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Active Advisor News: February 2021

Active Advisor News: February 2021

Plan Now for 2021 SkillsUSA Week

SkillsUSA Week is Feb. 7-13, and you can participate many ways: honor your community supporters, connect with local business and industry professionals, or make a presentation about SkillsUSA at a school board meeting.

We encourage you to celebrate all week by planning activities that follow the daily schedule of events that will be held by local chapters nationwide:

Monday, Feb. 8, Recognition Day. Celebrate and honor members, advisors, administrators, business partners, community leaders and supporters who make a meaningful impact on your CTE program and SkillsUSA chapter.

Tuesday, Feb. 9, Give Back Day. Rally around your school and community by focusing on ways for your chapter to give back.

Wednesday, Feb. 10., Partner Day. Invite local business and industry leaders to connect with chapter members as you highlight the importance of developing the career-readiness skills found in the SkillsUSA Framework.

Thursday, Feb. 11, Advocacy Day. Amplify CTE in your community by conducting a local public relations activity, such as presenting to school board members, administrators or community leaders.

Friday, Feb. 12, SkillsUSA Day. Celebrate SkillsUSA by wearing your favorite SkillsUSA shirt, planning a celebration activity or by posting your Framework story on social media using the hashtag: #SkillsUSAWeek

For a packet of resources including information, go to: www.skillsusa.org/events-training/skillsusa-week.

Visit the SkillsUSA Store at www.skillsusastore.org to order SkillsUSA Week T-shirts and other logo products to support your celebration.

New Ways to Share Your Stories During CTE Month

SkillsUSA Week hits the second week of February, but the entire month is CTE Month. During both SkillsUSA Week and CTE Month, we encourage you to use the editable press releases on the SkillsUSA advocacy site to let your U.S. congressman and senators, state legislators and local media outlets know about SkillsUSA Week and Career and Technical Education Month in February. Personalize the templates that work for you. To use the SkillsUSA advocacy site, go to: www.congressweb.com/susa/#/. There are two postings for SkillsUSA Week: one to write elected officials and another to contact local media within a 50-mile radius. After the release to local media is submitted, follow up with media outlets by calling or visiting. If you have questions, contact Jane Short at jshort@skillsusa.org.

As you conduct activities during SkillsUSA Week and CTE Month, please share your stories and photos with the national headquarters. Your photos may be featured in a Flickr gallery on SkillsUSA’s home page or on the SkillsUSA Champions digital hub. Submit stories and photos here: https://skillsusachampions.org/submit-a-story/.

2021 National Officer Candidate Information

The 2021 SkillsUSA national officer candidate application and national officer program guide are now available on the SkillsUSA website: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/students/national-officer-election-process/. 

This year, national officer candidates can choose to have a SkillsUSA national staff member serve as their SkillsUSA Career Essentials instructor and proctor — at no cost to the candidate, chapter or state associationas — as they progress through the Career Essentials: Experiences Advanced or Adult Learner course. The instructor/proctor will provide feedback on student-submitted project activities, develop an implementation schedule for curriculum completion, assist the student in navigating the learning management system, and be available to provide general course guidance. More details on the implementation plan and application can be found here. The deadline to apply to be a part of this cohort is Feb. 15.

The application deadline for national officer applications is June 1 by 6 p.m. ET. Contact Tyler Chaffin with questions: tchaffin@skillsusa.org.

Nominations Still Needed for Honorary Life Membership and Outstanding Career and Technical Educator

SkillsUSA seeks additional nominations for SkillsUSA Honorary Life Membership and Outstanding Career and Technical Educator awards.

Honorary Life Membership is SkillsUSA’s highest recognition for outstanding service that advances the purposes and goals of the national organization. The Outstanding Career and Technical Educator Award honors individual educators for service and dedication to career and technical education and SkillsUSA.

To nominate someone for Honorary Life Membership or Outstanding Career and Technical Educator, submit applications at the links below. The deadline is Feb. 15. If you have questions, contact Laura Rauch at lrauch@skillsusa.org.

SkillsUSA Members Receive Clifford H. Rees Jr. Scholarship Foundation Awards

The Clifford H. “Ted” Rees Jr. Scholarship Foundation — a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) — announced scholarship awards totaling $83,000 to 44 students. All recipients, including five military veterans, are studying to become technicians in the HVACR and water heating industry. SkillsUSA member winners include the following:

  • Tyler Agee, Virginia Western Community College, Roanoke, Va.
  • Jadin Dasher, Vernon Malone College and Career Academy, Raleigh, N.C.
  • Josh Donaghy, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Conn.
  • Seth Hellings, Charles Bohlen Technical Center, Watertown, N.Y.
  • Thomas, Jones, Frederick Community College, Frederick, Md.
  • Elijah Smart, Texas State Technical College, Waco, Texas
  • Austin Watkins, Tennessee College of Applied Technology, McKenzie, Tenn.

Since the Rees Scholarship Foundation was founded in 2003, it has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to 643 deserving students and instructors. 

Mike Rowe Promotes the Energy Industry

Mike Rowe produced a short video in coordination with our partner, the Distribution Contractors Association (DCA), to promote the abundant and high-paying jobs in the energy industry. The ad is running in episodes of Mike’s new show, “Six Degrees with Mike Rowe.” The show  is currently running on the new Discovery+ streaming channel and will move to the Discovery Channel in the spring. The ad ends with Mike directing people to the DCA website for more information. To view the ad, see below:

Email Addresses Required for Conference Registrations

A valid and unique email address is now required for all participants registering for virtual state and national conferences on SkillsUSA’s Member Information System. The email is critical to ensure that every participant has access to the virtual platform(s) and receives important conference communications. Advisors should plan ahead and work with students now to ensure they each have a personal email address and access to that account. 

Confirm SkillsUSA Membership Before March 1

The SkillsUSA national membership deadline is March 1 each year, but many state deadlines fall earlier. Please confirm membership dues are current for all chapter members to ensure full participation in SkillsUSA programs and activities. Visit www.skillsusa-register.org to register yourself and student members. If you need assistance confirming membership, joining SkillsUSA, or renewing a professional or student membership, please email customercare@skillsusa.org. You can download state dues and deadlines here.

Post Office Delivery Delays and Membership Dues

The SkillsUSA national headquarters is experiencing delays in receiving mail when sent by the USPS. In some states, a student must be a paid member to register as a contestant in state and national competitions. We recommend using an electronic payment method instead of mailing checks during these unpredictable times to ensure payment is received prior to conference registrations. Details of payment options and can be found in the Post Office Delay Advisory. 

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

SkillsUSA is sponsoring the 2021 National Leadership and Skills Conference T-shirt and pin design challenges, open to all dues-paying student members. The winning designs will become the official T-shirt and pin design for the 2021 Virtual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.

This annual challenge has been updated to reflect the virtual delivery model of the 2021 National Leadership and Skills Conference, and contestants are encouraged to embrace this unique aspect of the 2021 NLSC in their artwork. Your challenge is to create an icon that can mark this historic occasion!

The top three finalists from both challenges will be announced on March 7. Student members from across the nation will then have the chance to vote on designs for the official pin and T-shirt design of the 2021 NLSC via SkillsUSA CONNECT during the week of March 15. The winners will be announced on March 22.

Submissions are due by March 1, 11:59 p.m. (ET). To submit your design, go to: Pin Design Challenge Submission and T-Shirt Design Challenge Submission. 

Focus Students on Safety

CareerSafe is sponsoring the annual National Youth Safety Video Contest, challenging students to create a two-minute video demonstrating safety in the workplace. 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. All submissions must be sent to CareerSafe by March 1. For details visit the CareerSafe website at: www.careersafeonline.com/scholarships/video-contest. 

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, a plaque and receive a $500 check for the chapter to use toward expanding next year’s mentoring project. All entries must be submitted by April 1. Winners are announced in May.  

For more information, contact Tyler Chaffin at tchaffin@skillsusa.org or visit: www.skillsusa.org/programs/mentoring-student2student/.

Earn Recognition for Service Through PVSA 

During national conference, SkillsUSA will recognize eligible individuals or chapters with the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA). This presidential honor recognizes the valuable contributions of volunteers across the country who are answering a call to serve others through their current activities or lifetime efforts.

This program allows SkillsUSA advisors, students and registered alumni to earn recognition for their community service and volunteer activities. To qualify, SkillsUSA members, advisors or alumni must submit a record of service hours. With SkillsUSA’s focus on service, many advisors and students have already met the requirements to receive the award.

For details on qualifying hours and requirements, visit: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/awards/presidents-volunteer-service-award/.

Applications must be received by April 1 for recognition at the 2021 NLSC.

SkillsUSA Scholarships Now Open for Applications 

Applications for several scholarships are now open to benefit SkillsUSA students in pursuit of higher education or certification in their chosen fields. Help spread the word about these opportunities:

  • SkillsUSA has teamed up with the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) to promote outstanding student achievement within career and technical education. NTHS will award four $1,000 scholarships; two scholarships will be awarded to high school members, and two scholarships will be awarded to college/postsecondary members. For more information and to apply, go to: skillsusa.org/membership-resources/scholarships-financial-aid/. The deadline for applications is April 2.
  • The Sharon Melton Myers Memorial SkillsUSA Scholarship fund will provide graduating SkillsUSA members the opportunity to continue their education in college or technical school. For more information and to apply, go to: skillsusa.org/membership-resources/scholarships-financial-aid/. The deadline for applications is April 15.

For additional scholarship information, continually check the website at: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/scholarships-financial-aid/. 

Imagine America Foundation Provides Scholarships and CTE Assistance

The Imagine America Foundation (IAF) is a nonprofit organization established in 1982 to provide a scholarship and award program to students interested in attending career colleges. They are committed to promoting the value of specialized career education and helping students get hands-on training. By conducting surveys, recognizing cutting-edge industry developments and sharing information, they nurture a large network of career training programs across the country. Through their partnerships with over 30,000 United States high schools, the Imagine America Foundation has provided over $190 million in scholarships and awards to students.

To learn more about their high school scholarship program for graduating seniors, go to: www.imagine-america.org/students/scholarships-education/highschoolscholarships/. Other helpful resources for students IAF provides include help finding the right school, thriving in your program and preparing for the job market. For more information about IAF’s programs and services, go to: www.imagine-america.org. 

Educational Podcast Helps Students Learn from Others

“Learn from Others” offers free educational podcasts featuring successful professionals from many different lines of work sharing their career experiences. The interviewer asks four questions: “What did you want to be when you grew up?”, “What do you do today?”, “What would you do differently?”, and “What is the typical career path for your position?”. The podcasts are categorized by the National Career Clusters Framework to help students learn more from career journeys that apply to their career path. To listen, go to: http://learnfromothers.org/index.html. 

Registration for ACTE’s Virtual National Policy Seminar

Registration is open for the Association for Career and Technical Education’s National Policy Seminar (NPS). It will be held the week of Feb. 22. Some benefits of attending include:

  • Learning about hot topics in the 117th Congress.
  • Biden Administration official welcome with a preview of educational policy priorities.
  • Outlook and news from Members of Congress working on CTE issues for key committees.
  • Learning best practices in influencing federal policy related to CTE advocacy and messaging.
  • Attending virtual Hill and school visits.
  • Learning from policy and advocacy how-to sessions to help you continue to strengthen support for CTE.
  • Meeting with your Members of Congress and their staff on Capitol Hill to share your CTE success stories and programming needs.
  • Receive updates on legislation and policies impacting CTE and guidance to aid in Perkins V implementation.
  • Attend an all new Innovation Summit on April.

For more information and to see the agenda, go to: www.acteonline.org/nps/.