Active Advisor News: May 2023
A Message from SkillsUSA Executive Director Chelle Travis
As we deliver the last Active Advisor newsletter of the school year, I want to express my deep appreciation to all our advisors for the life-changing work you do on behalf of the students we serve. It can’t be said enough: What you do every day is valued, appreciated and difference-making.
Over the last few months, I’ve had an amazing time visiting state conferences across the country. Seeing our students in action — and the advisors dedicated to their success — is inspiring and energizing, and I hope to see many of you at our National Leadership & Skills Conference (NLSC) in Atlanta, June 19-23. This will be an NLSC to remember, packed with professional development opportunities, our SkillsUSA TECHSPO trade exposition, two general sessions and the SkillsUSA Championships. For full NLSC info, including photos and video from the event, please visit our new microsite.
Again, thank you all for an amazing year and for being such incredible role models for your students and for SkillsUSA, America’s proud champion of the skilled trades.
Executive Director, SkillsUSA
News from a Successful SkillsUSA National Signing Day
On May 4, SkillsUSA celebrated the fourth successful SkillsUSA National Signing Day, working with our chapters nationwide to highlight the value of skilled trades careers. The events recognized career and technical education students for their dedication to career readiness and their commitment to their future career plans in the skilled trades. Thousands of SkillsUSA schools participated to honor their students. See highlights from events nationwide on our website and look for more coverage soon on our social media channels.
Models of Excellence Winners Chosen
Congratulations to the 24 SkillsUSA schools named as “Models of Excellence” for 2023. Models of Excellence — part of SkillsUSA’s Chapter Excellence Program — recognizes the exceptional integration and application of Personal, Workplace and Technical Skills in student-led SkillsUSA chapter activities. This is the highest honor bestowed on chapters by SkillsUSA. See the list of winning schools.
Let Us Know About Your Week of Service Activities
If your chapter conducted a community service project during SkillsUSA’s National Week of Service this week, be sure to connect with SkillsUSA by posting photos of your activities on social media. Chapter advisors or officers can email a description of their chapter events to Gayle Silvey to receive a $15 SkillsUSA logo gift item. Also, be sure to publicize your projects in your community. To locate contact information for your local newspapers, use our SkillsUSA Advocacy Site. On the site, click on “Media,” enter your ZIP code, and choose up to six outlets. Then, click on “Send a Message.” Click on the name of each newspaper in your search results for more detailed contact information. For questions, contact Gayle Silvey.
SkillsUSA University and Academy of Excellence Offerings at NLSC
One of the many highlights of SkillsUSA’s National Leadership & Skills Conference (NLSC) this year will be SkillsUSA University and the Academy of Excellence. Both events will take place June 20-22 at the Georgia World Congress Center. SkillsUSA University will feature 24 free educational seminars on a variety of topics for all registered attendees. This is an opportunity to learn directly from industry expert practitioners and gain field-specific skills which can later be incorporated into classroom instruction. View the SkillsUSA University sessions. The new Academy of Excellence will feature 26 professional development sessions for new and experienced advisors, teachers, administrators and counselors. View the Academy of Excellence sessions.
SkillsUSA Activate Registration Open for Student Leaders
SkillsUSA instructors and advisors can now register for SkillsUSA Activate, a two-and-a-half-day, high-energy leadership conference that is open to all middle school and high school SkillsUSA student leaders ready to take their leadership to the next level. The conference focuses on developing these SkillsUSA Framework skills for use in achieving the SkillsUSA Program of Work: Leadership; Planning, Organizing and Management; and Teamwork. Activate will be held June 17-19 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, just prior to the SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference. The registration deadline is May 16. For questions, contact Taryn Erminio.
Advance Your Teaching Skills Through SkillsUSA Engage
SkillsUSA Engage is a professional development conference for teachers and SkillsUSA advisors who want to elevate their teaching skills to new levels. You’ll enjoy a fast-paced, hands-on learning experience to help your plan for next school year. Former attendee and instructor Sara Plozay of Ohio says, “Engage gives you the student hat to wear,” allowing your lesson plans and chapter activities to be more engaging and intentional than ever. SkillsUSA Engage will be held June 17-19 at the GWCC in Atlanta. Register by May 16. For questions, contact Michelle Martinez.
Got Story-Worthy Champions?
At the national conference, the staff of SkillsUSA Champions digital magazine will be on the lookout for interview subjects. If you know of a SkillsUSA student, advisor, industry representative or alumnus who will be at national conference and whose story is motivating and inspirational, please email SkillsUSA’s director of communications Tom Kercheval. A member of the communications team will reach out to set up a specific time during conference week to meet these individuals. You are also invited to stop by the Media Room in GWCC B-204 anytime on Monday, June 19, through Thursday, June 22, to share story ideas and contacts. We look forward to meeting your champions!
NLSC 2023 Courtesy Corps Members
It’s not too late to attend the 2023 National Leadership & Skills Conference and contribute in a big way! SkillsUSA needs 120 or more National Courtesy Corps (NCC) members to support the biggest event on the SkillsUSA calendar. This much-appreciated group supports the competition technical committees and the overall conference experience, and it’s a great way for students to attend conference, network with industry partners and meet other members from across the nation. NCC participants receive free NLSC registration plus housing, local transportation, meals and entertainment. For eligibility requirements, visit the National Courtesy Corps web page. For questions, contact Tracy Whitehead. The nomination deadline is May 16.
The SkillsUSA Store — New Official Red Jacket
The new official SkillsUSA red jacket was created with our members in mind. Its design is stylish and professional, and the vibrant red is an exact color match to the official SkillsUSA blazer. The lightweight yet durable fabric make this jacket a staple for SkillsUSA events and cooler summer evenings. Get yours before NLSC so you will look sharp and show your SkillsUSA pride.
Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Travel Scholarships Available
In partnership with Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, SkillsUSA has a $1,500 per student travel scholarship opportunity for high school members in selected trades who are competing in the 2023 SkillsUSA Championships. Applications will be accepted through May 22. Recipients will be announced on May 25.
SkillsUSA National Officer Candidates Sought
Becoming a SkillsUSA national officer is the ultimate personal growth and student leadership experience, and the 2023-24 National Officer Program Guide and application are now available. Review the guide before filling out the application as it has a wealth of information on the certifications and Career Essentials coursework candidates must complete before applying. All national officer applications are due by June 1 at 6 p.m. ET.
Career Z Challenge Expands Eligibility and Extends Submission Deadline
The U.S. Department of Education Career Z Challenge is a multi-phase competition is designed to expand high school student access to high quality work-based learning (WBL) while preparing them to contribute to today’s workforce and propelling them into careers of the future. Semifinalists and finalists receive targeted technical assistance, professional development support, webinars and training, participation in a community of practice (CoP) as well as a portion of a $2.5 million prize pool. Learn more on the Career Z Challenge website. The deadline is June 7 at 6 p.m.
Free Coolant, Shipping and Maintenance Workshops Available
Monroe Fluid Technology, an ISO 9001 certified manufacturing facility, is offering free coolant, free shipping and free coolant maintenance workshops to metalworking classrooms in accredited state, community and county colleges. This program allows manufacturing programs to eliminate the costs of metalworking coolants. Check out the program details. For questions, email Monroe Fluid Techology’s director of E-Commerce Fred Kane.
Scholarships for College/Postsecondary Students
The Horatio Alger Association is offering 500 career and technical education scholarships of up to $2,500 each to students who’ve overcome obstacles and wish to pursue further career and technical education at an accredited, nonprofit college/postsecondary institution. The deadline to apply is June 15. Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis throughout the spring and summer. Visit their website for full information and to apply.
WLTI: Save the Date
Save the date for this year’s Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI), which will be held Sept. 23-27. This life-changing experience is open to all SkillsUSA members.
Register Now for the “Your Place in Space Challenge”
The U.S. Department of Education has launched a Your Place in Space Challenge. This is the first challenge in CTE Momentum, an annual series to prepare high school students for rewarding careers. The challenge invites high schools to submit designs for a product or service that will contribute to space missions and exploration. Up to 10 winners will receive at least $5,000 each. Learn more on the website.
Elevating the Skilled Trades: Mason on a Mission
Check out our latest article on the SkillsUSA Champions digital hub, featuring Matt DiBara, a Masonry silver medalist at the 2010 SkillsUSA Championships. The story centers around DiBara’s success as a young mason, business owner and entrepreneur. At only 30, he’s achieved levels of success most would deem remarkable at retirement age. DiBara credits SkillsUSA with sparking that success and talks about how he followed his passion to study the skill he loved.