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Active Advisor News: October 2020

Active Advisor News: October 2020


SkillsUSA CONNECT Has Arrived

SkillsUSA has launched SkillsUSA CONNECT — our new virtual community — to further build our partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives. This amazing resource is offered free to all SkillsUSA advisors and students. More resources are being added all the time, so check back frequently to see what’s new.

What’s available in CONNECT?

  • Student and teacher discussion forums.
  • Teacher professional development trainings.
  • Advisor resources.
  • Chapter officer experiences.
  • Program of Work information.
  • Electronic Framework Essential Element Assessment.
  • Empowering Experiences.
  • State and chapter groups.

SkillsUSA CONNECT engages members in new ways to continuously develop and refine your personal skills, workplace skills and technical skills grounded in academics. The new platform provides deep engagement opportunities to build community, grow Framework skills and receive recognition for outstanding work.

To join the community, login at http://register.skillsusa.org and click the CONNECT logo for registration instructions, or visit this link.

If you need assistance with creating your account, contact the SkillsUSA Customer Care Team at 844-875-4557, or customercare@skillsusa.org.

Chapter of Distinction Mega Prize Event 

The Chapter of Distinction Mega Prize Event was held virtually on Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. EDT. This year’s lineup included over 25 Mega prize packages and door prizes! To watch the event video, see below:

Congratulations to the winners!

New CHANNELLOCK Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to state SkillsUSA directors Jackie Walker (Ohio) and Katie Paulson (S.D.) for winning the new 968 Forged Wire Stripper, courtesy of CHANNELLOCK. For more chances to win CHANNELLOCK tools, visit their Facebook or Instagram pages. For more information, visit www.channellock.com. 

SkillsUSA Celebrates Career Essentials Certified Teachers

During September, we celebrated more educators who became SkillsUSA Career Essentials certified teachers. They are now exceptionally equipped to use the Career Essentials curriculum as a turn-key tool to equip learners to 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:

September 2020

  • Missouri: Cory DeVaul, Career and Technology Center at Fort Osage
  • California: Martha Camancho, Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center
  • Massachusetts: Christina Qualey, Assabet Valley Regional Tech High School; Michael Nobrega, Franklin County Technical School
  • New Mexico: Natalie Donnelly, SkillsUSA New Mexico 

To acknowledge the effort of these teachers, we maintain a digital map that depicts the number of Career Essentials certified teachers in each state at https://mycareeressentials.org.

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

Celebrate Careers in Construction Month

Spearheaded by NCCER and Build Your Future (BYF), Careers in Construction Month (CICM) is returning for October. The campaign was launched to increase public awareness, inspire the next generation of construction craft professionals and make an impact on the perceptions of a career in construction.

Although the construction field offers job satisfaction, lucrative salaries and high skills, the industry is facing a critical shortage of workers. To help build a pipeline of talent, BYF is encouraging partnerships between industry and education this year.

BYF has released resources for educators and industry representatives to show how rewarding a career in construction can be, including an interactive Which Craft Pro Are You? quiz, four new trading cards, and video series such as Success Stories and Discover More. In addition, the sixth annual “I BUILT THIS!” video contest is now open for entries.

To learn more, visit www.byf.org or follow them on Facebook or Twitter. 

Free Virtual Career Event and Job Fair for Energy Careers

The Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) will host EnergyCareers 2020, a free virtual career exploration and job fair event, on Oct. 21. This first of its kind program for the energy sector invites students, veterans, career changers, women and those under-represented in today’s workforce together to discover careers in energy through educational programming, networking sessions, exhibits and a virtual career fair.

Highlights of the event include:

  • Keynote remarks provided by the Honorable Dan Brouillette, secretary of energy; and Mike Rowe, TV host and noted advocate for skilled trade jobs.
  • A variety of educational sessions offered to connect students, veterans, women, and others with industry professionals eager to tell their stories. See the program details here: https://getintoenergy.com/energycareers2020/program-schedule/.
  • Employers representing companies from across the U.S. will be on hand to talk about internships, current jobs and opportunities for the future. Those interested can upload their résumés and participate in a job fair.
  • Networking sessions with industry ambassadors will allow participants to learn how their interests can be channeled into careers in energy.

To learn more about how to participate in the career fair and to register for the event, visit https://getintoenergy.com/.

Use SkillsUSA Advocacy Tools to Promote Your State Activities

The SkillsUSA advocacy site is a free resource for state leaders and advisors to write to their governor, lieutenant governor, state senators and representatives, state attorney general and other local officials, as well as U.S. members of Congress and the media.

To write to elected officials or to the media, go to: www.congressweb.com/susa/#/ and compose a message by filling in your address and zip code and clicking on “Go.” To email a press release to local media, choose the media tab at the top of the webpage. From there, enter your zip code or click on your state on the map. Choose up to six outlets at a time and click “Send a Message.” Fill in your contact information, type or paste your message, and click “Send.”

We encourage you to help raise awareness of this resource. Thanks for being an advocate for SkillsUSA and career and technical education.

If you have questions, contact Jane Short at jshort@skillsusa.org. 

Help Share SkillsUSA’s Inclusion and Diversity Efforts

SkillsUSA strives to be an inclusive organization that is welcoming to all who want to be members. This is our official statement of inclusion and diversity, which is on the website and applies to all members nationwide: 

“In keeping with a tradition of respect for the individuality of our members and our role in workforce development, SkillsUSA strives to ensure inclusive participation in all of our programs, partnerships and employment opportunities. SkillsUSA’s diversity encompasses differences in ethnicity, gender, language, age, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, physical and mental ability, thinking styles, experience and education. We strive to make all members, partners and employees feel welcomed and valued in the SkillsUSA family. SkillsUSA believes in treating all people with respect and dignity. We want SkillsUSA to be regarded as a “membership organization of choice” — one that encourages all individuals to be involved.”

We strive to make all members, partners and employees feel welcomed and valued in the SkillsUSA family. SkillsUSA believes in treating all people with respect and dignity. We want SkillsUSA to be regarded as a “membership organization of choice” that encourages all individuals to be involved. If you want to share this statement with members, it is posted here: www.skillsusa.org/about/values-vision/. 

Register by Nov. 15 for Extra Member Benefits

Becoming a professional member of SkillsUSA is one of the best ways to demonstrate to students the opportunities that membership provides. As a benefit of membership, professional members receive online access to:

  • The Framework Integration Toolkit consisting of 45 separate resources.
  • Program of Work Toolkit for in-person and virtual chapter activities.
  • SkillsUSA Championships Toolkit, including the 2021 SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards and local career competition guides.
  • Jump into STEM! Toolkit plus virtual lesson plans.

As a special membership incentive, those who register at least 15 student members plus one or more professionals by Nov. 15 will receive a complimentary copy of JumpStart 2.0, a collection of 33 mixers and icebreakers to engage SkillsUSA students in meetings, workshops and other activities.

Advisors can visit register.skillsusa.org to register themselves and their student members. If you or any chapter advisors need assistance with SkillsUSA membership or registration, the SkillsUSA Customer Care Team is ready to answer questions about starting a new chapter, ways to engage chapter members or strategies to strengthen an existing chapter. The team is on call 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday (Eastern time) at 844-875-4557. You can also reach them via email at customercare@skillsusa.org or chat online at register.skillsusa.org.

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities

Training is available on a number of new SkillsUSA resources to help advisors gain confidence for successful integration into the classroom and their SkillsUSA chapter. To view the schedule and register to attend, log in to your SkillsUSA CONNECT account and choose “Professional Development Opportunities” from the “Advisor Resources” tab. Or, visit: www.skillsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/SkillsUSA-2020-Professional-Development-Opportunities.pdf.coming sessions include:

Oct. 6 – Chapter Officer Election Guide
Oct. 6 – Experiential Activities to Promote the SkillsUSA Framework
Oct. 8 – Framework Integration 101
Oct. 12 – Program of Work
Oct. 13 – Jump Into STEM!
Oct. 14 – What is SkillsUSA?
Oct. 14 – Framework Integration Strategies & Foundations Lesson Plans 

SkillsUSA Champions Digital Hub

SkillsUSA created this new digital version of SkillsUSA Champions magazine in response to member requests for more content more often, and that’s exactly what this site provides. You’ll find 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.”

We encourage you to continually check the new SkillsUSA Champions digital hub at www.skillsusachampions.org. 

SkillsUSA Showcases the Value of Membership

SkillsUSA has worked this summer to develop innovative educational resources and new professional development materials that support teachers and students regardless of where learning takes place — in the classroom and lab, at home or a hybrid of the two. We realize that teachers are more successful and students are more engaged when provided with rich content and meaningful experiences. We also know that students and teachers value consistency and need greater support than ever before.

Here is a new digital resource we created to show the value of SkillsUSA membership for students and professionals. Check it out and feel free to share this with school administrators, partners and others: http://bit.ly/SkillsUSA-Value.

Looking for other ways to share what SkillsUSA is all about? Show your students, other instructors and school administration the new SkillsUSA Membership: Connect, Learn, Grow video below:

Introducing the New SkillsUSA Program of Work

Get ready for a great year in SkillsUSA by diving into the newly revised Program of Work (PoW). The Program of Work is a chapter management tool, an individual growth plan for chapter members and the ultimate student engagement tool. Through intentional instruction, the Program of Work allows students to define, develop and demonstrate the Essential Elements that make up the SkillsUSA Framework. Through active participation in the Program of Work, students experience important skill-building opportunities.

Resources for advisors and their students include a Program of Work Launch Activity Guide, which includes virtual options, videos and resources to help you implement effective activities.

Program of Work resources can be accessed here: www.skillsusa.org/programs/program-of-work/.

To learn more about implementation, join one of the upcoming professional development sessions on the Program of Work on Oct. 12  or Oct. 28. To view the full schedule of opportunities and register to attend, click www.skillsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/SkillsUSA-2020-Professional-Development-Opportunities.pdf. 

Empowering Advisor Experiences

This fall, SkillsUSA is launching a wide variety of professional development opportunities for advisors. Whether you prefer instructor-led sessions or web-based instruction, SkillsUSA has them covered! Advisors can participate in sessions related to professional membership benefits, SkillsUSA Framework integration, our new Program of Work, the Chapter Excellence Program and educational resources.

To view the full schedule of opportunities and register to attend, log in to your  SkillsUSA CONNECT account and choose “Professional Development Opportunities” from the “Advisor Resources” tab. Or, go to: www.skillsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/SkillsUSA-2020-Professional-Development-Opportunities.pdf. 

Empowering Student Experiences

SkillsUSA’s Empowering Experiences help students find new ways to connect, engage and stay motivated. Students have shared that through SkillsUSA membership, they are seeking community, growth and recognition. Each of these themes have been ingrained in the new experiences that have been created. Advisors can find instructions to create a complimentary account and help students set up their SkillsUSA CONNECT accounts by clicking here. Through SkillsUSA CONNECT, students can engage in all of the exciting student experiences that have been created specific to their needs. There’s never been a better time to be connected to SkillsUSA. 

Chapter Officer Video Series

If you are looking for new ways to build strong local chapters, “CHARGE” is a newly launched video series focuses on chapter officers’ growth and development. From digging into their leadership potential to learning more about working effectively as a team, officers will be empowered to lead their peers and create impactful chapter experiences this year, whether virtual, in-person or a hybrid model. The second episode launched Oct. 2, and you can review previous episodes in SkillsUSA CONNECT. 

myOptions Student e-Survey 

myOptions is a long-standing education partner of SkillsUSA that supports students and educators by providing a career success planning program. This year, they understand their traditional SkillsUSA and myOptions planning survey is secondary to the critical issues facing teachers, students and families. To that end, myOptions understands it may not be possible to distribute student forms due to COVID-19 and remote learning. Advisors should hold onto the student forms until students are able to return to class and return the forms later this fall or after the first of the year.

They are also working on a student e-survey that will be available later this fall. If advisors would like us to provide that link for their students when the e-survey is ready, send an email to educators@myoptions.org and include “requesting access to the SkillsUSA e-survey” in your message.

To learn more, visit myOptions.org.

Virtualize Classroom Computers to Perform High-End Graphics Work Remotely 

As a part of their pandemic response initiatives, Epic Games, Inc. and Parsec Cloud, Inc. are offering Parsec for Teams to any educational institution or non-profit in the Unreal community at no charge for the 2020-21 school year.

Parsec for Teams is a low latency, high frame rate remote desktop solution that allows schools and students to do  high-end graphics work remotely. Taking advantage of the school’s hardware and software investment on campus, students with almost any computer, laptop or even a Chromebook can complete class projects remotely. Teachers can also use it to access their more powerful Windows computers and licensed software remotely for online demonstrations or lectures. Parsec for Teams can be an essential part of a remote teaching solution for Unreal Engine, Twinmotion, and other technical graphics and design software. If students and teachers have broadband that can stream movies in HD, they should be able to remotely run even the most demanding Windows graphics applications that they teach.

If your school needs remote desktop software to teach game design/development, animation, modeling, film/vfx, simulation, TV/broadcast, AEC visualization, technical design, AR/VR/MR remotely, check out https://parsecgaming.com/teams/

If you have questions, email michael.edmonds@xa.epicgames.com. 

Apply for a Student Tuition Grant  

Saf-Gard Safety Shoe Co. is awarding an education grant for skilled trades students who are just starting out in their field. Three students will be chosen to receive a $1,000 grant to go toward trade school tuition. Students who apply will respond to a prompt created by Saf-Gard and then send responses and photos to a designated contact for a weekly blog update. The deadline to apply is Jan. 13, 2021. For more information, go to: www.safgard.com/sole-education.

NASSP Offers “Ready, Set, Vote!”

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) student leadership has launched a nationwide get-out-the-vote initiative with DoSomething!, a self-described youth movement for good. All schools are welcome to participate in Ready, Set, Vote, the largest online voter registration drive led by students. Completely free, the online voter registration tool allows students to create personalized voter captain pages to help get their age-eligible peers and community registered to vote this year.

Volunteer credit from NASSP and DoSomething, opportunities for scholarships, and even school competition awards (most registrations by state, most creative campaigns, etc.) are available as part of this initiative this fall.

Election Day is Nov. 3. Visit dosomething.org for more info.

Apply Now for ACTE Teacher and Lifetime Service Awards  

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is seeking nominations for the National Trade and Industrial Education Division Awards, to be presented during their annual conference Dec. 2-5, 2020. The deadline is Nov. 2. Qualified individuals may be nominated in the following categories, and you may nominate yourself. (If you nominate someone else, please inform that person.)

  • Lifetime Service.
  • Outstanding New Teacher Award.
  • Outstanding Teacher Award.

For ACTE CareerTech Vision 2020 conference information, go to: www.acteonline.org/event/careertech-vision-2020/.

To nominate someone for the Teacher and Lifetime Service Awards, go to: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/awards/acte-awards/.