Active Advisor News: April 2023
Register for SkillsUSA National Signing Day
On May 4, SkillsUSA National Signing Day will celebrate high school seniors and college/postsecondary students who have chosen to pursue careers as professionals in the skilled trades. Register by April 21 for the following benefits as available:
- Students can apply to receive a $1,000 scholarship (25 to be awarded). The scholarship application closes on April 13.
- First 500 registrants receive Signing Day baseball caps.
- First 250 advisors who register five or more students receive a $50 Lowe’s gift card.
- Registrants will receive Signing Day table runners (while supplies last).
Advisors, the Signing Day Toolkit will help you plan an event, and it is available now on the Signing Day webpage (under the “Links and Downloads” section). Please assign someone to take photos and videos of your Signing Day events and share them with SkillsUSA social media specialist Brooke Gatchell.
Applications Open for New Aerotek Scholarships
SkillsUSA has partnered with Aerotek to create the “Make Your Mark” scholarship, which will deliver multiple $5,000 awards to qualified applicants. SkillsUSA members who meet the following requirements are eligible:
- Must be a current postsecondary student already enrolled in — or a high school senior planning to enroll in — a community college, technical college, certificate program or apprenticeship.
- Must be following one of the following career pathways:
- Arts, A/V and Communications (Telecommunications Cabling only)
- Architecture & Construction
- Information Technology
Note that these scholarships are not for four-year schools. SkillsUSA members in underserved communities are encouraged to apply, and scholarships will be awarded across as many states as possible to create equity in distribution.
Priority selection will be given to students with financial need who are upskilling their current knowledge base. Learn more online and apply by April 30. Scholarships will be awarded on or before May 30. For questions, email Megan Flinn.
SkillsUSA National Week of Service is May 7-13
SkillsUSA is asking all chapters to conduct and promote a community service project during the National Week of Service, May 7-13. This helps commemorate the founding of SkillsUSA on May 8, 1965. For questions, contact Gayle Silvey.
Deadline Extended: Nominate Students for Skills Jam
SkillsUSA has partnered with the Skilled Careers Coalition to produce Skills Jam, a docuseries that follows SkillsUSA students on their journeys to the SkillsUSA Championships at the 2023 National Leadership & Skills Conference in Atlanta. Applicants should be:
- High school students
- Highly skilled students with the anticipation of doing well at state competitions
- Able to discuss their SkillsUSA journey and passion for their craft comfortably on camera
For more information and a full list of the 29 SkillsUSA competitions that apply to this project, visit the Skills Jam page on our website.
Do you know of an excellent student to nominate for the Skills Jam video series? Submit your nomination form by April 14.
Seeking Musical Talent to Perform National Anthem at NLSC
Do you know someone who has a musical gift to share with the SkillsUSA community? We’re looking for individuals who would like to perform the national anthem at the Opening Session of the SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference in June. The chosen performer will be offered complimentary conference registration if their sole purpose of attendance is to perform the national anthem. Applications are due by 5 p.m. ET on Friday, April 28. For questions, contact Joey Baker.
Focus Students on Safety
The CareerSafe National Youth Safety Video Contest challenges students to create a two-minute video demonstrating workplace safety. The winning students will receive a SkillsUSA prize pack and a scholarship of up to $2,500, and the winning school will receive a prize of up to $5,000. For more information and to submit your entry, visit the CareerSafe website.
Data Dive: Understanding “The SkillsUSA Advantage”
Register and join other SkillsUSA partners and supporters on May 10 at 3 p.m. ET for a webinar on “The SkillsUSA Advantage” report and learn how SkillsUSA experiences help create purpose, passion and skill in every student. SkillsUSA Executive Director Chelle Travis and Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Ricardo Romanillos will review data from “The SkillsUSA Advantage” report recently released by the Student Research Foundation and discuss how SkillsUSA members across all groups consistently outperform peers who are not enrolled in career and technical student organizations (CTSOs). A SkillsUSA student leader will also share their personal perspective on how participation in SkillsUSA and work-based experiences have informed the future.
The SkillsUSA Awards Store
Graduation season is just around the corner and the SkillsUSA Store has you covered. Don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate the hard work and achievements of your SkillsUSA members. Shop for SkillsUSA graduation honor cords, tassels and stoles in our dedicated Graduation Regalia category. The store offers many items that are wonderful graduation gifts, too.
College Grants Available from the ECMC Foundation
Takeoff: Institutional Innovations for College Men of Color is a project funded by ECMC Foundation and led by the USC Race and Equity Center. It invites community colleges nationwide to submit proposals for one of 12 funding and support opportunities. Through this partnership, the USC Race and Equity Center will subgrant and provide technical support to colleges leading innovations that advance postsecondary outcomes for men of color. Each participating college will receive $75,000 to fund their existing or aspiring efforts to support men of color over the course of two academic years. Applications close April 10 at 11:59 p.m. PT.
College Gable Grants from Lowe’s
The Lowe’s Foundation has launched Gable Grants: a commitment to preparing the next generation of skilled tradespeople. Through the Gable Grants program, the Lowe’s Foundation will provide $50 million over the next five years to community and technical colleges and community-based nonprofit organizations. Those funds will help prepare 50,000 people for skilled trades careers. This program will provide grantees with funding for two years, helping develop a community of skilled tradespeople. Lowe’s is looking for community and technical colleges working to increase the number of young and diverse people in the workforce, especially from underrepresented and rural communities. Lowe’s is currently accepting unrestricted grant applications from community and technical colleges through April 10.
Apply for the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence
Applications are now open for the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence awards. The prize recognizes outstanding instruction in the skilled trades in U.S. public high schools and the teachers who inspire students to learn skills to prepare for life after graduation. In 2023, Harbor Freight will award more than $1.5 million in cash prizes to 25 skilled trades teachers and their programs. In 2022, the prize recognized 12 SkillsUSA instructors as winners. Applications must be received by May 5. Winners will be announced in October.
NLSC 2023 Courtesy Corps Members
Want to contribute to the 2023 National Leadership & Skills Conference in a big way? SkillsUSA needs 120 or more National Courtesy Corps (NCC) members to support the biggest event on the SkillsUSA calendar. This much-appreciated group supports the competition technical committees and the overall conference experience, and it’s a great way for students to network with industry partners and other members from across the nation. NCC participants receive free NLSC registration plus housing, local transportation, meals and entertainment. For eligibility requirements, visit the National Courtesy Corps web page. For questions, contact Tracy Whitehead. The deadline for nominations is May 16.
Applications Open for Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Travel Scholarships
In partnership with Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, SkillsUSA is proud to announce a travel scholarship opportunity for SkillsUSA high school members in selected trades who are competing in the 2023 SkillsUSA Championships. Eligible members can apply to receive up to $1,500 to assist in attending the 2023 National Leadership & Skills Conference (NLSC). Applications will be accepted through May 22. Recipients will be announced on May 25.
Join the Career Z Challenge
The U.S. Department of Education has launched a new Career Z Challenge. This multi-phase competition is designed to expand high school student access to high quality work-based learning (WBL) to prepare them to contribute to today’s workforce and propel them into careers of the future. The Career Z Challenge supports the Raise the Bar: Unlocking Career Success initiative. Semifinalists and finalists are eligible to receive targeted technical assistance, including professional development support, webinars and training, participation in a community of practice (CoP) as well as a portion of a $2.5 million prize pool. Learn more on the Career Z Challenge website.
Register Now for the “Your Place in Space Challenge”
The U.S. Department of Education has launched a Your Place in Space Challenge. This is the first challenge in CTE Momentum, an annual series to prepare high school students for rewarding careers. The “Your Place in Space Challenge” invites high schools to submit designs for a product or service that will contribute to space missions and exploration. Up to 10 winners will receive at least $5,000 each! Learn more about the challenge on the website.
SkillsUSA National Officer Candidates Sought
Becoming a SkillsUSA national officer is the ultimate personal growth and student leadership experience, and the 2023-24 National Officer Program Guide and application are now available. Before filling out the application, please review the guide, as it has a wealth of information on the certifications and Career Essentials coursework candidates must complete before applying. All national officer applications are due by June 1 at 6 p.m. ET.
Scholarship Opportunities for College/Postsecondary Students
The Horatio Alger Association is offering 500 career and technical education scholarships of up to $2,500 each to students who’ve overcome obstacles and wish to pursue further career and technical education at an accredited, nonprofit college/postsecondary institution. The deadline to apply is June 15. Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis throughout the spring and summer. Visit their website for full information and to apply.
SkillsUSA Champions Feature: The Power of Mentors
Check out our latest article on the SkillsUSA Champions digital hub, featuring former national officer Sheila Vasquez. This story centers around her journey from a culinary arts student to lawyer and her current role as assistant counsel for the Department of Homeland Security in Miami. It highlights the importance of mentors in anyone’s life and career. If you would rather listen than read, the interview was also turned into a SkillsUSA podcast episode that is linked at the bottom of the story page.