit. The new registration landing page will be unveiled and the easy to use 1, 2, 3 step system for membership registration.

Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. (EDT)
Webinar URL: https://www.yourcall.com/webecho/GuestLogin.aspx
Meeting Number: 30039980
Participant Passcode: 5787


Lowe's Grant Webinars
Lowe's logoSkillsUSA is pleased to announce a continuing partnership with Lowe's for 2013. As part of their overall grant to SkillsUSA, Lowe's will award grants to local chapters of up to $25,000 each to support classroom improvements, upgrade or provide tangible tools for learning technical skills, support leadership development opportunities, or provide for competition clothing that will give students the opportunity to compete at SkillsUSA events that would otherwise be unattainable. In support of chapters applying for grants, a series of webinars will be held to help chapters through the grant application process. Get the details here: www.skillsusa.org/educators/loweswebinars.shtml. The deadline for applications is November 1, 2012.


New Student Contest for CTE Month
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) has launched a new student contest for CTE Month, the CTE Month Promotional Poster Contest. It is seeking student's best and most creative poster designs promoting CTE Month. The contest is open to all CTE students, secondary and postsecondary, and ACTE will accept submissions until October 19. After that, six finalists will be selected and their entries will be posted on ACTE's Facebook page. Anyone can then vote for his/her favorite for one week. At week's end, whoever receives the most votes in each category will be the winning poster design.

ACTE is hoping to generate more attention for CTE Month. The winning posters can be used by CTE teachers, CTSO advisors and other CTE Month celebrants to promote CTE Month and social media advocacy week February 11-15. Winners from each category will receive a prize pack including a copy of the Adobe CS6 Suite.

Here is the link to the contest rules on ACTE's Webpage.


Free Advisor Membership Incentives Reminder
When advisors register at least 15 student members plus one or more professionals by November 15, 2012, they will receive a free copy of Accelerate - Effective Strategies to Enrich Student Learning (value: $10). This brand new resource from the SkillsUSA Educational Resources Catalog discusses adding relevance and retention to student learning. The book is designed to do just that with a philosophy centered on "learning by doing." With more than 40 teaching strategies that enhance classroom instruction, Accelerate is a compilation of interactive and student-centered activities that apply content in a practical yet effective manner. Activities are organized so you can quickly locate what you need with descriptions, instructions, closure and integration suggestions, and variations to strategy.

Also, instructors who submit a roster with 100 percent membership plus one or more professionals also will receive a SkillsUSA Program of Work calendar (value: $5.95).

Remember, the membership roster must be submitted online by November 15 to receive these free items.

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. We encourage you to take a free 10 question demonstration of each Skill Connect Assessment or purchase a $10 sample test to help decide if the Skill Connect Assessments would be beneficial for your school. The Skill Connect Assessments window of testing is flexible and can be administered any time during the school year under a proctored environment.

Recent system enhancements include:

  • The grade report has been enhanced to include date of testing, pass/fail indicator and pre and post percentage of change.
  • Certificate printing now allows a selection of multiple certificates.
  • A reset username password report is now available to authorized administrators in the school.

Training webinars will be available in November for instructors, assessment coordinators and administrators. Dates and times will be scheduled soon and posted on the Work Force Ready System website at: www.workforcereadysystem.org/webinars.shtml.

Please remember, it is important to view the instructor and administrator resources to help prepare students for testing. To ensure your hardware and software are test ready, review the requirements before testing at: www.workforcereadysystem.org/media/SoftHardReq.pdf.

To purchase Skill Connect Assessments for student testing, go to: www.workforcereadysystem.org/purchase.shtml.

For additional information on the assessments visit the Work Force Ready System website or contact us at 703-737-0633, Ext. 1 or by email to skillconnect@skillsusa.org.


Free Online Teacher Tools
There are 12 online advisor training modules (Advisor Essentials Training Library) designed to be easy-to-use, easy-to-access and to connect advisors to existing resources. All advisors are welcome to use the training modules anytime, anywhere to learn how to develop a strong SkillsUSA chapter. For more information and to view the modules, go to this link.

Also, free and online, are two additional resources: a Chapter Activity Planner and a Personal Leadership Inventory. Both are important documentation tools for teachers.

The Chapter Activity Planner (CAP) is a tool that makes planning and conducting chapter activities fun and effective. The planner makes it easy to brainstorm ideas, set goals, create an action plan, track assigned tasks and evaluate progress. At the end of an activity, the tool produces an electronic report to save for future reference. The CAP will help students master six steps from organizing to reporting an activity. There is also an online learning module for advisors and a lesson plan to introduce members to the planning process and help them begin using the tool. To access this resource and learn more, visit this page.

The Personal Leadership Inventory (PLI) is a series of online self-assessments for students to grow their skills as individuals, team members, citizens and employees. There's also a module for instructors on how to put the PLI into action in the classroom and a lesson plan to introduce members to the personal growth process and the PLI. Go to to this page.


National Youth Safety Video Contest
CareerSafe, Safety Education for America's Future, is sponsoring the 2012-2013 National Youth Safety Video Contest.  Students across the country are challenged to create a video demonstrating safety in the workplace.  The contest will kick off on October 15, 2012 and all submissions should be sent into CareerSafe by March 1, 2013.  The winning students will receive a SkillsUSA Prize Pack as well as a scholarship up to $2,500 and the winning school will receive a prize up to $5,000. To view an online flyer about the contest, go to to this page. For more information on the contest, please visit the CareerSafe website on October 15 at www.careersafeonline.com.


Project Ignition Grants Available to High Schools
Project Ignition (PI), is in the driver's seat again, announcing the availability of $2,000 grants for public high schools to address teen driver safety using service-learning. In its ninth year, PI is a great extension of Celebrate My Drive and another way to get high schools talking about safer teen driving behaviors.

Car crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Young people, in partnership with teachers and communities, can change this staggering fact through Project Ignition - a student-led teen driver safety program funded by State Farm and coordinated by the National Youth Leadership Council.

Project Ignition offers grants to students and their advisors interested in creating impactful awareness campaigns focused on teen driver safety while using service-learning - a teaching method that combines meaningful community service with classroom instruction. Youth-led teams host events, form community-wide partnerships, work on local and state policy, produce public service announcements, and more.

Now through November 15, schools can apply for a grant.

In January 2013, 25 schools will be chosen to receive $2,000 grants to support the implementation of teen driver safety awareness and engagement campaigns. In May 2013, the 10 best campaigns will be selected to receive an additional $7,500 to continue their project in the following school year and participate in the National Service-Learning Conference in 2014 in Washington, D.C.

Additional information and the grant application can be found at: www.sfprojectignition.com. Get connected at: www.facebook.com/projectignition.