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SkillsUSA's Youth Development Foundation

Summer 2010

Champion of the Year Award
Lunch and Learn Goodwill Tour

News ImageSkillsUSA has chosen John E. McGlade, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Air Products, to be the recipient of the inaugural SkillsUSA CEO Champion of the Year award. The CEO Champion award will be given each year to recognize the leadership of the chief executive of an organization doing exemplary work in the creation and support of America's highly skilled workforce. The award will also recognize CEOs for their corporation's involvement in promoting and supporting career and technical education.

Under McGlade's leadership, Air Products has integrated support for SkillsUSA in a number of ways with employees from around the country serving on technical committees for the SkillsUSA Championships, and on task forces and boards of state and local SkillsUSA chapters in California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Texas. Air Products' employees are active in judging local, state and national student competitions, and with the SkillsUSA Youth Development Foundation. The company provides financial support for SkillsUSA initiatives such as the Professional Development Program, and is helping SkillsUSA build its national network through support of the Alumni & Friends Association. Yet another form of support from Air Products has been a best practice guidebook developed by employees to help the organization better forge business/education partnerships with career and technical schools around the country. Two television stations covered the press conference and you can see a sample of the TV coverage of the event here: www.wfmz.com/news/23141916/detail.html

SkillsUSA issued a press release regarding the award and it can be accessed here.

NLSC: Save the DateNews image

SkillsUSA returns to Kansas City June 20-June 25, 2010 for the 46th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC).

The first conference of this decade opens with a new schedule. For the first time ever, our Opening Session and the official opening of the SkillsUSA Championships are being combined. All the excitement of both events will take place on Wednesday, June 23 at 7 p.m. at Kemper Arena.

More than 15,000 people, including students, teachers and business partners are expected to participate in the week-long event.

The SkillsUSA Championships will be held on Thursday, June 24 in H. Roe Bartle Hall and Municipal Auditorium. More than 5,000 outstanding career and technical education students, all state contest winners, will compete hands-on in 96 different trade, technical and leadership fields.

Questions or comments?
For questions or comments about the contents of this newsletter, reply to Chris Powell, Senior Development Officer, at cpowell@skillsusa.org.

Lowe's logoOn Wednesday, March 31 Kelly Persons of Lowe's hosted a lunch for select Lowe's vendor partners to become more familiar with SkillsUSA and find opportunities to support our students and mission. The event was held at Time Warner Arena, the home of the NBA Charlotte Bobcats, in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. The impressive list of attendees included representatives from: Georgia-Pacific; Werner Ladder; Jimmie Johnson Foundation; Ettain Group; Presbyterian Healthcare; Hitachi Power Tools; Valspar; and, Compass Group.

The group convened in a concourse of the arena. A section of an interior arena wall includes a photographic mural dedicated to the community service activities of Lowe's. Across from the mural, in one of the food galleries, stand pillars wrapped in pictures of the major programs Lowe's supports, and sure enough, there was the column highlighting SkillsUSA.

National officers Stephen Lupton and Zia Green did a wonderful job presenting the mission and current activities of the organization illustrated by their own experiences. They stressed to the executives that the connection with business and industry often begins at the local level. After a question and answer session, Eric Gearhart, Kelly Horton, Chris Powell, Heidi Walsh and I met with the guest companies to explore specific opportunities to get involved. There was a lot of positive feedback and interest in supporting our students and attending state conferences, in addition to some bigger plans to attend NLSC. The event was a success and I believe Lowe's has just created a new best practice for future Goodwill Tours.

On the day before SkillsUSA staff met with corporate staff at the Lowe's headquarters in Mooresville, N.C. to discuss several topics including Lowe's-sponsored events and activities during national conference and some potential PR and marketing opportunities including sports marketing. In that vein, Kobalt Tools held a press conference during the NASCAR race in Phoenix on April 10 to announce tool donations to SkillsUSA chapters. One of the most exciting developments: Lowe's internal communications staff will conduct an outreach to the nearly 250,000 Lowe's employees to find out how many of our alumni exist within the company.

All this came about because of YDF member Kelly Persons has opened doors as an ambassador for SkillsUSA. Thanks to Kelly and the Lowe's team for their dedication and support of our mission.