Active Advisor News: May 2019

Update from Tim Lawrence

Tim Lawrence

Hope to See You in Louisville!
I’ve had an amazing time visiting many state leadership and skills conferences and seeing your students in action. It’s always inspiring, and I know the students participate because of your support and inspiration. I hope your chapter year has been exciting and rewarding. As you wind down the school year, I hope many of you are planning to join us at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Ky., next month. If you do, please be sure to attend the Call to Action session for advisors on Wednesday. The SkillsUSA NLSC mobile app will have all the details for this event and others during our national workforce development event. Keep in mind, this is an amazing professional development event with a technical trade show, workshops, career fair and more, so you are welcome to attend even if you do not have students participating this year.

Check Out SkillsUSA’s Accomplishments
To help you see the growth in our organization, SkillsUSA’s annual report is now online. The report includes a narrative on our programs and goals, plus SkillsUSA and workforce statistics for the previous full fiscal year. It also features program highlights. Download it and feel free to share it with your school administrator or industry advisory committee members: www.skillsusa.org/about/annual-report/. 

Scholarship Winners Named
Many SkillsUSA scholarship winners for 2019 have already been announced, and more will be posted soon. To see the list of winners, go to: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/scholarships-financial-aid/.

This is the last Active Advisor newsletter of the year, and we’ll start up again in September. Thanks for all you have done to support SkillsUSA this year.

It’s Here! National Week of Service

As part of SkillsUSA’s annual program of work, we ask all chapters to participate in the SkillsUSA National Week of Service. This commemorates SkilsUSA’s founding on May 8, 1965. Students should plan, promote and conduct a community service project during the week of May 5-11.

This is a great way to start earning community service hours toward next year’s President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA). Visit the PVSA webpage for application requirements: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/awards/presidents-volunteer-service-award/.

Share your photos and activities on social media using the hashtag #SkillsUSAWeekofService. Advisors or chapter officers who email a short description of chapter events and photos to Gayle Silvey at gsilvey@skillsusa.org will receive a SkillsUSA logo gift item valued at $15.

Help build awareness of SkillsUSA in your community by publicizing your Week of Service events. To locate media contacts your area, use the SkillsUSA Advocacy Site. On the webpage click on the Media tab, enter your ZIP code, and choose five media outlets at a time. Click on Compose Your Own Letter and paste in your press release or an invitation. The Advocacy Site is located here: www.cqrcengage.com/skillsusa/?0.

SkillsUSA and Lowe’s Team Up on Generation T Movement

In fall 2018, SkillsUSA joined Generation T (“Gen T”), a national movement that Lowe’s Home Improvement officially launched on April 25. The goal of Generation T is to address the widening trade gap and inspire a new generation to consider skilled trade careers. Committed to rebuilding and changing public perceptions of the skilled trades in America, Generation T seeks to drive enrollment in skilled trades education and build a pipeline of workers to offset the anticipated gap of 3 million jobs by 2028.

Lowe’s chose SkillsUSA to help with this effort because SkillsUSA membership is a critical link to success in the workplace — whether students plan to go to work after high school, earn a technical certificate, attend community college or a four-year university, or enter an apprenticeship program. SkillsUSA is working to attract more students into construction, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and appliance repair programs, focusing on students in these trade areas in five states. SkillsUSA membership specialists are working with schools and hold workshops and special events to help change public perception of the skilled trades, share the critical demand for technical skills, promote the opportunities available in trade careers and highlight the value of career readiness skills. The SkillsUSA states and specialists are:

  • California — Loretta Cabuyadao, an entrepreneur and business owner from Simi Valley who has served SkillsUSA as a board member, alumni coordinator, competition chair and judge. She is a former member, officer and competitor.
  • Georgia — Winston Johnson-Savoy, a youth advocate from Atlanta who worked with the Office for Diversity at Texas A&M University and held a public policy internship in Washington, D.C. He is an experienced facilitator and trainer with a passion to build awareness of career and technical education.
  • Illinois — Leah Rife, a former manager of programs and events for the Boys and Girls Club from Elgin. She is a former SkillsUSA national officer with strong connections to school districts in the northern Chicagoland region.
  • North CarolinaRod Lykins, a seasoned industry manager and math instructor from Lake Waccamaw who served as a career development coordinator for Columbus Career and College Academy for seven years. His experience with SkillsUSA includes work as a certified trainer, advisor and mentor who has prepared many students for state and national competition.
  • Texas — Bart Taylor, an award-winning career and technical education teacher from College Station with 18 years of classroom experience as a teacher, motivational speaker, curriculum and instructional coach, trainer and district SkillsUSA advisor.

For more information on Generation T, visit: www.WeAreGenerationT.com.

Models of Excellence Winners Chosen

Congratulations to the 24 SkillsUSA chapters nationally recognized as 2019 Models of Excellence. The Chapter Excellence Program (CEP) is a national program that recognizes chapters for the exceptional integration and application of personal, workplace and technical skills in SkillsUSA activities.

All 24 SkillsUSA Models of Excellence schools will participate in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Ky., June 22-28. Activities include Models of Excellence finalist interviews and recognition during the awards ceremony in front of 12,000 students, instructors and business partners.

Models of Excellence is the highest level earned in the CEP program, which promotes the intentional learning of personal, workplace and technical skills outlined in the SkillsUSA Framework. Specific characteristics defined within each skill area ensure benchmarks for student achievement and chapter activity. Achievement is measured by effective student efforts to implement essential workplace skills including personal responsibility, integrity, work ethic and organization. The hands-on approach of the program actualizes the SkillsUSA mission of empowering members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.

Schools can earn a Quality Chapter award, a Chapter of Distinction award or the Models of Excellence award. To learn more, go to: www.skillsusa.org/programs/chapter-excellence-program/.

Congratulations to the following schools on achieving the Models of Excellence recognition:

  • Arizona — Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education, Willow Canyon High School
  • California — Norwalk High School
  • Colorado — Durango High School, Thomas Jefferson High School
  • Georgia — Cross Keys High School, Greenbrier High School, Grovetown High School, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
  • Massachusetts — Greater Lowell Technical High School, Lynn Vocational Technical Institute
  • Missouri — New Madrid R-I Tech Skills Center
  • New Jersey — Bergen County Academies, Gloucester County Institute of Technology, Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools – East Brunswick Campus
  • New Mexico — Deming High School
  • North Carolina — Catawba Valley Community College
  • Ohio — Buckeye Hills Career Center, Upper Valley Career Center, Vanguard-Sentinel Career and Technology Centers – Vanguard Campus
  • Oklahoma — Geary High School
  • Tennessee —Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Pulaski
  • Wisconsin — New Berlin West High School
  • Wyoming — Central High School

NTHS Selects Its Final Four

The National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) has announced four recipients of $1,000 scholarships. Each year, two scholarships are awarded to SkillsUSA high school members and two to college/postsecondary members. To be eligible, students must be members of both SkillsUSA and NTHS. This year’s recipients:

  • College/Postsecondary — Kayla Amagliani, Northwest Mississippi Community College, Senatobia, Miss.
  • College/Postsecondary — Jennifer Perez, Southern Regional Technical College, Thomasville, Ga.
  • High School — Lindsey Millerd, Waipahu High School, Hawaii
  • High School — Skylar Pinto, Middle Bucks Institute of Technology, Jamison, Pa.

Become a SkillsUSA Career Essentials Certified Teacher

SkillsUSA will host SkillsUSA Career Essentials certified teacher training at the 2019 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Ky. The training requires full participation in four sessions, which will be offered on both June 26 and June 27. Participants can complete all four sessions in one day or complete the four sessions across two days.

Registered individuals will receive a voucher to access SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Experiences, develop an implementation plan and learn teaching strategies for the program. Individuals completing all four sessions in full will be SkillsUSA Career Essentials certified teachers.

There is no additional charge for this training. Registered teachers are guaranteed a seat in the four required sessions. Walk-in participants will be accepted on a space-available basis and there are 35 seats per session.

Registration for the training closes May 20. For more information, contact Anita Foor at afoor@skillsusa.org. To register, please go to the link and complete the form with your contact information, your session choices and request hotel accommodations, if needed: https://tinyurl.com/y54bo4kd. 

Jobs That Bring Joy: New Issue of SkillsUSA Champions

A new issue of SkillsUSA Champions magazine devoted to SkillsUSA members and their fun and fulfilling careers has been mailed to chapter advisors and professional members.

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

Using a computer or mobile device, students can access the latest digital issue so be sure to share the link with your students: https://read.nxtbook.com/mercury/skillsusa/champions_summer_2019/index.html.

The Summer issue spotlights health students whose careers changed direction. Alumni from coast to coast tell how SkillsUSA opens doors in network broadcasting. Another former member, who had to grow up early, says he’s become a kid again while working at Walt Disney World. There are articles about current and alumni members from Virginia, Michigan, Texas, Minnesota, Indiana, Georgia, Louisiana, California, Maryland, New Jersey, Oklahoma, New York and Oregon. A teacher’s lesson plan is posted alongside the digital edition homepage link.

Magazine Offers Recognition to Our Photographers

Members are encouraged to submit photos showing SkillsUSA students in action for the “Image” page in SkillsUSA Champions. Photography or graphic arts students may already have suitable photos in their portfolios. We are currently seeking a photo for the Fall 2019 issue. Winning photographers receive a $150 prize check for their chapter and the thrill of seeing their work in print. For details, email Tom Hall at thall@skillsusa.org. 

Help Launch the SkillsUSA Hope Fund

The SkillsUSA Hope Fund was established this year to provide emergency scholarships for individual students in crisis to further their trade education, and for chapters affected by natural disasters. The fund is building during 2019, and we anticipate opening scholarships in 2020. We encourage our SkillsUSA staff, state SkillsUSA directors, board and foundation members, teachers and all SkillsUSA stakeholders and supporters to consider making a donation to help the fund launch. To donate, go to: www.skillsusa.org/get-involved/donate/. 

Use SkillsUSA Press Release Templates to Promote Student Success

SkillsUSA provides press release templates for instructors, competitors or parents to tell local news media about recent state conference accomplishments. On the SkillsUSA advocacy site, there is an editable release and media outlets can be searched by zip code. Press releases can be sent electronically and the process is easy. Go to: www.cqrcengage.com/skillsusa/. If you have questions, contact Jane Short at 703-737-0612 or jshort@skillsusa.org. 

Registration Open for NLSC Courtesy Corps

SkillsUSA needs more than 200 National Courtesy Corps (NCC) members for our 2019 national conference. This group supports the contest technical committees and helps set up competition areas, works at the general sessions and other jobs as assigned. This is a great opportunity for students to network with industry partners and experience the national conference.

NCC members receive free conference registration plus housing, local transportation, meals and entertainment. Each member is given several free shirts. All NCC participants are housed at the University of Louisville’s Community Park, about 15 minutes from the Kentucky Exposition Center.

NCC members are responsible for their own transportation to and from Louisville, Ky., and should arrive on Saturday, June 22, by 4 p.m. so they can start to work in the contest areas on Sunday, June 23. Departure is Saturday, June 29.

An advisor must supervise participating students and all members must abide by the Code of Conduct for the National Leadership and Skills Conference. SkillsUSA will provide individual schedules for students and advisors listing work assignments and breaks. There will be an advisors-only session to review student duties and responsibilities. SkillsUSA works to enhance the NCC experience each year and this group is vital to the success of the event.

Dorothy Loges from Missouri is the NCC chair. Questions can be directed to her at: Dorothy.loges@bisonpride.org. To register, go to: https://w3.smartreg.com/webreg/SKILLSUSA19/.

SkillsUSA Scholarship Deadlines Approaching

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

National Officer Candidates Sought

Being a national officer is the ultimate growth, personal development and student leadership experience in SkillsUSA. The overall program focuses on five key essential elements of the SkillsUSA Framework: responsibility, communication, teamwork, leadership and professional development. The skills learned through the national officer program will help students be successful in serving the organization and throughout their lives and careers.

The application deadline for SkillsUSA national officer applications is June 1. Contact Kim Hegedus at khegedus@skillsusa.org or 317-544-8750 with questions. The national officer application and program guide are now available: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/students/national-officer-selection-process/.

WLTI: Where Leaders Become Advocates

Consider attending the Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI), held in the nation’s capital Sept. 21-25. This conference offers advanced training for students and advisors focused on professionalism, communication and leadership. During the conference, participants will demonstrate the use of these key Essential Elements while advocating for SkillsUSA and career and technical education. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to tour Washington, visit the SkillsUSA National Leadership Center and view the changing of the guards along with a wreath ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

WLTI registration opens Aug. 1 and is $450 per participant. For additional information: www.skillsusa.org/events-training/washington-leadership-training-institute/. 

Reminder: Advance CTE Industry Launches Signature Campaign

Like SkillsUSA, Advance CTE advocates on behalf of career and technical education students, and its new “I Support CTE” campaign does exactly that.

The year-long campaign to collect signatures from employers is designed to urge Congress to double the federal investment in CTE programs. They are looking for sign-ons from small businesses to large corporations in every state and industry. Advance CTE is also looking for CTE success stories. To learn how to submit a blog or testimonial, email ISupportCTE@careertech.org.

To sign on or to learn more about the campaign, go to: http://isupportcte.org/?page_id=588.

Scholarships Available for Further Technical Education

Over 1,000 scholarships of up to $2,500 each are available for career and technical education students pursuing college/postsecondary education in their field. The scholarships are funded through the Horatio Alger Endowment.

Scholarships are awarded to students who have faced and overcome obstacles in their lives and who wish to pursue career or technical education at an accredited, nonprofit postsecondary institution in the United States. Funds may be used for tuition, fees, books and supplies.

The application is open online for students enrolling in the fall. For additional information, and to create an account and apply online, visit: https://scholars.horatioalger.org/scholarships/about-our-scholarship-programs/technical/.

Attending National Conference? Some Things to Know

For those attending the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) in Louisville, we wanted to share information before you start summer break. 

SkillsUSA University Workshops for Teachers and Students
SkillsUSA University features free educational seminars for teachers and students and is held during NLSC. Seminars may include legislative updates, occupational and technical career trends, and program overviews. SkillsUSA University sessions will be listed in the SkillsUSA NLSC conference app and on our website. For more information, contact Stephanie Bland at sbland@skillsusa.org or 703-737-0622.

To see a list of sessions, go to: www.skillsusa.org/events-training/national-leadership-and-skills-conference/training-opportunities/skillsusa-university/. 

Register for Activate, Leverage and Engage Training June 22-24
As you plan for NLSC, we encourage you to share our pre-conference leadership opportunities with your students and consider attending as an advisor. SkillsUSA’s Leverage is designed for state officers, Activate is a terrific training program for younger chapter leaders, and Engage is the optimal training for advisors.

Registration is $165 per person. SkillsUSA’s Activate, Leverage and Engage will be held June 22-24 at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC). To download fliers about Leverage, Active and Engage fliers, go to:

Prepare Your Delegates to Vote on New Constitutional Amendments
If you have delegates representing your state at NLSC, be sure they arrive with a strong familiarity with the motions to be discussed at the delegate business meetings. New constitutional amendments will be presented to the high school, middle school and college/postsecondary House of Delegates in June. To see them, go to: http://bit.ly/2019Amendments

To prepare your delegates to vote on the motions, training videos will be posted on the SkillsUSA delegate sessions webpage at: www.skillsusa.org/events-training/national-leadership-and-skills-conference/delegate-sessions/.

If you have questions, contact Kim Hegedus at khegedus@skillsusa.org.

Champions Night: Louisville Bats Game
On Wednesday, June 26, SkillsUSA Champions Night will be held at Louisville Slugger Field. This will be a fun-filled night at the ballpark as the Louisville Bats take on the Toledo Mud Hens. There will be giveaways, and SkillsUSA will be featured throughout the game. Attendees must wear a SkillsUSA logo shirt, appropriate attire and their official conference name badge. Game time is at 7 p.m., and the event will be held rain or shine. Plan to arrive early for free gifts from select inning sponsors.

Each paid conference registration includes an admission ticket to the baseball game. The ticket includes a $5 pre-loaded value for the gift shop or the concession stand, and a free baseball hat. SkillsUSA activities will be held between innings and attendees can win additional free items, including two free NASCAR tickets.

Shuttle bus transportation to the stadium begins at 5:30 p.m. and run until after the game. There is no shuttle from downtown hotels, since the stadium is in within walking distance.

Baseball game tickets will be distributed to state SkillsUSA directors at their registration appointments. A donation of $1 is requested of attendees to support building a Champions Circle Amphitheater at the SkillsUSA National Leadership Center in Leesburg, Va.

SkillsUSA Night Returns to Kentucky Kingdom
On Thursday, June 27, from 6 p.m.-10 p.m., join your SkillsUSA friends at Kentucky Kingdom and enjoy a fun and relaxing night following the SkillsUSA Championships. The park is open only to SkillsUSA attendees.

Kentucky Kingdom tickets for registered conference attendees will be distributed to state SkillsUSA directors at their registration appointments. Additional tickets will be on sale in the Kentucky Exposition Center’s North Wing Lobby for $20. Shuttle buses will run from state hotels through the close of the event. A SkillsUSA logo shirt, appropriate attire and official conference name badge is required for admittance. A $1 donation at admission will support Feed Thy Neighbor, a Louisville program to help the homeless.

Awards Ceremony Passes Only Available in Advance and Online
Extra tickets for the Awards Ceremony on Friday, June 28, may only be purchased in advance and online this year. No passes will be sold on-site at the conference.

You must have a conference name badge or a ticket to enter the Awards Ceremony, and no on-site ticket sales will be available. Online sales begin June 3, but sign up now for a reminder alert. Tickets are $10 each, plus a service fee, and a credit card is required. Buyers can download their admission ticket onto smartphones or print out a paper ticket to show at the entrance to Freedom Hall. The number of Awards Ceremony tickets available is limited due to seating availability at Freedom Hall. Additionally, there are parking fees at the entrance of the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC). Alert your parents and other supporters of this new policy so they buy Awards Ceremony tickets in advance.

To sign up for alerts or buy Awards Ceremony tickets, go to: http://bit.ly/NLSC19Awards.

For information about KEC parking, go to: www.skillsusa.org/events-training/national-leadership-and-skills-conference/registration-and-logistics/parking/.

Plan to Meet the Employers
SkillsUSA will conduct a Meet the Employer career event for students on June 28 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Any SkillsUSA student, regardless of graduation date and curriculum, is encouraged to attend and bring copies of his or her résumé. More than 50 employers will staff booths in the East Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center. At the same time and location, career development seminars will be offered for attendees.

Download a flier about Meet the Employer to share with your students who are coming to NLSC: http://MeettheEmployer.skillsusa.org

NLSC Digital Media Kit, Winner Photos and Press Releases Coming
Want to know what is new at NLSC or find conference statistics? The 2019 digital media kit will be online by June 1. To download it, go to: http://bit.ly/NLSCPress

Onstage and backstage photos of national medalists, with captions, will be posted after NLSC. These photos may be downloaded, printed, published and shared. If published, use “Photo courtesy of SkillsUSA” as the credit. Photos will be posted on or before July 15 here: http://bit.ly/NLSCPhotos

For a list of winners by contest or state, along with contest scores, go to: www.skillsusa.org/competitions/skillsusa-championships/results/.

For individual scores for contestants only, go to: www.skillsusa-register.org/rpts/EventScoreDetails.aspx

Press releases for national medalists and Skill Point Certificate recipients, including lists of medalists by school or state, will be sent to daily and weekly newspapers. We encourage SkillsUSA competitors to contact their local newspapers or TV stations to tell them about their trip to Louisville. Visit the SkillsUSA site for an editable press release and media contacts. Click on “Sample Press Release for National Champions” and follow the instructions provided: http://cqrcengage.com/skillsusa/.

Press releases specific to each specific trade or contest area will be available by June 1. Use these when publicizing your students’ participation as a competitor, delegate or National Courtesy Corps member at the NLSC. Download them at: www.skillsusa.org/events-training/national-leadership-and-skills-conference/press-kit/.

Download the Conference App and PDF of the NLSC Program
In keeping with these digital times, there will no longer be a separate printed conference program for the national conference in Louisville. All attendees should download the official conference mobile app that will be released this June. The app includes the full program, contestant schedules, trade show information and exhibitor lists, information about the opening and awards ceremonies, special events, entertainment, participant tracks, navigation features, attendee bus shuttle schedules, messaging/alert features and search features. The app can be downloaded by searching for “2019 SkillsUSA NLSC,” and we will also provide the QR code in the official Awards and Recognition book and on signs throughout Kentucky Exposition Center.

A condensed version of the NLSC program will be included in the printed Awards and Recognition book, available on site. In addition, there will be a PDF of the full conference program available for download from our SkillsUSA website by June 1.