Active Advisor News
October 2013

Update from Tim Lawrence
Work Force Ready System Update

Tim LawrenceThe SkillsUSA Washington Leadership Training Institute definitely hit a new registration high with 371 attending representing 29 states and Puerto Rico. It took seven buses just to get the group around. We had some great presenters, including Johan Uvin, the deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) at the U.S. Department of Education and Robin Utz and Sharon Miller also from OVAE. We also had representatives from ACTE, NASDCTEc, NASSP, The College Board and Jobs for the Future talking about advocacy, opportunities and challenges for career and technical education. It was a great five days.

An initial hearing for Perkins legislation reauthorization was held on Friday, September 20 and Eric Gearhart and national officers Chandler Forsythe and Crystal Sandoval attended.

SkillsUSA was featured on the PBS program "American Graduate Day." It aired live nationwide on Saturday, September 28, from noon - 7 p.m. EST. The program spotlighted 20 organizations - including SkillsUSA - that help keep students on the path to graduation and successful futures. I hope you were able to watch, but if not, the show will be archived and we'll send you information on how to access it when we have it.


Perkins Advocacy Alert and Message Reminder
U.S. CapitolSince 2010, Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act funding has been cut by more than $140 million and because of sequestration, Perkins will lose an additional $58 million for the 2013-14 school year. The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a funding bill that restores recent cuts made to Perkins by sequestration and provides funding at the FY 2012 level. As of late August, the House had not released its appropriations bill for education and workforce development programs.

SkillsUSA, in cooperation with the Association for Career and Technical Education, asks that our constituents write to their members of congress to ask them to increase funding for CTE - back to the FY2010 level.

An alert and message has been posted on the SkillsUSA Adovcacy site. To send a letter to your senators and to your representative, go to http://capwiz.com/skillsusa/home/. You can also enter the site by going to www.skillsusa.org, clicking on about us, advocacy and legislative and advocacy site. Enter your zip code and the rest is self-explanatory. Please spread the word, and take a few minutes to write to your members of congress and help CTE regain the Perkins funding it needs.


Free SkillsUSA Advisor Membership Incentives
When advisors register at least 15 student members plus one or more professionals by November 15, 2013, they will receive a free copy of Leveraging Your Leadership with Effective Chapter Meetings, The Teacher's Guide, SkillsUSA's brand-new guide for enhancing classroom instruction.

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 15th to receive these free items.

And, sponsored by the Lowe's Charitable and Education Foundation, advisors will be eligible to win a $50 Lowe's gift card when they submit SkillsUSA membership if they are a professional member of SkillsUSA and have a minimum of 15 members in their training program.

Here is how it works - they register their members online at the SkillsUSA website, and then, each day, the national headquarters will draw the name of one lucky advisor and will notify winning advisors on Friday of each week. Advisor names will continue to stay in the drawing until they win or until the program ends. The program will run from September 16-November 15, 2013.


E-learning Opportunities Reminder
SkillsUSA is offering e-learning opportunities to all advisors. These 45-minute webinars will help prepare you for a great year. You will get practical answers and useful solutions to empower students to lead their chapter to success. Each e-learning session will be presented at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. (EDT) on the scheduled day. To register, go to: www.skillsusa.org/join/elearning.shtml. Participants will also receive a free resource item just for attending an e-learning session.

The session dates follow:

  • Membership recruitment - Tuesday, September 10
  • Landing page and membership registration - Tuesday, September 17
  • Electing chapter officers - Tuesday, September 24
  • Managing successful chapter meetings - Thursday, September 26
  • Program of work development - Tuesday, October 1
  • Integrating SkillsUSA into the classroom environment - Thursday, October 3
  • SkillsUSA programs - Tuesday, October 8
  • Student leadership development - Thursday, October 10
  • Preparing for the SkillsUSA Championships - Tuesday, October 15

2013 SkillsUSA Official Sponsors
The following organizations, through their cash and/or documented in-kind donations, have qualified for SkillsUSA's Official Sponsor status of $25,000 or more in calendar year 2013. Additionally, we award Official Sponsor status to organizations making unrestricted financial donations equaling $15,000 or more.

We encourage SkillsUSA teachers and students to patronize these organizations when the opportunity arises:

  • 3M Company
  • ADESA
  • Aggreko, LLC
  • Air Products
  • Alcoa Foundation
  • AMT - The Association for Manufacturing Technology
  • Architectural Woodwork Institute
  • Autodesk, Inc.
  • Axalta Coating Systems
  • Robert Bosch Tool Corp.
  • Calculated Industries, Inc.
  • CareerSafe, LLC
  • Carhartt, Inc.
  • Caterpillar Inc.
  • Culinary Institute of America
  • Deere & Company
  • Delmar, Cengage Learning
  • Electronic Technicians Association, International
  • FESTO Corporation
  • Gates Corporation
  • Goodheart-Willcox Publisher
  • Haskell Company
  • Hypertherm, Inc.
  • Idealease, Inc.
  • Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc.
  • Interstate Batteries, Inc.
  • International Training Institute for the Sheetmetal and Air Conditioning Industry
  • IRWIN Industrial Tool Co.
  • The Lincoln Electric Company
  • Louisville & Jefferson County Visitors and Convention Commission
  • Lowe's Companies, Inc.
  • mikeroweWORKS Foundation
  • Miller Electric Mfg. Co., Inc.
  • Milwaukee Electric Tool Co.
  • NCCER
  • National Association of the Remodeling Industry
  • National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence
  • PHCC Educational Foundation
  • Snap-on Inc.
  • State Farm Insurance Companies
  • Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
  • Universal Technical Institute

2013 SkillsUSA Championships Contest Projects
The SkillsUSA Championships contest projects from the 2013 have been published and are available for purchase at: www.skillsusa.org/store/contests.html.

Work Force Ready System imageSkillsUSA is pleased to announce a partnership with K2Share as our new platform provider for the Work Force Ready System Skill Connect Assessments. K2Share is the same company that administers the CareerSafe program and the assessment for the 10-hour OSHA safety credential. We are excited about the new reporting and order management features that will be offered to our customers as a result of this change.

Pricing and Ordering
Pricing remains the same at $20 per assessment or $10 per assessment for the number of SkillsUSA members in the previous school year. To receive your SkillsUSA Membership discount, select your school name and state from the drop-down menu in the billing screen when placing your order. The discount will be applied at the end of the ordering process. Please note that payment must be secured before the order can be processed. For details visit our website here.

Place your order and view a complete list of available assessments on our Work Force Ready System website. Pretests for fall testing and our 10 question demonstrations are available now along with some post test assessments. Our complete product line will be available by early November.

Available mid-October

  • Certificates earned during this September and October testing season.
  • Enhanced reporting features that include aggregated reports.
    Historical reports and certificates from previous years.

Customer Support
Direct: 1-866-444-7779
Email: support@skillconnect.org
Help Desk Support Hours: Mon- Fri 8 a.m. -6 p.m. Eastern time

Place your order and view a complete list of available assessments on our Work Force Ready System website.


Educated and Skilled to Lead
America Video Competition Reminder

"Educated and Skilled to Lead America" is VideoSkillsUSA's theme this year and the students' challenge will be to create a video that showcases how members are becoming educated. The video could show what their classroom or lab looks like, what they are learning, and their specific skills and how they show them off. This is their opportunity to tell their story.

Only high school and college/postsecondary students who are current registered members of SkillsUSA can enter and membership will be verified for each entry. The work can be done by an individual, a team or an entire class.

Winning video teams and/or their schools will receive prizes and recognition provided by SkillsUSA. The winning videos will be aired on the SkillsUSA website. The winning school will receive a $300 award. Up to two honorable mention awards of $100 each may also be distributed.

Complete contest details can be found here.


SkillsUSA Store
October is an exciting time and your E Group SkillsUSA Store team has several announcements to warm up your autumn:

  1. New Catalog: Your new SkillsUSA Store catalog should have arrived in your mailbox. This year, we've added three new uniform products, two for culinary arts as well as a new official shell for girls. Your catalog also previews cool new apparel and accessories available online at www.SkillsUSAStore.org.
  2. Free Shipping this Fall: Please take advantage of our exciting fall special. All orders placed online by December 21st, 2013 will ship for free! Enjoy this limited time offer to shop early for competition season or enjoy savings on your classroom or holiday orders. It's our thanks to you for shopping the official store for SkillsUSA!
  3. Student Store Design Contest: The new online store just for students will launch on February 9th for SkillsUSA Week, featuring designs created by students and products they recommend. We're running a design contest for your students with categories for Web, t-shirt, pin/patch and logo designs. Winners will receive iPad Mini tablets and will have their designs featured on the site. To help spread the word, we're doing a soft launch of the ShowYourSkillsUSA.com site this month, where students can download design contest details. Please encourage your students to visit the site and showcase their skills by participating in the design contest today! The contest ends on December 13, 2013.

Questions About Starting or Strengthening a Chapter Reminder
New this year, advisors can call or email the SkillsUSA Membership Hotline when they have questions about starting a SkillsUSA chapter or need assistance with ways to strengthen their existing chapter and engage more members. We have two operators who are ready to help at 800-355-8422 or by email to Debbie Peabody at dpeabody@skillsusa.org or to Marsha Strickland at mstrickland@skillsusa.org.


Call for SkillsUSA Talent
VideoDo you have a talented singer in your state who would enjoy a special performance opportunity? SkillsUSA seeks talented singers for the Opening Ceremony or Awards Ceremony during the 2014 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. We are looking for a SkillsUSA student or professional 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. Audition tapes must be the singing of the national anthem.

Send in all audition videotapes of the national anthem only on CD or DVD, postmarked by February 1, 2014 to: Heidi Walsh, SkillsUSA, 14001 SkillsUSA Way, Leesburg, VA 20176. Questions may be directed to Heidi at 703-737-0615 or hwalsh@skillsusa.org.


2014 Lowe's Grant Reminder
Lowe's logoLowe's continues a fifth year of generosity with another round of SkillsUSA grants in 2014. Two grant opportunities are available.

CareerSafe Grants will be awarded to schools in the form of vouchers that allow students to take an online assessment and earn their OSHA 10-hour Construction or General Industry safety credential. Vouchers will be awarded based on SkillsUSA membership and use of vouchers in previous years. New applications will receive priority over schools applying for consecutive years; however, all are encouraged to apply. The deadline for applications is December 1, 2013. Vouchers will be awarded in January 2014.

The Schools In Need Grant program is to identify schools, classrooms or instructors who have a very basic need to improve the quality of students' educational experience. Grants will be awarded ranging from $2,500 to $25,000. The deadline for application is November 1, 2013.

Grant information and applications are available at http://www.skillsusa.org. For questions, call Carol Lowery, Lowe's Grant Manager at 641-456-4515 or 641-512-0504.