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Active Advisor News: January 2021

Active Advisor News: January 2021

Welcome to 2021

We hope everyone enjoyed the holiday break and had a pleasant New Year. We are feeling hopeful as we move into 2021 with optimism about SkillsUSA and career and technical education. We will continue to be agile as the world continues to change. Flexibility and adaptability are among our strengths as an organization! 

State Farm Grant Opportunity for Teachers in California, Florida, Michigan, New York and Texas

State Farm has a new grant opportunity called “State Farm Teacher Assist.” The program will give a total of $500,000 to teachers in California, Florida, Michigan, New York and Texas. Forty teachers in each of these states will receive a $2,500 grant to implement their innovative ideas.

The submission phase opens on Jan. 11 at 4 p.m. local time, and ends on Jan. 15, or when 200 submissions are reached in each of the five states. The winning teachers will be announced by State Farm on Feb. 1.

For more information or to apply, go to: https://newsroom.statefarm.com/state-farm-teacher-assist-homepage/.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Tools for Educators

Some SkillsUSA advisors may be eligible for federal assistance in forgiving their federal student loan debt. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program forgives the remaining balance on your direct loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. Recently, enhancements were made to two tools related to Federal Student Aid (FSA). The PSLF Help Tool and Loan Simulator can help borrowers more easily determine their eligibility for the PSLF Program. Completion of the help tool will take roughly 30 minutes and advisors will need their most recent W2 and their employer’s Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). New enhancements also include a new single PSLF Form combining the employment certification form and the forgiveness application to make the process easier.

Plan Now for 2021 SkillsUSA Week

State SkillsUSA directors, please pass this on to your advisors:

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 on how to request time on a school board meeting agenda with talking points, a guide to celebrating SkillsUSA in your chapter, resources to help you engage local business and industry leaders, and a link to send fill-in releases using the Advocacy Site, 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.  

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

SkillsUSA is once again sponsoring the 2021 National Leadership and Skills Conference T-shirt and pin design challenge! These challenges are open to all dues-paying student members of the organization. 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. 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 for years to come!

The top three finalists from both challenges will be announced on March 7. Student members from across the nation will 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, with the final winners being 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

Chapter Excellence Tools for Successful SkillsUSA Programs

The Chapter Excellence Program (CEP) recognizes achievement as it relates to the integration of the SkillsUSA Framework in chapter Program of Work (PoW) activities.

Every chapter is encouraged to participate in CEP, and there are three award levels to recognize program involvement. The first two levels are acknowledged by a chapter’s state association and the third level is recognized nationally. Each level is designed to give chapters a benchmark for success and future improvement, leading to stronger chapters and more prepared students.

As a chapter’s yearly action plan, the Program of Work is at the heart of student learning and employability skills development. By using the Framework as a guide, chapters have a blueprint for creating relevant activities that encourage participation and foster an understanding of the student learning attained during each activity. The Framework’s focus on intentional learning turns the Program of Work into more than just a planning tool.

Resources, templates, planning tools, teacher guides and more are online at www.skillsusaconnect.org/advisor-chapter-excellence-program. Even better, schedule a one-on-one coaching session with our CEP and PoW coach, Kelli Engelbrecht.  Learn how to integrate the SkillsUSA Framework, articulate your SMART goals and select and evaluate your Essential Elements within your CEP application. Reach out to Kelli to schedule a time to meet (https://calendly.com/skillsusakelli).

For questions or help, call or email the SkillsUSA Customer Care Team: 844-875-4557 or customercare@skillsusa.org.

Looking for High-Quality Career-Readiness Curriculum?

The SkillsUSA Career Essentials suite engages students in defining, implementing and measuring their career-readiness skills along every point in their educational journey. The project-based learning curriculum is housed in an online platform and includes the turnkey resources teachers need to be successful, including professional development. The curriculum generates high levels of student engagement and provides the opportunity for middle-school, high-school, college/postsecondary, or adult learners to earn the industry-recognized Career Essentials credential. Watch this video to hear what instructors are saying about the Career Essentials suite:

To learn more, visit www.careeressentials.org. To view discounted price models, visit www.careeressentials.org/pricing/. To register to attend a Career Essentials overview, click HERE.

SkillsUSA Scholarship Opportunities 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 field.

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

  • The Marsha Daves Memorial Scholarship is open to current SkillsUSA state officers who are high school seniors or non-senior college/postsecondary students. For more information and to apply, go to: skillsusa.org/membership-resources/scholarships-financial-aid/. The deadline for applications is Feb. 1.
  • 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/.

Email Messages Claiming to Sell SkillsUSA Lists

Periodically, people affiliated with SkillsUSA receive emails from various companies trying to sell an attendee list from one of our conferences or from SkillsUSA TECHSPO.

These are not legitimate offers. Rest assured, these companies don’t have a real list from SkillsUSA.

  1. SkillsUSA never sells our attendee lists or email lists.
  2. Offers claiming to sell these lists are fraudulent.
  3. The people who send these messages are not affiliated with SkillsUSA in any way.

If you have received one of these emails, please forward a copy to info@skillsusa.org for our records.

Avoid direct interaction with these solicitors. The best thing you can do is report their messages as spam and delete them.

Proposed SkillsUSA Bylaw Amendments Due Feb. 1

Current SkillsUSA members can submit proposed bylaw amendments for middle-school, high-school and college/postsecondary divisions. Bylaw amendment motions must be submitted by Feb. 1 by 5 p.m. ET.

SkillsUSA’s National Executive Council and board of directors will review all submissions during the March 2021 board meeting. All motions will be distributed to state SkillsUSA directors no later than April 15. Motions will then be presented for vote at the official business meeting of the House of Delegates during the 2021 NLSC.

Bylaw amendments are governed by Article XII of the high school and college/postsecondary bylaws and Article X of the middle school bylaws.

For more information and to view the bylaws, click here. The motion form is located here.

If you have questions, contact Tyler Chaffin at tchaffin@skillsusa.org.

Nominations Open for SkillsUSA Honorary Life Membership and Outstanding Career and Technical Educator

Nominations are open for both the SkillsUSA Honorary Life Membership and the 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 their 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 following links. The deadline is Feb. 15.

If you have questions, contact Laura Rauch at lrauch@skillsusa.org.

Enter the Student Safety Video Contest

Once again, CareerSafe will sponsor the National Youth Safety Video Contest.  Students across the country are challenged to create a two-minute video demonstrating safety in the workplace. All submissions must 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 details visit the CareerSafe website at: www.careersafeonline.com/scholarships/video-contest. 

Cybersecurity Education Award Nominations Sought

The U.S. Department of Education has announced a call for nominations for the Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award. Now in its second year, the award is presented annually to one elementary educator and one secondary educator who instill in their students the skills, knowledge and passion for a cybersecurity career. Any educator whose subject matter includes cybersecurity can apply. Recipients of this honor will receive acknowledgement by the President of the United States and the U.S. Secretary of Education, public recognition and professional development opportunities.

Anyone may nominate an educator, and self-nominations are permitted. The nominations close on Jan. 31. For the rules, terms and conditions and specifics on how to apply, please visit www2.ed.gov/documents/presidential-cybersecurity-education-award.pdf.

Apply for a Student Tuition Grant  

Saf-Gard Safety Shoe Co. is awarding an education grant for skilled trades students who are just starting out in their field. Three students will be chosen to receive a $1,000 grant to go toward trade school tuition. Students who apply will respond to a prompt created by Saf-Gard and then send responses and photos to a designated contact for a weekly blog update. The deadline to apply is Jan. 13. For more information, visit: www.safgard.com/sole-education.

Porsche Technology Apprenticeship Program

Despite record unemployment, 100% of the most recent graduates of the Porsche Technology Apprenticeship Program (PTAP), offered in partnership with Universal Technical Institute, have gone immediately to work.

Top students enrolled in UTI’s Automotive Technology Program across 11 campuses are recruited for PTAP. The PTAP program is offered in a blended format, combining online education with hands-on training in CDC-compliant labs in Atlanta, Ga.; Easton, Pa.; and Eastvale, Calif. Porsche supports the program, allowing students to receive training on the latest vehicles and technologies. Tuition and housing costs are covered by Porsche, and the company arranges local part-time employment for students while they are in the 23-week program. Porsche dealerships nationwide then offer employment to most students upon graduation.

For more information, click here.