Active Advisor News: September 2017

Tim LawrenceUpdate from Tim Lawrence

Welcome to a New School Year
Thanks to all of you, last year was filled with new records for SkillsUSA. Our membership of 395,488 was the largest in history. By continuing to work together, we’re looking forward to an even bigger and better year in 2017-18.

Here is a link to the final membership report for the 2016-17 academic year.

National Conference Gets Bigger and Better
If you haven’t attended our national conference, I hope you will put it on your calendar for 2018. The dates are June 25-29 in Louisville, Ky. Even if you do not have students competing, we offer teacher training, educational workshops, a huge trade show, general sessions and more. As we look back on SkillsUSA’s 53rd National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC), here are the highlights:

  • The 2017 NLSC was our largest national conference ever, with registration at 10,787 and a final contestant count at 6,251. Including judges, exhibitors and other volunteers who are not registered, the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates around 19,000 attended
  • Our Facebook “likes” grew to 37,730 post-conference, compared to 28,142 last year
  • Our SkillsUSA Twitter page now has 10,717 followers, compared to 8,418 last year
  • Our Instagram account has 6,799 followers just after conference compared to 4,720 last year
  • Our social media posts received 5,236,326 impressions (views)
  • We had 4.5 million web hits on the SkillsUSA site from April through June (up from 3.2 million last year)

Check out the Week in Review video here:

Photos of national medalists, grouped by contest, are now available. These photos may be downloaded, printed, published or shared. If used in a publication, please use the credit “Photo courtesy of SkillsUSA” with the photo.

As usual, we have our backstage photos, but new this year, we also have photos that were taken on stage during the awards ceremony. The stage photos are a little busy — the students aren’t always posed, and you can see industry representatives as well as medal hangers — but they can be cropped as desired before printing. Here is the link:

The complete list of SkillsUSA Championships winners is now available at:

For individual scores for contestants only, go to:

Also, trade releases specific to each contest area are at: Please feel free to use the wording from these when publicizing your students’ participation (e.g., as a delegate, Courtesy Corps member or competitor) in the NLSC.

Continuing to Get the Word Out
Of special note, SkillsUSA received some great news coverage while we were in Louisville. This year’s highlight was when Mike Rowe talked about SkillsUSA on Fox and Friends.” He said:

The skills gap is not only real, it’s a reflection of what we value. To close the gap, we need to change the way the country feels about work. My foundation supports SkillsUSA because it celebrates the kind of skills that are actually in demand. Through excellence and competition, SkillsUSA encourages real-world training, and in the process, lays the foundation for thousands of careers in the skilled trades. SkillsUSA works.”

See below for the full interview:

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

T-shirts to Help Hurricane Harvey Victims

SkillsUSA Texas is sponsoring a T-shirt fundraiser for Hurricane Harvey relief. Purchase of this T-shirt will go directly to the Food Bank of Corpus Christi. Here is the link to order:

Please watch our website for information on how SkillsUSA can help those in Florida, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and elsewhere during this busy hurricane season.

Registration is Open — Enjoy the Benefits of Professional Membership

Why is it important for an advisor to register as a professional member of SkillsUSA? It’s one of the best ways to demonstrate to students the importance of the organization and the opportunities that membership will provide.

Professional members receive these great benefits:

  • 2017-18 SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards. The latest edition will be available by Oct. 1. The official competition guide for the SkillsUSA Championships contains rules for all national competitive events, including an overview, lists of technical skills and knowledge required, clothing requirements, eligibility and equipment lists. Note: Because of the constant need for updates, both the latest SkillsUSA Championships contest updates and the official SkillsUSA Championships scorecards are located online here:
  • Jump into STEM! Curriculum includes middle-school and elementary-school STEM career exploration activities that can be taught by high-school and college/postsecondary members. This is a great opportunity to expose students to STEM careers and recruit for career and technical education programs as well as SkillsUSA.
  • Career Essentials: Foundations. This complete curriculum includes 29 lesson SkillsUSA plans that support the SkillsUSA Framework and prepare students for workplace success. Career Essentials: Foundations is the first building block in the suite of products offered through the SkillsUSA Career Essentials.

SkillsUSA professional members receive all of these materials when they submit membership along with a valid email address. The 2017-18 SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards and other materials are provided through a digital delivery system. National dues for professional members are $20 plus state dues, which vary. The complete listing of 2017-18 state dues and deadlines is online or in the mailed membership kits.

If you need assistance with SkillsUSA membership or registration, hotline operators are ready to answer your questions about starting a new chapter, ways to engage chapter members or strategies to strengthen an existing chapter. Operators are 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). To reach the hotline, call 844-875-4557 or email You can also chat online on the membership registration site. 

Encourage Chapter Excellence

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. 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 2018 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. For more information on how to participate, see the membership kits or go to:

Membership Kits Target Specific Markets

SkillsUSA membership kits have been mailed to all chapters that affiliated with SkillsUSA last year. Extra kits have been mailed to all state SkillsUSA offices.

There are three unique membership kits, each designed for a specific market: middle school, high school or college/postsecondary. Each kit contains three posters, a registration brochure and membership cards. There’s also a chapter management guide that includes information on establishing a chapter, engaging students in chapter activities, tools for recruitment, lesson plans, programs, scholarship and recognition opportunities, and information on educational resources.

Please call if you need additional kits at any time, either sent to you or directly to a school. The SkillsUSA membership hotline can take care of all membership or chapter questions including how to start a new chapter, enter membership online, strengthen and grow an existing chapter, and more. Call toll-free 844-875-4557. All of the membership materials can also be downloaded online at:

New Educational Resources Catalog Released

The 2017-18 SkillsUSA Educational Resources Catalog has mailed to chapters and will be mailed to state association directors this week. Details on the new SkillsUSA Career Essentials suite can be found on Pages 12-13. Prices in the 2016-17 catalog expire Aug. 31, 2018. Only one catalog is mailed per school year.

New Public Relations Challenge Now Open

This new online challenge encourages local chapters to demonstrate how they showcase SkillsUSA to the news media in ways that highlight CTE and student success. The purpose of the challenge is to help students grow in their communication and teamwork skills while promoting SkillsUSA to a wider audience. The SkillsUSA Public Relations Challenge begins today, Sept. 1, and will be open to March 30, 2018. The media coverage period must be three months to six months.

Student officers and advisors, state officers and state staff can join the new SkillsUSA Public Relations and Advocacy Facebook group, “Must Love Red.” This is a closed group that will provide resources for your public relations and advocacy efforts. We encourage your students to join this site at: .

Three schools will be selected as winners. One state officer team will also be recognized. Winners will receive a check payable to their school or state association.

  • SkillsUSA Media Champion (first-place school or section): $900
  • SkillsUSA Media Boss (second-place school or section): $300
  • SkillsUSA Media Whiz (third-place school or section): $200
  • State Advocacy Award (first-place State Officer Team): $900

The SkillsUSA Public Relations Challenge entry application is located on the “Must Love Red” Facebook page. You must complete an application and document all news coverage. For questions, contact Karen Kitzel, or 703-737-0607. For complete rules, go to: 

National Officers Elected for 2017-18

2017-18 SkillsUSA National Officers

Click to view the full size photo.

Fifteen SkillsUSA students were elected as national officers at NLSC. Individual offices for those elected at large were determined following their initial training right after the conference. Here they are:

High School Leaders

  • Lizetthe Moreno, president, a law enforcement student at Porter (Texas) High School
  • Scott Hicks, vice president, an automotive service technology student at Troup County High School in LaGrange, Ga.
  • Marangelis Lopez, secretary, a health technology student at H.C. Wilcox Technical High School in Meriden, Conn.
  • Rosa Cartagena, treasurer, a digital design student at Liberty High School in Kissimmee, Fla.
  • Laila Mirza, parliamentarian, a pre-engineering student at Worcester Technical High School in Newark, Md.
  • Grace Kirrane, Region 1 vice president, a health occupations student at Montachusett Regional Vocational School in Fitchburg, Mass.
  • Hunter Radford, Region 2 vice president, a carpentry student at Blacksburg (Va.) High School
  • Jade Barma, Region 3 vice president, an engineering student at Waunakee (Wis.) Community High School
  • Brenna Stinnett, Region 4 vice president, a cosmetology student at Indian Capital Technology Center in Muskogee, Okla.
  • Bryce Romero, Region 5 vice president, a robotics/engineering student at Excelsior Aviation, Medicine and Engineering Academy in Victorville, Calif.

College/Postsecondary Leaders

  • Josie Wolfe, president, a baking and pastry student at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I.
  • Brad Ridder, vice president and Joint Executive Council representative to the SkillsUSA Board of Directors, a computer repair and networking student at Massanutten Technical Center in Harrisonburg, Va.
  • Maci Key, secretary, a machine tool technology student at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, Ala.
  • Madison Whitney, treasurer, an audio/radio student at Dixie State University in Saint George, Utah
  • Jeremy Copeland, parliamentarian, a structural welding student at Mid-America Technology Center in Wayne, Okla.

Joint Executive Council

  • Chair and Board Representative: Brad Ridder, Virginia
  • Vice Chair: Jade Barma, Wisconsin
  • Secretary: Madison Whitney, Utah

Disney “Be Inspired” Grants Offered for Service

The Walt Disney Co. and Youth Service America (YSA) want your help in inspiring young people and families to make a positive impact in their community through volunteering.

Disney is awarding $500 Be Inspired grants to young people implementing service projects in the fall in partnership with nonprofit organizations. Now is your chance to reach out to your network and encourage young change makers to submit a project. For more information, go to:

Plan Now to Participate in Manufacturing Day

Manufacturing Day is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Manufacturing Day occurs on the first Friday in October. While Manufacturing Day is officially Oct. 6, SkillsUSA chapters can plan events on any date in October that works best. Events for students can include a plant tour, a virtual tour, an event on your campus that highlights manufacturing, and more.

SkillsUSA chapters are asked to share Manufacturing Day photos and stories with social media specialist Darlenne Helena at For resources, or to find events in your area, go to:

Assessments Have a New Name

SkillsUSA’s assessments have a new name as part of the SkillsUSA Career Essentials suite of products. These were formerly called the Skill Connect Assessments in the Work Force Ready System. To reflect the new name, our website and documentation are being updated.

SkillsUSA continues to offer over 40 technical and career-ready assessments that can be used in both high school and college/postsecondary levels. For a complete list of our SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Assessments and pricing, visit:

SkillsUSA assessments are in various cluster areas, including some co-branded with ASE/AYES and PrintED/GAERF. This school year, we will have three new assessments:

  • Our all-new Career-Ready assessment will be available for the spring 2018 testing season. It will replace the current Employability assessment scheduled to be discontinued in 2019
  • The Advertising Design assessment will be discontinued in June 2018 and has been replaced with a new PrintED assessment, Graphic Design, available this fall
  • The PrintEd Offset Press Operations and Binding and Finishing assessment has been rewritten, with the new version also available this fall. All PrintEd assessments offer a two-year student certification!

All assessments can be used for a pre-test or end-of-program test. The pre- and post-report, as well as the competency report, will help you determine remediation training before administering the end-of-program assessment. There are six reporting features included at no additional cost.

We pride ourselves on industry-updated assessments and excellent customer service. Please reach out to our customer support desk for general questions or technical support. Our support team is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Eastern time. Call us at 866-444-7779 or email

To learn more about SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Assessments, go to:

Fall CTE Surveys Arriving in Instructor Inboxes

SkillsUSA is again working with the Education Research Center of America (ERCA) and other strategic partners such as the Manufacturing Institute to survey CTE instructors and students. We encourage SkillsUSA members to participate so that we can continue to build the case for support and understand how to better serve students.

In previous research (see:, the Consortium found that the 77 percent of high school students had started to consider a career pathway to pursue (another 19 percent said “maybe”). However, it is not always clear that students know about the range of possibilities available to them in our changing world. The ultimate objective is to stimulate a dialogue on career pathways among parents, teachers and students.

By including your students as part of this important research project, you can help them:

  • further consider their strengths, interests, and the career options open to them
  • receive information from colleges, universities, career and technical schools, and other postsecondary institutions seeking to recruit students with their specific interests, talents, skill sets, and career goals
  • gain more access to postsecondary scholarship opportunities through our partners and sponsors

Please watch your inbox during the back-to-school season for a package from The Research Consortium on Career Pathways & 21st Century Skills. To receive the survey, fill out an online form here:, or send an email to

ESAB Student Contest Supports Schools

ESAB supports education and careers in the welding, cutting and manufacturing industries. Its WeldItForward student contest supports high school and college/postsecondary schools with a technical, vocational or engineering focus.

As the grand prize for, ESAB is awarding its equipment filler metals and cash prizes — a retail value exceeding $20,000 to two schools. The first deadline is Oct. 9. For more information, go to:

Become an ACTE National Leadership Fellow

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is seeking applicants for the ACTE National Leadership Fellowship Program. This program began in 2009 as an Opportunity Fund project initiated by the ACTE board of directors. The purpose is to identify, train and motivate a cadre of leaders who will continue to position ACTE as a leader in developing an educated, prepared, adaptable and competitive workforce. The program provides professional development, policy knowledge and leadership development. Applications are due Oct. 1. For more information, go to: – .V9GkKpMrJLD