Active Advisor News: December 2018

Tim LawrenceUpdate from Tim Lawrence

Enjoy the Benefits of Professional Membership
If you are not already a professional member of SkillsUSA, I encourage you to join. Becoming a professional member is one of the best ways to demonstrate to students the importance of joining a professional organization and the opportunities that membership will provide. National dues for professional members are $20 plus state dues, which vary. Professional members receive these benefits:

  • 2018-19 SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards. The official competition guide for the SkillsUSA Championships contains rules for all national competitive events, including an overview, lists of technical skills and knowledge required, clothing requirements, eligibility and equipment lists. Note: The latest SkillsUSA Championships contest updates and the official SkillsUSA Championships scorecards are located online here:
  • Jump into STEM! Curriculum includes middle- and elementary-school STEM career exploration activities that can be taught by high school members. This is a great opportunity to expose students to STEM careers and recruit for your programs as well as SkillsUSA.
  • SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Foundations. This curriculum includes 29 lesson plans that support the SkillsUSA Framework and prepare students for workplace success. Foundations is the first building block in the suite of products offered through the SkillsUSA Career Essentials suite.

These free materials are provided by digital delivery to your email address.

Thanks for #Giving Tuesday — and All Year
Thanks to some true SkillsUSA champions making last-minute gifts, SkillsUSA exceeded our goal for individual giving for #Giving Tuesday and ended at $10,287 raised. With CareerSafe’s matching grant, SkillsUSA raised $20,287 for #Giving Tuesday, which will go to core mission support. A big thank-you to all donors and to our friends at CareerSafe! If you want to donate, go to:

Happy Holidays!
All of us at SkillsUSA hope you have a wonderful holiday season. I want to personally thank you for what you are doing to lift up and inspire students. The work you are doing is critical. With your support, our members will be the next generation to step forward as our skilled workforce to help keep our nation strong. I wish you and yours a safe, healthy and prosperous 2019, and I look forward to working with you in the new year.

That’s all for now. Thanks for all you do for the great students we serve.

Make Your Nomination for Outstanding Educator, Honorary Life Members

If you would like to nominate someone for SkillsUSA’s national Honorary Life Membership or Outstanding Career and Technical Educator awards, please submit your nomination by Feb. 15. Awards are presented in June at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. Online applications are available at:

If you have questions, contact Gayle Silvey at or 404-216-6040.

New Items Added to Brand Center

The SkillsUSA Brand Center at has been updated with new resources for advisors. New and updated templates have been added to the Downloads section that match the current membership kits including local brochures, meeting fliers, administrator fliers, program covers, sample press releases and presentations.

The interactive website allows members to download SkillsUSA logos (national, state and slogan art) or search for a logo they need and download it in the proper format for an individual job (EPS, JPG, PNG). Another function allows local members to create their own personalized SkillsUSA logo with the name of the chapter.

The SkillsUSA Brand Center helps unify SkillsUSA’s visual identity and demonstrates the importance of consistency in how SkillsUSA is communicated and helps members advocate for our brand. Members must register for the site, which enables them to save specific items as favorites when returning. After registering, users will see a column on the left side of the webpage with a menu of options, from identity standards and applications to downloads and the personalized logo generator.

SkillsUSA Scholarship Opportunities Now Open

Applications for several scholarships are now open to benefit SkillsUSA students in pursuit of higher education or certification in their chosen field.

Help spread the word so more SkillsUSA students can take advantage of these opportunities:

Additional scholarships may be announced soon, so check the website for updates: 

Your Amazon Smile Purchases Benefit SkillsUSA

Don’t forget that you can support SkillsUSA when you do your holiday shopping through Amazon. Make your order through AmazonSmile and search for ”SkillsUSA Foundation” as your charity of choice. SkillsUSA will receive a percentage of the sale and you will not incur any additional cost. 

New Year, New Blazers

The new year is just around the corner, and for SkillsUSA that means out with the old and in with the new for 2019. The SkillsUSA Store is introducing a redesigned SkillsUSA blazer, now shipped with two extra buttons and a garment bag at new lower prices. With a price point of $99, bulk discount pricing at $79 and upgraded features, schools can update their closets and outfit students less expensively for competitions and conferences. For details, go to:

Earn Recognition for Service Through Presidential Honors

SkillsUSA is a certifying organization of the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA), allowing advisors, student members and registered alumni to earn recognition for community service activities and time spent volunteering.

This award is a presidential honor that recognizes the valuable contributions of volunteers across the country who are answering a national call to serve others through their current activities or lifetime efforts. As a certifying organization, SkillsUSA can identify eligible recipients, verify their service hours and distribute the award to outstanding volunteers.

With SkillsUSA’s focus on community service, advisors and students may already meet the requirements to receive the award. To qualify, SkillsUSA members, advisors or alumni can submit a record of their service hours.

For details on qualifying hours and requirements for submission, visit: Applications must be received by March 29. 

Gain National Attention for Student Mentoring

SkillsUSA sponsors a national recognition opportunity called the Student2Student mentoring program. Mentoring connects young people to personal growth and development, as well as economic opportunities. When a SkillsUSA chapter mentors an elementary- or middle-school classroom, it helps younger students imagine careers and helps older students practice their skills.

Student2Student recognizes SkillsUSA chapters that are involved in a mentoring program in their communities. To enter, submit your mentoring project plan, description and outcomes. The winning chapter will be recognized at the National Leadership and Skills Conference and in its Awards and Recognition book. In addition, the winner will be invited to present at SkillsUSA University. All entries must be submitted by April 1. Winners are announced in May. You can download the Mentoring Guide:

For more information, contact Gayle Silvey at or visit:

National Leadership and Skills Conference Fee Increase

SkillsUSA’s board of directors approved an increase in the registration fee for the 2019 National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC). The fee increase is due to the higher cost of doing business in many categories related to NLSC.

In 2019, the conference registration fee is $170 per person, which includes an additional $5 to cover admission to Bats Stadium for the Champions Night baseball game. Each ticket includes a $5 voucher for attendees to use at the concessions or in the gift shop. This was approved by the state SkillsUSA directors.

In 2020, the conference registration fee will be $165 per person.

If you have questions about conference registration fees, email Shelly Coates at 

Seeking Talented Singers to Open Conference

SkillsUSA is seeking talented student or adult performers to sing the national anthem at the Opening Ceremony for the 2019 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. Audition videos can be submitted via: and must be the singing of the national anthem.

Auditions must be received by Feb. 4. SkillsUSA does not pay any travel expenses for the selected singer to attend the national conference. Questions may be directed to Heidi Walsh at 703-737-0615 or

Take Up the Challenge! National Conference Pin and T-Shirt Design

Feb. 5 is the deadline for entries to be received (not postmarked) for the SkillsUSA National Conference Pin and T-shirt Design Challenge. This event is open to all paid student members of SkillsUSA. This is a great way to have a student and advisor from your state recognized. Rules are posted on the SkillsUSA website at: Questions may be directed to Heidi Walsh at 703-737-0615 or

Focus Your Students on Safety

CareerSafe sponsors a National Youth Safety Video Contest, in which students across the country are challenged to create a two-minute video demonstrating safety in the workplace. All submissions should be sent to CareerSafe by March 1. 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. For more information, visit the CareerSafe website at: 

Are You an ACTE Member? Vote for the Board of Directors

From Nov. 30 to Dec. 31, members of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) have a chance to elect officers for positions on the ACTE board of directors.

All ACTE individual professional, retired, educational institution members, and national affiliate organizations whose membership dues are current, are eligible to vote. Biographical information and platform statements for the nominees are located here: – toggle-id-2.

The election process will be conducted via electronic ballot only. Ballots have been sent to member email addresses listed in the ACTE database. If you have not received the email, please contact Electronic ballots must be cast by Dec. 31, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET. 

Teacher Guide Helps Students ‘Dream It, Do It’

Over the next decade, 2 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled due to the skills gap. With the help of teachers, we can mitigate this gap and show students the reality of modern manufacturing. The Manufacturing Institute’s “Dream It, Do It” toolkit at provides teachers with activities to expand students’ knowledge and awareness of the manufacturing industry.

Many people are amazed to learn how much is manufactured in the United States and how diverse the careers are in this industry. Today’s manufacturing is about new innovation, making an impact and a chance to design and build the future. Whether students are interested in design, engineering or even the business side of the industry, there is a place for everyone in manufacturing. Not only does the industry offer a wide variety of demanding and fulfilling roles, it also offers high pay and opportunity for career advancement. 

ACTE Awards Showcase CTE Partnerships

Is your program successful in partnering with local business, industry or community groups? Or, is there an industry advocate in your community who’s championed the value of modern, high-quality career and technical education? The Association for Career and Technical Education is now seeking nominations for the following awards until May 1, 2019:

All eligible nominations will be highlighted in a showcase of best practices and success stories.