Active Advisor News: May 2020

Active Advisor News: May 2020

SkillsUSA Membership Sets Records

SkillsUSA had another record-breaking membership year! As of April 15, our total combined paid professional and student membership is 372,655. That’s an increase of 6,128 members compared to last year’s total of 366,527 (not including alumni or honorary life members).

This year’s total membership, including alumni and honorary life members, is 434,141, showing an overall increase of 6,709 when compared to last year’s overall membership of 427,432. This is the 17th year of membership growth for the organization, and advisors are the heart of SkillsUSA.

New Champions Digital Hub Launches

SkillsUSA has launched a new SkillsUSA Champions digital hub at: www.skillsusachampions.org! SkillsUSA created this new digital version of SkillsUSA Champions in response to member requests for more content more often, and that’s exactly what this site will provide. Look for more inspiring features, more relevant and timely news items and a user-friendly design that lets you easily share anything you deem share-worthy.

There’s also a “Submit a Story” link at the top of every page, so if you have a story idea you think is worth sharing, advisors and students can easily submit stories and photos for SkillsUSA’s communications staff to review. Rather than looking at the site as a traditional “issue” of the magazine, look at it as an ever-expanding resource of inspirational, real-world examples of the SkillsUSA mission in action. The hope is that when someone asks you what impact SkillsUSA can have on a life, you can point them to the new site and just say, “Pick a story. Any story.”

As for the print edition of the magazine, SkillsUSA Champions will now be published in print format twice per school year: once in the fall and once in the spring. The fall printed issue will debut design changes to the magazine’s look and layout and will be delivered to professional members in October.

Hats Off to SkillsUSA Grads!

Join SkillsUSA graduates, their families and their supporters as we celebrate “SkillsUSA Grad Night 2020” on Wednesday, May 27 at 7 p.m. EDT. The 30-minute virtual event will stream live on Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms. Hosted by four of our talented national officers, it will feature music, messages of inspiration, remarks from SkillsUSA Executive Director Chelle Travis, a keynote address from Snap-on Inc. CEO Nick Pinchuk and more. Immediately following the event will be the “SkillsUSA Grad Night 2020 After-Party,” streaming live on SkillsUSA’s Instagram channel. Also hosted by SkillsUSA national officers, this informal event will allow our members to communicate and commiserate with each other. It will also feature the debut of SkillsUSA’s new set of Instagram stickers along with giveaways from the SkillsUSA Store. Watch for details and links soon on all SkillsUSA social media channels.

NLSC 2020 Virtual Recognition Session

Join us virtually on June 26, 2020, for the National Leadership and Skills Conference Virtual Recognition Session. This year’s session will give us an opportunity to be apart “together” while we recognize key supporters and leaders in SkillsUSA. We will host separate 30-minute segments at 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. EDT, during which we will recognize our Pin and T-shirt Design Challenge Winners and present awards for Advisor of the Year, Outstanding Educator, President’s Volunteer Service Award, Student2Student, Alumni, Honorary Life, and Chapters of Excellence. We will also meet some of our sponsors and hear a retiring address from Jarod Harris, SkillsUSA’s national high school parliamentarian. Finally, we will announce the 2020-21 SkillsUSA national officer team. Look for a schedule and more information soon about how to participate and watch.

SkillsUSA Shoutouts Wanted

For the events to celebrate our 2020 graduates to be held in May and June, SkillsUSA is seeking short video submissions to potentially incorporate into one or more of these events (or to simply share online) from our state SkillsUSA directors, state officer teams, national board of directors, and any members, teachers, parents or industry partners who would like to participate. These messages can be funny, serious or motivational, and they should be no longer than 10-15 seconds. A few sample messages for the shoutouts are listed below to get your creative wheels turning:

  • “Congratulations to our 2019-20 State Officer Team!”
  • “Congratulations to all of my graduating SkillsUSA students!”
  • “I want to wish all graduates of any SkillsUSA program in 2020 the best success. You have earned your honors and we all support you and celebrate with you”
  • “Congrats to all of the local, regional and state SkillsUSA champions named this year. Keep striving!”
  • “I want to send a message to all SkillsUSA members that the second half of this school year hasn’t been easy, it hasn’t been normal, it hasn’t been fun. . . . but you have adapted, you stayed motivated and, ultimately, you have succeeded. Let’s remember what we each learned from this time and hold onto the new connections we have made.”

To submit your videos, please use this online form: https://skillsusa.wufoo.com/forms/skillsusa-grad-night-video-shout-outs/. Please submit videos by May 15.

If you have any questions, please contact Hayley Uffelman at  huffelman@skillsusa.org.

New SkillsUSA Frames for Social Media

  • Frames to Highlight our Graduates
    In order to give our graduating SkillsUSA members an opportunity to be recognized, SkillsUSA has created a few editable frames to use on Facebook. Let’s make graduating special for our members!To add a frame to your page’s profile picture:
    • Go to facebook.com/profilepicframes.
    • Click your profile picture in the bottom left and select your page.
    • Search for a frame by entering the frame’s name, the creator’s name(SkillsUSA) or related words (graduation).
    • Choose the frame you want to use from the results.
    • Click “Use as Profile Picture”.If you have questions, contact Hayley Uffelman at huffelman@skillsusa.org. 
  • Frames to Highlight Chapter Excellence Program Winners
    To give our Chapter Excellence Program winners a new opportunity to be recognized, SkillsUSA has created editable photo frames for use on social media. These frames can also be combined with your own photo to create a beautiful keepsake or plaque for the chapter. State SkillsUSA Directors can share the appropriate frame for your chapter’s earned recognition or you can contact social media specialist Hayley Uffelman to request the frame that aligns with your Chapter Excellence recognition at huffelman@skillsusa.org.

National Officer Candidate Deadline is June 1

Do you have amazing students who would love to be national ambassadors for SkillsUSA next school year? Serving as a national officer is an incredible opportunity for personal and professional development, travel and more. The 2020 SkillsUSA national officer candidate application and national officer program guide are available here: 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 deadline for national officer applications is June 1 by 6 p.m. EDT. For questions, contact Kim Hegedus at khegedus@skillsusa.org or 317-544-8750.

Gifts for Graduates from the SkillsUSA Store

Commemorate the year and honor the hard work of your graduating seniors with a special gift from the SkillsUSA Store. The Class of 2020 has overcome difficult hurdles this year, and though they will miss out on some traditional forms of recognition, they deserve to be recognized and honored for their achievements. Make them feel like the champions they are with a thoughtful gift to celebrate their time with SkillsUSA. Explore this specially curated collection of store favorites for some memorable ideas. See the collection here: https://tinyurl.com/ya7of8q3.

Congratulations, Scholarship Winners

Scholarship opportunities are an important benefit of SkillsUSA membership and we are pleased to announce the winners.

Marsha Daves Memorial Scholarship
The 2020 winner of the Marsha Daves Memorial Scholarship is Bailey Baker of Lincoln County High School in Hamlin, W.Va. This annual merit-based $1,500 scholarship goes to a state officer toward college/postsecondary education in memory of the legacy left by former state SkillsUSA director and national staff member Marsha Daves. The scholarship recognizes how SkillsUSA student leaders are empowered by the skills they gain through their membership in SkillsUSA.

NTHS Scholarships
The National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) awards four $1,000 scholarships to SkillsUSA members each year, two for high school members and two for college/postsecondary members. The 2020 winners of the NTHS scholarships are:


    • Foster Lester, Atlanta Technical College, Ga.
    • Kevin Romo, Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Reno Campus, Okla.

High School: 

    • Brandon Kee, Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School, Mass.
    • Melanie Sola, Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, Mass.

Sharon Melton Myers Memorial Scholarship
The 2020 winners of the Sharon Melton Myers Memorial Scholarship are:  

MacKenna Eccles, Porter High School, Texas and Emily Leverance, Oshkosh North High School, Wis. This annual $500 scholarship is made possible through a donation from the Sharon Melton Myers Memorial Fund, SkillsUSA, and the McMinn County Vocational Center SkillsUSA Alumni Association.

Help Your Students Apply for SkillsUSA Scholarships

There is still time for your students to apply for the following scholarship opportunities. Students must be active, dues-paid SkillsUSA members to be eligible for any scholarship provided by SkillsUSA or its partners. Some scholarships are based on merit while others are for financial need. Current opportunities include:

    • Rees Scholarship Foundation
      The Clifford H. “Ted” Rees, Jr. Scholarship Foundation, an Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute Charitable Foundation, in partnership with SkillsUSA, is offering eight one-time, merit-based $2,500 scholarships to SkillsUSA students who are currently enrolled in a HVACR or a general construction program and who will be pursuing college/postsecondary career training in the HVACR industry. The scholarship will provide tuition support in the 2021-22 school year. Applications must be submitted by May 15. Recipients will be informed on June 1. To apply, go to: https://skillsusa.wufoo.com/forms/clifford-h-ted-rees-jr-scholarship-foundation/.
    • #KeepCraftAlive Scholarship
      Fine Homebuilding will award a minimum of twelve $2,500 scholarships to students in fields such as architectural drafting, carpentry, cabinetmaking, electrical and residential wiring, HVACR, masonry, woodworking and plumbing. Selections will be based on completion of an application, along with a 300-word essay showing applicants’ passion for their craft and a letter of support from a teacher, administrator, SkillsUSA advisor or educational/professional mentor.Application deadline has been extended to Friday, May 29 at midnight EDT. To apply, go to: https://skillsusa.wufoo.com/forms/mo8vxup0ox6snb/

Teacher Award Program Deadlines Approaching

  • Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence
    Are you a passionate SkillsUSA instructor? The 2020 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence is accepting applications until May 13. In 2019, the prize recognized 12 SkillsUSA instructors as winners and many received cash prizes. During this challenging time for educators, the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools team hopes to spotlight hardworking and passionate skilled trades teachers. Learn more and apply at hftforschoolsprize.org.
  • 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. With SkillsUSA’s focus on community service, many advisors and students have already met the requirements to receive the award. To qualify, SkillsUSA members, advisors or alumni must submit a record of service hours. Applications must be received by May 15. 

    For qualifying hours and requirements, visit: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/awards/presidents-volunteer-service-award. For questions, contact Tyler Chaffin at tchaffin@skillsusa.org. 

  • Showcase Your Mentoring Program
    Student2Student recognizes SkillsUSA chapters that carry out a mentoring program in their communities. To enter, submit your mentoring project plan, description and outcomes. All entries must be submitted by May 15. To download a mentoring guide, see last year’s winning project or complete your application, visit: www.skillsusa.org/programs/mentoring-student2student/. For questions, contact Tyler Chaffin at tchaffin@skillsusa.org.

Complimentary Access to SkillsUSA Career Essentials Available

The current pandemic has forced local administrators and teachers to quickly move their courses to virtual/online environments. Thanks to several SkillsUSA partners, SkillsUSA is now providing free access to the SkillsUSA Career Essentials suite. Over 48,000 bundles will be provided by SkillsUSA thanks to these partners who are supporting online learning.

SkillsUSA Career Essentials is an online career-readiness resource for students built to engage learners in defining, implementing and measuring their personal skills, workplace skills and technical skills grounded in academics. The curricula is for middle school, high school, college/postsecondary or adult learners and each curriculum bundle is valued at $25 to $65.

SkillsUSA partners who joined in the effort to date include CHANNELLOCK, Distribution Contractors Association (DCA), Ferguson Enterprises Inc., Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, Lowe’s Companies, Pella Corporation and Volvo Construction Equipment.

To sign up to receive the complimentary curriculum, go to: www.skillsusa.org/complimentary-access-skillsusa-career-essentials/. For questions, please contact careeressentials@skillsusa.org. To participate in a one-hour overview of the SkillsUSA Career Essentials suite resources, sign up using the online registration form.

If you would like to become a Career Essentials certified teacher, please register for this four-hour professional development here.

Alumni Launch New Growth Plans

SkillsUSA staff, the SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends association and the SkillsUSA Alumni Task Force have announced new plans to build greater alumni engagement at the local level. A new strategic plan was developed by the task force and approved by the SkillsUSA board of directors in December.

The complete revamp of the alumni organization positions alumni to best serve all former members by simplifying the connection of alumni to local chapters. Moving forward, SkillsUSA will build a new structure for local chapters, increase state and national engagement through the development of test pilot chapters, create resources to engage local alumni, develop tool kits to assist alumni in supporting local competitions and develop resources to help alumni foster more workplace learning experiences.

Watch for new programs and future leadership opportunities in which alumni can take part in this exciting new direction.

“Keep CTE Moving” Helps Students Continue Learning

SkillsUSA has joined with Lincoln Electric, Tooling U-SME, Haas Automation, NC3, camInstructor, NCCER, The American Welding Society, Autodesk, Caterpillar Inc. and Sandvik to form a new career and technical education (CTE) instructional resource called the CTE Coalition. The goal of the coalition is to leverage shared experiences, connections and resources for the benefit of all CTE students who are facing unprecedented educational challenges this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The coalition quickly mobilized Keep CTE Moving, a website providing free resources for CTE instructors and students.

Keep CTE Moving allows instructors and students access to hundreds of online classes, videos, and instructional materials in machining, welding, mechatronics, industry 4.0, and programming. These resources will help CTE faculty and students adapt teaching and learning to a virtual environment with the flexibility to learn now and test hands-on skills later. Coalition partners are also providing recorded sessions highlighting best practices in virtual learning.

Visit Keep CTE Moving regularly for new partners, more learning resources and guidance. For more information, go to www.ctecoalition.com.

ACTE Offers Support for Online Instruction

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) has announced that their online portal CTE Learn, along with their partner at MaxKnowledge,  is offering free courses through May 31. CTE Learn courses are self-paced and take approximately 4 hours to complete. Topics include:

  • EL102 Online Teaching Techniques
  • EL103 Teaching Online: A Student-Centered Approach
  • EL104 Teaching and Organizing a Virtual Learning Environment
  • EL105 Online Language: Communicating with Students
  • EL108 Preparing Students to Become Good Online Learners
  • EL112 Workload Management Strategies for Teaching Online

Register or login on the CTE Learn site and enter the key “MK-ACTE” to enroll.

Other free distance learning resources are available from ACTE too.

Miller Electric Offers Free Access to Welding Training

Miller Electric—a longtime partner of SkillsUSA—wants to make sure our welding instructors and students know about OpenBook, their powerful free tool designed to help instructors move their welding training online.

OpenBook is an online learning management system (LMB) consisting of a variety of e-learning modules that help instructors assign and deliver welding content, create quizzes, download welding labs, monitor student participation and access student progress and performance. Module topics include Basic Electricity, Introduction to Welding, Introduction to Metals, Cutting Processes, SMAW, GTAW and GMAW. Miller intends to continue offering OpenBook for free to schools for the foreseeable future, even after this pandemic ends.

To learn more about OpenBook and how to register for free resources, go to: www.millerwelds.com/resources/article-library/new-learning-management-system-designed-for-welding-instructors.

To view Miller’s training support materials, including presentations and quizzes, go to: www.millerwelds.com/industries/welding-education-and-training.