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Active Advisor News: November 2020

Active Advisor News: November 2020

Have you CONNECTed Yet?

SkillsUSA CONNECT is our new virtual community that is helping to further our unique national partnership of students, teachers and industry. SkillsUSA CONNECT offers:

  • Empowering experiences for students and instructors.
  • Student and teacher discussion forums.
  • Advisor training and resources.
  • Discussions with industry experts.
  • Individual collaboration groups for states and chapters.
  • A SkillsUSA Framework Essential Element assessment tool.
  • Engagement and recognition opportunities.

To join the community, login at register.skillsusa.org and click the SkillsUSA CONNECT logo for registration instructions, or visit: www.skillsusa-register.org/Documentation/SkillsUSAConnectRegistrationGuide.pdf.  

Register by Nov. 15 to Make the Most of Member Benefits

Joining SkillsUSA as a professional member is one of the best ways to demonstrate to students the opportunities that membership provides. Registered professional members receive online access to:

  • The Framework Integration Toolkit, with 45 separate teacher resources.
  • Program of Work Toolkit for in-person or virtual chapter activities.
  • SkillsUSA Championships Toolkit, including the 2021 SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards (featuring editions for both in-person and virtual competitions) and the new series of Hosting a Local Career Competition
  • Jump into STEM! Toolkit, plus virtual lesson plans.

Instructors who register 15 or more students plus one or more professionals by Nov. 15 receive a free copy of “JumpStart 2.0,” a book of mixers and icebreakers designed to actively engage students. To join and receive your resources, go to: register.skillsusa.org.

Help is a Call or Click Away

It’s that time of year when advisors and students are joining SkillsUSA. The SkillsUSA Customer Care Team is just a call or click away to help with registration, answer questions or share ideas to strengthen chapters. Reach the team at 844-875-4557 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday (EST). You can use the online chat feature or send an email to: customercare@skillsusa.org. To get registered, visit register.skillsusa.org and sign up your teachers and students as soon as possible so you don’t miss out on fall opportunities. 

#SkillsUSAGivingHopeDay Doubles Up on Hope

The SkillsUSA Hope Fund was founded in 2019 to provide scholarships or support for students and SkillsUSA chapters in crisis. Contribute to the 2020 campaign by Dec. 1 and make a real difference in the life of a fellow SkillsUSA member. You’ll be seeing posts related to the campaign from Nov. 21 through Dec. 1, but you can donate at any time at the link below.

Thanks to the generosity of CareerSafe in supporting the campaign, every donation will be doubled, up to $10,000. Follow the 2020 campaign on social media and please like and share our #SkillsUSAGivingHopeDay posts to help build awareness and spread the word.

Visit: www.skillsusa.org/get-involved/donate/skillsusa-hope-fund/. 

Share Your Messages of Support and Thanks

Throughout the pandemic, SkillsUSA’s social media has highlighted many SkillsUSA members who have worked to keep our nation moving in the fight against COVID-19. While frontline workers have deservedly taken center stage, career and technical education and our SkillsUSA programs nationwide could not happen without our dedicated advisors.

As we approach the season of Thanksgiving, we’d like to create a thank-you video to let all SkillsUSA teachers know how valued they are, to let them know we see how hard they work and to show them how much that work is appreciated. We need your help to make that happen. We’re requesting brief videos from SkillsUSA students, state directors, partners, parents, school administrators and other stakeholders offering short messages of thanks for our teachers. Teachers and advisors are welcome to submit their own messages of thanks and encouragement to their peers around the nation. Let’s ensure our SkillsUSA instructors know they are valued, respected and appreciated for their heroic work.

Videos should be 10 to 15 seconds and are due to SkillsUSA by Nov. 13. Submit videos here: https://skillsusa.wufoo.com/forms/share-your-messages-of-support-for-teachers/ or upload videos through a file-sharing service like WeTransfer or Dropbox and send the link to: tkercheval@skillsusa.org.

What’s New? Share Your News!

SkillsUSA chapters are known for making a difference to schools and communities — so please tell us how your chapter is doing and what you are doing. Are your students teaching a cooking class online, demonstrating home repair skills on Zoom, showing people how to manage their computer setup for best performance, conducting a virtual leadership training or holding a drive-up food collection for needy families? Submit local chapter stories, photos and video clips here: skillsusachampions.org/submit-a-story/.

SkillsUSA Celebrates Career Essentials Certified Teachers

More educators have become SkillsUSA Career Essentials suite certified teachers, exceptionally equipped to use the Career Essentials curriculum as a turnkey tool to help learners define, implement and measure their career-readiness skills. These educators are now part of a national network of educators committed to preparing learners for success in the workforce: Newly certified in October:

  • Maryland: Ronald Scott, North Point High School for STI
  • Missouri: Lauri Redmon, Career and Technology Center at Fort Osage
  • Nebraska: Jesse Zweep, SkillsUSA Nebraska State Office
  • South Dakota: Katie Paulson, SkillsUSA South Dakota State Office
  • Tennessee: Andrew Smith, TN College of Applied Technology
  • Texas: Terri Altmann, Rebirth Empowerment Education
  • Virginia: Twila DeMasters, Central Virginia Community College; Francie Dye, Central Virginia Community College
  • Wyoming: Janie Wilcox, SkillsUSA Wyoming State Office

To see a digital map that depicts the number of Career Essentials certified teachers by state, go to: https://mycareeressentials.org.

If you are implementing Career Essentials Experiences with your students and would like to become a Career Essentials certified teacher, register for the Career Essentials Implementation Training 

Free Advocacy Site Connects Chapters to Policymakers

Even in a virtual learning environment, it’s easy to be an advocate for career and technical education. The SkillsUSA advocacy site is a free resource for members to contact their governor, senators and representatives or members of Congress. You can also share SkillsUSA news with your local media and send invitations to events.

To write your elected officials, go to: www.congressweb.com/susa/#/. Click on “Compose Your Own Message” and enter text, select recipients and click “Send.” To email local newspapers or TV stations, choose the “Media” tab at the top of the webpage. From there, enter your zip code. Choose up to six media outlets and click “Send a Message.” Using the site can be a great chapter project or lesson plan that involves research, writing and advocating. 

New Integration Tools and Local Contest Guides

SkillsUSA has launched professional development videos and activity sheets to help advisors integrate the SkillsUSA Framework into their classrooms and chapters. Access the on-demand videos and activity sheets here: absorb.skillsusa.org.

SkillsUSA has a series of new guides to help you host a local competition or coach student competitors. Each Local Career Competition Guide provides a competition description and sequence, Essential Element integration and step-by-step instructions for success, from pre-work to celebration and evaluation. To learn more, join an upcoming session:

Nov. 5 – Hosting A Local Championship Guide
Nov. 5 – Championship Coaching Guide
Nov. 9 – Hosting A Local Championship Guide
Nov. 16 – Championship Coaching Guide

To view the schedule and register for the free opportunities, go to: www.skillsusaconnect.org/events. 

Ready to Shop and Show Your SkillsUSA Style?

The SkillsUSA Store is your one-stop shop for official SkillsUSA-branded attire, competition uniforms, fashion apparel, chapter supplies and awards. Be sure to follow the store account so you don’t miss the newest SkillsUSA items as they are released. (Hint: follow @skillsusastore on Instagram and participate in promotions to earn free prizes.) From the new career cluster T-shirts to administrator gifts, facemasks or personal sanitation items, you’ll find it all at the SkillsUSA Store: skillsusastore.org. 

SkillsUSA Instructors Recognized for Teaching Excellence

Harbor Freight Tools for Schools has awarded $400,000 in teaching excellence awards to seven SkillsUSA instructors. The 2020 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence recognizes outstanding skilled trades teachers in U.S. public high schools who inspire students with innovative programming. Over $1 million in prizes were awarded including three first-place prize awards of $100,000 and 15 second-place awards of $50,000 each (some restrictions applied based on school or state policy).

To learn more, read the full press release here: https://tinyurl.com/y4qbpp2b.

The 2020 winning SkillsUSA instructors are:

First Place ($100,000)

  • Brian Manley, Automotive Technology, Cherry Creek Innovation Campus, Colo.

Second Place ($50,000 each)

  • Brent Tuttle, Welding, La Mirada High School, Calif.
  • Nicole Taylor, Construction, Warren Technical School, Chamblee, Ga.
  • Wayne Violet, Auto Technology, Washington County Technical H.S., Md.
  • Robert Caylor, Auto Technology, Gulfport High School, Miss.
  • Alfia Anderson, Electrical, High School for Energy and Technology, N.Y.
  • Shawn Burns, Mechatronics/Robotics, Burton Center for Art and Technology, Va. 

SkillsUSA Champions Digital Hub

SkillsUSA launched the digital version of SkillsUSA Champions magazine in response to member requests for more content, more often. You’ll find inspiring features, relevant and timely news, and a user-friendly design in this ever-expanding resource of real-world examples of the SkillsUSA mission in action. We encourage you to visit the SkillsUSA Champions digital hub often — and please share the link with students or share stories on your social media. Bookmark the site for future inspiration: www.skillsusachampions.org. 

New Digital Resources Showcase Value of Membership

In these challenging times, SkillsUSA is striving to increase the value of membership for every member and supporter. Here are some new resources to help teachers share these key messages on why students should join:

  • The Value of Membership: Share the value of SkillsUSA membership with administrators, partners or parents: http://bit.ly/SkillsUSA-Value.
  • Connect, Learn and Grow: This lively video explains what SkillsUSA is about in a compelling message you can share with students, parents, instructors or administrators. To see or share the video, go here. 

Program of Work Builds Better Students

We encourage all advisors to get to know the newly revised SkillsUSA Program of Work (PoW), now updated to better serve student growth and more easily align with the needs of the community and industry partners. The PoW is a chapter management tool, an individual growth plan and the ultimate student engagement aid. Resources include a Program of Work Launch Activity Guide with instruction, videos and virtual options to help you implement activities throughout the school year. Access the Program of Work resources here: www.skillsusa.org/programs/program-of-work/. 

Attend ACTE’s CareerTech VISION Virtual Conference

This year’s ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2020 has moved to a virtual experience. The Nov. 30-Dec. 4 event can be attended from the comfort and convenience of your school, office or home and features professional development to address timely topics impacting career and technical education. Attendees will have opportunities to participate in interactive experiences through a dynamic virtual platform and will receive access to over 300 sessions following the event. For conference details, go to: www.careertechvision.com.

$1,000 Student Tuition Grants Available

Saf-Gard Safety Shoe Co. is awarding education grants to three students who will be chosen to receive a $1,000 grant to go toward trade school tuition. Students who apply will be asked to respond to a prompt created by Saf-Gard and will then send additional responses and photos as requested over the following weeks. The application deadline is Jan. 13, 2021. For more information, go to: www.safgard.com/sole-education.

Celebrate National Apprenticeship Week

This year’s National Apprenticeship Week is Nov. 8-14. The annual celebration by the U.S. Department of Labor showcases the positive impact apprenticeship programs have on preparing the American workforce and addressing the skills gap. The event brings together business, labor, educational institutions and others interested in apprenticeships. For ways you can participate and further information, visit: www.apprenticeship.gov/NAW.

Apply for Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards honor students in grades 5-12 for volunteering and making meaningful contributions to their communities. Top honorees earn cash awards. Applications must be certified by a principal or program leader. Honorees can also receive recognition from the President’s Volunteer Service Award program. Applications are open through Nov. 10. For details or to apply, go to: https://spirit.prudential.com/.