Active Advisor News: November 2018

Update from Tim Lawrence

Tim LawrenceCTE Wins Big in FY19 Funding Bill
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) reports that during the week of Sept. 24-28, Congress approved a final FY19 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill that will increase funding for the Perkins Basic State Grant by $70 million, bringing the total to nearly $1.263 billion for next school year (2019-20).

Both the House and Senate approved the funding measure with overwhelming bipartisan support, and it was signed into law before the official beginning of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1. This is the first time in many years that the appropriations bill covering education programs has been signed into law before the beginning of the fiscal year without the need for a continuing resolution.

Other highlights for the FY19 funding bill include:

  • ESSA Title IV-A Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants: Increase of $70 million, to $1.17 billion. This program can provide funding to career and technical education (CTE) programs, particularly in the areas of college and career guidance services, education technology and STEM education.
  • Pell Grants: Increases the maximum Pell grant by $100 to $6,195 for the 2018-19 academic year with continued support for year-round Pell.
  • Apprenticeship Opportunities: $160 million, an increase of $15 million.
  • Adult Education: State grant program increase of $25 million.

Help the WorldSkills USA Team!
SkillsUSA has fielded the 2019 WorldSkills USA team, with 23 competitors heading to Kazan, Russia, to compete in 21 skill categories including a demonstration event in Cyber Security. There are 22 experts plus SkillsUSA staff advising and supporting this team, and the 45th biennial event will be held Aug. 22-27, 2019. Our lead sponsor is 3M. Meet the team here:

We are working hard to increase public relations and awareness. Our official WorldSkills USA social media channels have launched, and we want to ensure that we are building followers for the team. Please visit each of the following links and click on “subscribe,” “like” or “follow” so you don’t miss our updates. We especially need SkillsUSA supporters to create a YouTube account, if you don’t already have one, so you can subscribe for video updates. Following the team on social media is an easy way to support our organization and our mission to be known worldwide:

That’s all for now. Thanks for all you do for the great students we serve.

Apply Now for New Grant from SkillsUSA/Harbor Freight Tools for Schools

SkillsUSA has partnered with Harbor Freight Tools for Schools on a new grant opportunity for SkillsUSA high school chapters. Eligible programs can receive up to $5,000 to strengthen their local SkillsUSA chapter. Applications will be accepted through Nov. 15 and grant recipients will be announced Dec. 1.

The grant opportunity is available only to high schools with newer SkillsUSA chapters established after July 1, 2015, in trade areas that align with the following SkillsUSA Championships competitions:

  • Architectural Drafting
  • Cabinetmaking
  • Carpentry
  • Electrical Construction Wiring
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR)
  • Masonry
  • Plumbing
  • Sheet Metal
  • TeamWorks
  • Welding
  • Welding Fabrication
  • Welding Sculpture
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • CNC Milling Technology
  • CNC Technician
  • CNC Turning Technology
  • Industrial Motor Control
  • Major Appliance and Refrigeration Technology
  • Mechatronics
  • Residential Systems Installation and Maintenance
  • Automotive Refinishing Technology
  • Automotive Service Technology
  • Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Collision Repair Technology

To apply, chapters must complete an electronic application and explain how they will use the grant to improve the SkillsUSA program at their school. Applications will be evaluated based on proposed plans, community partnerships and sustainability of program improvements. Schools with 75 percent or more of their enrolled students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunches are encouraged to apply. Grant recipients will be required to complete an evaluation of their implementation during the 2018-19 school year, sign photography/video waivers and provide photos of students and teachers participating in activities funded by the grant.

Grant restrictions: The grant may not be used for the purchase of tools, hardware, electronics or related items or accessories including automotive and motorcycle supplies or accessories, engines and generators, garage and machinery equipment or accessories, lawn and garden equipment, welding equipment or accessories, or material handling equipment and supplies.

To complete the grant application, go to: For more information, email Cathy Arrington at 

Register by Nov. 15 to Receive These Membership Incentives

Four Pillars bookBecoming a professional member of SkillsUSA is one of the best ways to demonstrate to students the opportunities that membership provides. Professional members receive online access to the following as a no-cost member benefit: 2019 SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards, Jump into STEM! curriculum and SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Foundations.

To receive these, instructors must submit membership and provide an email address. Once membership is submitted, an email will be sent with a PIN to access the items electronically.

As a special membership incentive, those who register at least 15 student members plus one or more professionals by Nov. 15 will receive a free educational resource item, The Four Pillars: Your Personal Leadership Journey (value $4.95). Instructors who register with 100-percent membership (all students in their program) plus one or more professionals will also receive a SkillsUSA Program of Work calendar (value: $5.95).

For more details on these incentives, see the membership kits or visit the SkillsUSA website: — or instructors can begin to register themselves and their students at:

Help is Only a Call, Email or Chat Away!

SkillsUSA hotline operators are ready to answer your questions on how to start a new chapter, engage chapter members and strengthen an existing chapter. Operators are on call from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. (Eastern time) Monday, Wednesday and Friday and from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesday and Thursday. Call the hotline toll free: 844-875-4557.

Don’t have time to call? Send the operators an email at or chat with them online at the membership registration site.

Encourage Participation in Chapter Excellence Program

Our Chapter Excellence Program honors SkillsUSA chapters in the areas of personal, workplace and technical skills. It aligns with the SkillsUSA Framework and establishes a baseline for quality chapters, with incentives for top performers.

The program consists of three award levels. Each level is designed to give chapters a benchmark for success and future improvement, leading to stronger chapters and more prepared students. The first level of the program honors chapters for meeting standards as a “Quality Chapter.” The second level recognizes chapters that go beyond the basic requirements with bronze, silver and gold “Chapters of Distinction” awards. The third level will honor the best chapters in the nation with a “Models of Excellence” award at the 2019 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.

In this program, the focus is on the achievement of the students as a result of chapter involvement, not on the number of activities completed or participation in competitions. The emphasis is on student efforts in assuming personal responsibility, integrity, work ethic and organization in chapter activities. The more a chapter applies the SkillsUSA Framework, the greater the chance for CEP honors. For more information on how to participate, see the membership kits or go to:

Showcase Your Program’s Amazing Work

Advance CTE encourages schools to apply for the 2018 Excellence in Action award to showcase the work of their students and instructors at the national level. This award honors innovative and high-impact programs across the 16 career clusters that prepare students for the real world. Applications are open to both high schools and postsecondary institutions. To apply, go to: The deadline for applications is Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. ET. Applications submitted after this deadline will not be considered. If you have questions, email 

 Student Leaders Collaborate to Make Positive Change

The Citizen University Youth Collaboratory is a yearlong program for 24 highly motivated students from around the country who are passionate about making a positive change in their communities and country. The Youth Collaboratory is one component of Citizen University’s Youth Power Project, a multiyear effort supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation to empower and connect a rising generation of civic leaders and doers.

Applicants must be current high-school sophomores or juniors. To learn more and to apply, go to: The application deadline is Nov. 13.

Skilled Trades Students Can Apply to Study in Germany

Open your door to the world while developing your skills! A unique full-ride scholarship allows graduating high school seniors pursuing careers in the skilled trades the opportunity to spend a gap year in Germany living with a host family, participating in a school or training program, and getting hands-on work experience through internships with German companies. No prior German language study is required. The Congress-Bundestag Vocational Youth Exchange is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. For more information, please see the Nacel Open Door website:

Seeking Talented Singers to Open Conference

SkillsUSA is seeking talented student or adult performers to sing the national anthem at the Opening Ceremony for the 2019 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. Audition videos can be submitted via: and must be the singing of the national anthem.

Auditions must be received by Feb. 4. SkillsUSA does not pay any travel expenses for the selected singer to attend the national conference. Questions may be directed to Heidi Walsh at 703-737-0615 or

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

Feb. 5 is the deadline for entries to be received (not postmarked) for the SkillsUSA National Conference Pin and T-shirt Design Challenge. This event is open to all paid student members of SkillsUSA. This is a great way to have a student and advisor from your state recognized. Rules are posted on the SkillsUSA website at: Questions may be directed to Heidi Walsh at 703-737-0615 or 

Mark Your Calendar: Dates of Future National Conferences

Here are dates of the annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference through the year 2021:

  • June 24-28, 2019 (55th)
  • June 22-26, 2020 (56th)
  • June 21-25, 2021 (57th) 

Focus Your Students on Safety

CareerSafe sponsors a National Youth Safety Video Contest, in which students across the country are challenged to create a two-minute video demonstrating safety in the workplace. All submissions should 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 more information, visit the CareerSafe website at: 

ACTE Awards Showcase CTE Partnerships

Is your program successful in partnering with local business, industry or community groups? Or, is there an industry advocate in your community who’s championed the value of modern, high-quality career and technical education? The Association for Career and Technical Education is now seeking nominations for the following awards until May 1, 2019:

All eligible nominations will be highlighted in a showcase of best practices and success stories. 

Video Contest Encourages Students to Use Money Wisely

The American Bankers Association Foundation wants to encourage financial responsibility in students with its “Lights, Camera, Save!” video contest, which calls on students to educate themselves and their peers about using money wisely.

The contest is open to all students age 13-18. The entry period is Oct. 1-Dec. 3. The top three national winners will receive awards of $1,000, $2,500 or $5,000 for the most creative, innovative concepts. Winning videos will be posted on YouTube.

The top-three national winners will receive a scholarship to attend the Jump$tart National Educator Conference. Winners will be announced in March. Visit for additional contest information.