Active Advisor News: Mar. 2020

Active Advisor News: Mar. 2020

President Proposes Increase for CTE in FY21 Budget Request

On Feb. 10, the FY2021 federal budget and appropriations process kicked off with the release of the president’s budget request to Congress. The president’s budget proposal is not binding but is a reflection of the administration’s priorities for the year and can serve to inform congressional negotiations over spending decisions and new policy proposals.

In exciting news for CTE, the budget proposal includes nearly $900 million in additional funding directed to career and technical education (CTE). This is composed of a $680 million increase (53%) for Perkins Basic State Grants, approximately $83 million increase (1112.8%) for Perkins National Programs (with a focus on competitive grants for innovation and modernization of programs), and over $100 million in additional funds that could be generated for Perkins through changes to the H-1B visa program.

A “Dear Colleague” letter is currently circulating in the U.S. House of Representatives, urging the Appropriations Committee to make a robust investment in Perkins Basic State Grants in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. Advocate for CTE funding by asking your Representative to sign the FY21 Perkins Basic State Grant Funding Letter. A letter template is on ACTE’s advocacy site here: www.acteonline.org/advocacy/take-action/#/55. The sign-on deadline is March 9, so contact your representative today.

Celebrating SkillsUSA Week

Feb. 2-8 was SkillsUSA Week and our national officers advocated in Washington, D.C. on behalf of SkillsUSA and CTE.

On Feb. 4 the national officer team, executive director Chelle Travis and staff began the day at the Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, D.C., where SkillsUSA held a thank you legislative breakfast. Invitations went to the six co-chairs of the House and Senate CTE Caucuses or their staff and three offices were represented. Attending were: Rep. Glenn Thompson (Pa.) and his staff member Nick Rockwell; Brian Moulton from the office of Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.); Kerry McKittrick from the office of Rep. Jim Langevin (R.I.); and Sam Morgante, formerly with the offices of Rep. Langevin (R.I.), Rep. Krishnamoorthi (Ill.) and Rep. Lee (Nev.). Also attending were Casey Sacks, Margaret Romer and Richard Pettey from the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education; Mike Matthews from the Association for Career and Technical Education; and three of SkillsUSA’s business partners including Maureen Tholen, 3M; Jerry Ellner, Universal Technical Institute; and Greg Rintala, Snap On.

SkillsUSA Executive Director Chelle Travis and Rep. Glenn Thompson and SkillsUSA interviewed Rep. Thompson. See that video, below:

Rep. Thompson later shared his support of SkillsUSA in a speech to the U.S. House of Representatives that aired on C-SPAN. See the speech, below:

Next was a meeting at the U.S. Department of Labor with John Pallasch, assistant secretary of the Employment and Training Administration and Robin Fernkas, acting deputy administrator. Attending the meeting was Principal Deputy Under Secretary Diane Auer Jones from the U.S. Department of Education. The group talked SkillsUSA programs and events, credentialing through the SkillsUSA Career Essentials suite, and SkillsUSA as a skills gap solution. Here is a video recap:

On Feb. 5, Chelle Travis, national officers Melissa Moreno and Miguel Nunez and staff members Craig Moore, Chris Cronbaugh and SkillsUSA Missouri director Joey Baker visited the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C. Chelle and the national officers gave a presentation to the French Embassy’s Labor, Health and Social Welfare Department, members of the D.C. Lear International Committee Board and select workforce and labor staff from other embassies, including Spain, Sweden and Taiwan.

To see photo highlights of SkillsUSA Week, go to: www.flickr.com/photos/62244799@N08/sets/72157712975858826. 

New Magazine Issue: Tough Calls and Integrity

SkillsUSA advisors recently received the spring print edition of SkillsUSA Champions. Please direct students to the digital edition of the magazine on the SkillsUSA homepage or here.

In addition to the news and motivational content in the print issue, the digital edition includes related videos, direct links to external resources and other dynamic material.

The spring issue focuses on leaders at every level. This one spotlights national officer Melissa Moreno sharing her story of overcoming cyberbullying, a Texas student’s challenging trip to attend a district event and a young California entrepreneur making a buzz with a honey business. Also, teacher Nick Jordan shares how he built a construction trades program to lift up students while following in his father’s footsteps. Throughout the issue, there are stories about members from many states. A teacher’s lesson plan for the issue is posted alongside the homepage link to the digital edition. 

New Podcasts Feature Executive Directors

SkillsUSA has posted two new podcasts, one featuring SkillsUSA executive director Chelle Travis, and a second podcast featuring former executive director Tim Lawrence. These interviews highlight their individual journeys through SkillsUSA and relate their passion for CTE.

The podcasts can be used in the classroom or just for something interesting to listen to when there is free time. Check the new podcasts out here: www.skillsusa.org/publications-news/podcasts/. 

NLSC Anthem Singer, T-Shirt and Pin Design Winners Announced

Singing the national anthem at the opening ceremony of SkillsUSA’s national conference will be Evelyn Morales from Metro Technology Centers in Oklahoma City, Okla. Her advisor is Amanda Eastridge.

The winner of the conference’s T-shirt design challenge is Liberty Harris from Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Ga. Her advisor is Jeff Dykes.

This year’s winner of the conference pin design challenge is Madison Tran from the Academies of Loudoun in Leesburg, Va. Her advisor is Deborah Tripp. 

U.S. Presidential Scholars 2020 Candidates Announced

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program recognizes some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating high-school seniors, including accomplishment in career and technical education. Each year, up to 161 students are named as presidential scholars. The process begins with identifying candidates, who must then submit documentation of their achievements. Finalists will be announced later this spring, and winners will be recognized in Washington, D.C., in June. To view a list of the 2020 candidates, go to: www2.ed.gov/programs/psp/index.html. 

Calling all Demand Side Innovations/Success Stories

Has your CTE program served to fill a need for a local employer or business, possibly through providing student interns or apprentices to the business, or ensuring that the company had a solid pipeline of new talent? We want to capture that story and share how SkillsUSA and CTE are rising to meet the demand of business and industry in solving workforce challenges. We’d like to interview you and your business partners to understand the challenge that the business had; the solution through the industry/education partnership that was applied; and the outcome and benefit of the partnership for the company.

Complete this short information form: https://skillsusa.wufoo.com/forms/demand-side-innovationssuccess-stories/. We will contact for an interview and you will receive $100 in SkillsUSA merchandise and educational resources for your time and the story lead. 

SkillsUSA Clothing and Tools App Update Released

SkillsUSA has updated the “SkillsUSA: Clothing and Tools” app for 2020. For each contest, the latest version of the app includes an overview, clothing requirements and eligibility and safety guidelines, as well as the specific tools, equipment or materials that contestants must provide.

This is a great starter resource that does not replace the SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards but connects users to SkillsUSA’s membership site, where educators can join as professional members to receive the full standards (national competition rules) at no charge.

The app is free and can be used by students, instructors and SkillsUSA business partners.

The app is available now in both the Apple Store: http://apple.co/2dtlb8d and the Google Play Store: http://bit.ly/2e5fRec.

This app was created and sponsored by our valued partners at Pearson Education (www.pearsoned.com). 

SkillsUSA University Presenters Needed

Are you at the top of your game? Are you a leader in your industry? Are you on the verge of great discovery? Are you willing to share the wisdom you have gained with others? If so, SkillsUSA invites you to share your dynamic, innovative and timely presentation with our SkillsUSA students, teachers, business partners and conference attendees at the 2020 SkillsUSA University. All sessions will take place in the West Hall of the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) on June 24, 25 and 26.

Sessions can include best practices from a chapter advisor who would like to present their experience-based wisdom related to local chapter activities, fundraising, community service, SkillsUSA Program of Work success stories, business etiquette or local industry partnerships.

To learn more and to submit your 2020 SkillsUSA University request-for-presentation proposal, go to www.skillsusa.org/events-training/national-leadership-and-skills-conference/training-opportunities/skillsusa-university/Interested presenters should submit their proposals by March 15. 

National Officer Candidates Sought

Do you have amazing students who would love to serve as national ambassadors for SkillsUSA next school year? The national officer program is an incredible opportunity for personal and professional development, travel and more. The 2020 SkillsUSA national officer candidate application and program guide are now available: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/students/national-officer-selection-process/.

National officer candidates must have earned the Career Essentials: Experiences, Fundamental Micro-Credential, or the Advanced or Adult Learner Credential, prior to applying (depending upon their age). The Fundamental course (ages 14-16), Advanced course (ages 17-19) and Adult Learner course (ages 20+) and additional information are available at: www.careeressentials.org/implement/experiences/.

The application deadline for national officer applications is June 1 by 6 p.m. EST. For questions, contact Kim Hegedus at khegedus@skillsusa.org or 317-544-8750. 

Earn Recognition for Service Through Presidential Honors

Once again at national conference, SkillsUSA will recognize individuals or chapters with the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA). This presidential honor is an award 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.

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

For details on qualifying hours and requirements, visit: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/awards/presidents-volunteer-service-award. Applications must be received by March 29 for recognition at the 2020 NLSC. 

Gain National Attention for Student Mentoring

The Student2Student mentoring award recognizes SkillsUSA chapters that are involved in a mentoring program in their communities. When a SkillsUSA chapter mentors an elementary- or middle-school classroom, it helps younger students imagine careers and helps older students practice their skills. 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 the Awards and Recognition book. In addition, the winner will be invited to present your program at SkillsUSA University. All entries must be submitted by April 1. Winners are announced in May. You can download the Mentoring Guide: http://skillsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Mentoring-Guide-rev.2015.pdf.

For more information, contact Gayle Silvey at gsilvey@skillsusa.org or visit: www.skillsusa.org/educators/mentrecog.shtml. 

2020 ‘Spark Something Great’ Grant

Once again, Hypertherm is offering tools and equipment to SkillsUSA schools with metal fabrication programs and identified needs. Applications are reviewed based on the school’s commitment to metal fabrication education, program need, number of students who complete the program each year, instructor plans for system use and a student testimonial. Hypertherm will award 12 schools with the following:

  • A Powermax45® XP air plasma cutting, gouging and marking system, a $2,070 value.
  • Hypertherm’s AWS SENSE approved “Plasma Cutting Technology: Theory and Practice” curriculum kit, a $520 value.
  • An initial visit by a Hypertherm District Manager to set up and train on the equipment and curriculum.

Applications will be reviewed by the Hypertherm team. Submissions are due April 1 and awards will be announced by May 1. For details, go to: www.hypertherm.com/grant. 

SkillsUSA Scholarship Opportunities

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:

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

Registration Open for SkillsUSA National Signing Day on May 8

SkillsUSA National Signing Day is open to all SkillsUSA high school seniors and college/postsecondary members who are pursuing any skilled trades, either going to work in the industry or continuing with further education. Local SkillsUSA chapters can host a SkillsUSA National Signing Day event by inviting business partners, school administrators, teachers, elected officials, SkillsUSA alumni, family and friends to honor students as they sign “letters of intent” for a job offer, apprenticeship or advanced technical training.

Registration is now open and all participating students must register at: www.SkillsUSACONNECT.org.

Advisors should also register for access to the SkillsUSA National Signing Day event planning and prootion toolkits with all the details for a successful event. 

Get the Swag:

  • 3,000 SkillsUSA National Signing Day caps will be given away to the first 100 chapters that register 10 or more students for National Signing Day by April 3.
  • A free SkillsUSA National Signing Day table runner will be shipped to each chapter that registers by April 24.
  • Additional SkillsUSA National Signing Day merchandise and event items are available for purchase at SkillsUSAStore.org.

Additional information will be posted here: www.skillsusa.org/events-training/national-signing-day/ and on www.SkillsUSACONNECT.org. 

If you have questions, contact Kim Hegedus at khegedus@skillsusa.org or 317-544-8750. 

Alumni Association Offers National Recognition

The SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends Association will once again present two awards at the National Leadership and Skills Competition in Louisville, Ky.:

  • The Pioneer of Excellence Award recognizes Alumni and Friends members and/or business and industry partners who have been a “Pioneer of Excellence” for over five yearsfor the alumni association
  • The Outstanding Alumni and Friends Achievement Award is for Alumni and Friends members and/or business and industry partners who have demonstrated a “Commitmentt for Excellence” for up to five yearsfor the alumni association

To apply, go to: www.skillsusa.org/alumni-association-announces-awards-availability/. 

Applications must be received at the SkillsUSA National Leadership Center by April 3: SkillsUSA Alumni Executive Board, Attn: Laura Rauch/Taryn Zeigler, 14001 SkillsUSA Way, Leesburg, VA 20176.

Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Scholarship

SkillsUSA is proud to announce a new Harbor Freight Tools for Schools travel scholarship opportunity for SkillsUSA members in selected trades who are competing in the 2020 SkillsUSA Championships. Eligible members can receive up to $1,500 to assist in attending the National Leadership and Skills Conference. All applications will be evaluated based on the student’s commitment to the values exhibited in the SkillsUSA creed; strong support from student’s SkillsUSA advisor; the student’s commitment to improving his or her community and to supporting his or her fellow students; and demonstration of significant financial need.

Applications will be accepted through May 15 and recipients will be announced June 1.

Refer to the scholarship application for a list of contests and full details: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/scholarships-financial-aid/harbor-freight-tools-for-schools/. 

Calling Young Social Entrepreneurs for International Opportunity

WorldSkills has announced a call for applications for BeChangeMaker 2020, a social entrepreneurship training program that has taken 200 young entrepreneurs on a journey to gain new skills and develop business solutions as they tackle challenges reflected by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Students ages 18 to 35 years old can apply. They seek young social entrepreneurs who understand the social challenges we face today, and who are highly motivated and have the courage to learn, fail and then thrive on their way to becoming social entrepreneurs.

WorldSkills has prepared a marketing and communications toolkit about the program with fliers, photos and videos to promote this opportunity. Applications will be accepted through May 15. A total of 30 teams will be chosen to participate in three months of virtual coaching, training and online pitch competitions to select the top five teams that will present during WorldSkills General Assembly 2020 in Dublin. The winning teams will receive cash awards plus additional customized post-program coaching. 

If you have questions, contact Grace Lung at grace.lung@worldskills.org or via Skype at gracelung1983. 

Elevated Washington Leadership Training Institute Experience

SkillsUSA’s newly revamped Washington Leadership Training Institutes are ready to offer students an elevated leadership experience. As previously announced, this year’s WLTI will feature two distinct conferences focused on the needs of each student leader group.

  • State Officers and College/Postsecondary Leaders
    Saturday, Sept. 19 to Tuesday, Sept. 22 (Travel home on Wednesday, Sept. 23)
  • Local and District Leaders (Secondary)
    Wednesday, Sept. 23 to Saturday, Sept. 26 (Travel home on Sunday, Sept. 27)

Registration Fee: $475 per person.

Hotel: $161 per night plus tax.

Additional details and conference agendas will be available in early June.

ACTE’s Student Trophy Design Contest

ACTE has announced their annual student contest to design the trophies for the ACTE Excellence Awards. The winning trophy design will be 3D-printed by Stratasys and presented to 10 national award winners at the 2020 ACTE Awards Banquet.  The first-place designers will receive:

  • $1,000 scholarship prize for the winning team
  • A free one-year lease of a 3D printer and materials for the winner’s school, courtesy of Stratasys
  • Paid travel trip to Anaheim, Calif. for the winner and teacher to be recognized at the 2020 ACTE Awards Banquet in front of more than 400 attendees
  • A 3D-printed copy of their trophy, courtesy of Stratasys
  • One year free ACTE membership for the students and their teacher
  • Recognition on ACTE’s promotional channels and Techniques magazine

The deadline is May 1. More information can be found at: www.acteonline.org/professional-development/acte-awards/student-trophy-design-contest/. 

Resources for Females in STEM

American University in Washington, D.C. has released resources for girls, young women, teachers and educators who are looking to share information that encourages girls to explore STEM subjects and career paths. Helping Girls Succeed in STEM is an in-depth resource guide. This guide provides detailed insights and resources on the following topics:

  • Statistics about girls in STEM
  • Resource guide for educators to motivate girls interested in STEM
  • Awareness of gender gap statistics for girls in STEM
  • Tips and advice for parents to motivate their girls involved in STEM
  • Importance of STEM for girls
  • Advice on preparing girls for STEM-related jobs

Check out all the online resources here: https://soeonline.american.edu/blog/girls-in-stem. 

Free Career Exploration for Students and Schools

“Cue Career” aggregates the resources of industry associations for career exploration and workforce development and is a free resource. Teachers and students can explore careers, watch video interviews with professionals and access information on scholarships, internships, apprenticeships, mentorships and credentials offered by associations.

Cue Career also periodically provides livestreams including panels of industry experts into classrooms and students can ask questions live. To view the Cue Career website, go to: www.cuecareer.com. 

Educational Podcast Helps Students Learn from Others

“Learn from Others” is a site that offers free educational podcasts where successful professionals from many different lines of work share their career experiences. The podcasts feature answers to 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.