Active Advisor News
September 2012

Message from Tim:
Welcome Back for a Brand New Year
Upcoming Washington Visits

Tim LawrenceOnce again, thanks to all of you, last year was filled with new records for SkillsUSA. Our membership of 330,703 was the largest in history. That number also includes a record number of alumni. By continuing to work together, we're looking forward to an even bigger and better year in 2012-13.


Free SkillsUSA Membership IncentivesNews image

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 15th to receive these free items.


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.


SkillsUSA Champions magazine
Champions magazineThe Spotlight section of SkillsUSA Champions is the place for chapters to share the news of their local chapter activities. SkillsUSA is putting together an editorial run sheet of our SkillsUSA Champions magazine, so please share your SkillsUSA chapter news and members' success stories!

For the Image page in the back of the magazine, chapters can win $150 if their members' photos are published. And, we are always looking for questions to answer in the "Ask Tim" editorial.

Send any questions or submissions to Tom Hall, director of SkillsUSA's Office of Publications (thall@skillsusa.org).


SkillsUSA Theme
The SkillsUSA competition theme for the 2012-13 year is:

SkillsUSA: Champions at Work
Prepared with the Skills America Needs

The topic to be addressed by contestants in the Chapter Display, Prepared Speech and Promotional Bulletin Board contests is how our slogan, SkillsUSA: Champions at Work, relates to our national program of work in the area of professional development.

Within this topic, contestants might illustrate or discuss any of the following:

  • Based on research from employers, what skills do Americans need?
  • How does SkillsUSA provide the skills needed?
  • How does participation in SkillsUSA provide members an edge in the workforce?
  • How does involvement in SkillsUSA provide a competitive edge to America in the global economy?
  • By participating in SkillsUSA events, how will you be more marketable in the workforce?
  • What do SkillsUSA members need to do to be prepared?
  • What skills have you gained through SkillsUSA that will make you prepared to enter your chosen field?
  • How does SkillsUSA continue to adapt to prepare students with these needed skills?
  • What principles was America founded on and how are those still relevant today?
  • Why do American citizens need to have a variety of skills?
  • How do we establish an attitude of life-long learning through the SkillsUSA programs?

WLTI logoThe Washington Leadership Training Institute begins on September 15. Twenty-seven states and Puerto Rico are registered and their delegations -- along with the SkillsUSA board of directors -- will be going to Capitol Hill on September 18 to talk about the importance of career and technical education as Learning that Works for America.

Also on September 18, SkillsUSA will hold the SkillsUSA Champion of the Year dinner. This year's award recipient is Nicholas Pinchuk, chairman and CEO of Snap-on Incorporated. There will be a National Press Club press conference earlier that day on the strength of the American skilled workforce and the role of career and technical education. The Champion of the Year award is given annually to recognize the leadership of a corporate executive of an organization that has been doing exemplary work in the creation and support of America's highly skilled workforce.


Work Force Ready System Website
WFRS 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. Skill Connect Assessments window of testing is flexible and can be administered any time during the school year under a proctored environment.

Discounts are available for SkillsUSA members. Details on pricing and acceptable forms of payment can be found on the pricing page of the Work Force Ready System website. Included with each low price purchase is one testing per student, a Skill Point certificate for students who make the industry set cut-score, a student grade report, individual student competency report and student progress reports. Customized reporting is also available for a fee.

It is important to view the instructor and administrator resources to help prepare students for testing. Pre and post testing is available with reporting features that include percentage of change calculations.

The ordering process has been simplified to eliminate the requirement for a school to provide us with the proctor at the time of placing the order. The onsite assessment coordinator listed on the order will be responsible for selecting and providing the proctor along with the testing information needed to administer the assessment.

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.


SkillsUSA Store
Here is a note from Steve Korker at the SkillsUSA Store:

The new SkillsUSA Store catalog is out and in addition to showcasing official products, there are some exciting enhancements both in the print catalog and online at: www.skillsusastore.org.

We are pleased to introduce a new line of apparel by Trimark, a leading provider of retail sportswear in North America. It's relatively new to the U.S. market (they lead the market in Canada). Trimark has built its success with quality products, fashion forward designs and high performance fabrics. The SkillsUSA new national student officers and the state association directors gave the new line a thumbs up. We are confident that advisors and students alike will enjoy the comfort, performance and value of our line. The first of our Trimark offerings will appear in the new catalog and we will add new items regularly.

We are also introducing a new line of tech accessories. You'll find USB hubs, earbuds, neoprene cases and more in the new catalog.

We've also introduced bargain gifts thanks to the great advice we received from lots of state directors and advisors around the country. You'll find an ever expanding collection of cost-conscious products to choose from -- now you can easily find quick gifts under $5, and a variety of SkillsUSA branded products that start as low as a quarter for your students and events. The full line will be available online beginning September 15.

And, there's one more exciting update. We recently launched the SkillsUSA Awards Webstore where you can purchase incredible "made to order" plaques and notecards that you can customize yourself. Simply pick your style and enter your text, then select an iconic SkillsUSA image from our gallery, or upload your own photo! This is the ultimate way to recognize a great team, reward a champion, say thank you to someone special, or simply to immortalize a moment in time. See just what you can create today at: http://skillsusa.awardswebstore.com.