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Executive Update: August 1, 2020

Executive Update: August 1, 2020

Share Your “Essential Skills, Essential Workers” Thank-You Messages

Since June, SkillsUSA’s “Essential Skills, Essential Workers” social media campaign has highlighted SkillsUSA members who have worked during the pandemic to help keep our nation moving in the fight against COVID-19. While our healthcare workers deservedly take center stage in this effort, areas like culinary arts, welding, automotive technology, HVAC and many others are also heavily relied upon now more than ever.

As we conclude the campaign at the end of August, we’d like to include a thank-you video to all our essential workers, and we need you to help make that happen. We’re requesting brief videos from SkillsUSA teachers, students, partners and other stakeholders offering short messages of thanks to all essential workers who have utilized their CTE skills to support the needs of individuals, businesses or communities during this ongoing crisis.

Videos can be shot on smartphones, should be 15 seconds in length (maximum) and are due to SkillsUSA by Aug. 15. Let’s make sure our essential workers know how valued, respected and appreciated they are. Submit your video here: https://bit.ly/2P8LdmO. 

SkillsUSA State of the Association Report 

The recently produced “State of the Association” report has been uploaded to our press room at www.skillsusa.org/publications-news/press-room/. This interactive, content-rich document features details on much of SkillsUSA’s work (and the challenges we’ve faced) from June 2019 to the present. You may find this useful as a resource. 

Looking for Curriculum to Use This Fall? 

Are you looking for a project-based curriculum which can empower students to define, implement and measure their career readiness skills? Do you need curriculum that works in the virtual environment, as well as face-to-face? Consider one of four Career Essentials Suite Experiences:

  • Exploratory Experience (Ages 12-14).
  • Fundamental Experience (Ages 14-16).
  • Advanced Experiences (Ages 17-19).
  • Adult Experiences (Ages 20+).

For a limited time, SkillsUSA is offering a considerable discount on this tremendous curriculum. The exploratory and fundamental Experience bundles are $15 per person, and advanced and adult learner Experience bundles are $20 per person. (List prices for these bundles range from $25-$65 per person.) A curriculum bundle includes the pre- and post-assessments. In addition to these bundle prices, the exploratory and fundamental bundles may also be purchased in three segments for $5.95 per segment. Segments must be purchased and used in sequence of the curriculum bundle.

For more information about the SkillsUSA Career Essentials, visit www.careeressentials.org.

To view the schedule and register for a SkillsUSA Career Essentials overview, go to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdHakvnaro6xmuGXlLVAlgIUJPd3kZLH0DhLaOG-Oq_gfM6gQ/viewform.

To view the complete price sheet, visit: www.careeressentials.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/UPDATED-PRICING-6.25.2020.pdf. 

Free Instructor Conference 

The ASE Education Foundation will host a free virtual instructor training conference on August 4-5. This conference is designed for high school and college/postsecondary instructors from auto, truck and collision repair programs nationwide.

The conference will provide training to hundreds of high school and college instructors. Some of the topics on the agenda include:

  • Three scenarios for instruction: in-person, virtual and hybrid.
  • The T-TEN “Safe Lab” plan.
  • Keeping distance learners engaged.
  • Classroom management tools in your e-learning curriculum.
  • How COVID-19 affects ASE program accreditation.
  • Putting work-based learning to work.
  • Developing students’ employability skills.

All sessions are 30-90 minutes and will count toward the 20-hour annual update training requirement. Seats are limited. Please click here to register for free.

NAPE’s “Make the Future” Campaign Encourages Women to Consider Manufacturing Careers

The National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) has announced a new web campaign called “Make the Future” that aims to encourage women and girls to take part in STEM education and consider careers in advanced manufacturing.

The campaign is being funded by NAPE and the Toyota USA Foundation, and its goal is to change outdated misperceptions of manufacturing careers as “dangerous,” “dirty” and male-dominated. Today’s reality is that these jobs are high-skill, high-wage and in-demand, and anyone who’s interested is welcome to take full advantage of them.

To learn more and access all sorts of resources, including videos, digital posters, messaging templates and more, visit: https://napequity.org/MakeTheFuture/.

State SkillsUSA Directors to Meet Virtually for Professional Development 

The annual State Directors Association Professional Development and Training Conference provides all SkillsUSA state leaders with an opportunity for training, networking and sharing best practices. This year’s event will take place in two segments: virtual training and face-to-face. Virtual professional development will take place Aug. 18-20 from 1-4:30 p.m. (EDT) daily. The group will then gather in Atlanta, Ga., from Jan. 5–8 to discover the new home to NLSC and receive additional training to help prepare for the road to nationals.

Thank you to the following partners for their support of the State Directors Association Professional Development and Training Conference: ASE, CareerSafe, John Deere, NASSCO, NCCER and Penske.

If you have questions, contact Gayle Silvey at 404-216-6040 or gsilvey@skillsusa.org. 

SkillsUSA Instructors Named Finalists for the 2020 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence 

Nineteen SkillsUSA instructors are among 50 teachers from across the country who have been named as finalists for the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence. Their high school trades programs are in the running for a share of $1 million in total cash awards.

The SkillsUSA finalists include:

  • Arizona: Jeremy Tarbet, Canyon del Oro High School (Automotive).
  • California: Brent Tuttle, La Mirada High School (Welding) and Nicholas Jordan, Montecito High School (Construction).
  • Colorado: Brian Manley, Cherry Creek Innovation Campus (Automotive).
  • Georgia: Dave Darden, Cedar Shoals High School (Automotive); Josh Hall, Statesboro High School (Construction and Agriculture) and Nicole Taylor, Warren Technical School (Construction).
  • Idaho: Francis Carlson, Bonners Ferry High School (Cabinetmaking and Millwork).
  • Indiana: Andrice Tucker and team member Steve Owen, Central Nine Career Center (Automotive).
  • Maryland: Wayne Violet, Washington County Technical High School (Automotive).
  • Missouri: J. Tinker, Salem R-80 Schools (Construction).
  • Mississippi: Robert Caylor, Gulfport High School (Automotive).
  • New York: Alfia Anderson, High School for Energy and Technology (Electrical) and James Buck, Wayne Technical and Career Center (Electrical).
  • Texas: Raul Ortega, Sam Houston Math, Science and Technology Center (Plumbing).
  • Utah: Jay Hales, Riverton High School (Automotive).
  • Virginia: Shawn Burns, Burton Center for Arts and Technology (Mechatronics and Robotics).
  • Wisconsin: Jay Abitz, Freedom High School (Automotive and Collision).
  • West Virginia: Kevin Cornell, Carver Career and Technical Center (Automotive).

To read brief biographies of the finalists, go to: https://harborfreighttoolsforschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2020-Finalist-Bios.pdf.

The 2020 finalists now advance to a second round of competition which will narrow the field to 18 winners. Those winners will split $1 million in prizes. Three of those teachers will be grand prize recipients who each receive $100,000, with $70,000 going to their public high school skilled trades program and $30,000 to the individual skilled trades teacher or teacher team behind the winning program.

The other 15 winners will each receive $50,000, with $35,000 going to their public high school program and $15,000 to the teacher or team. Finalists whose school, district and/or state policy prohibits receipt of the individual portion of prize earnings were eligible to apply on behalf of their school’s skilled trades program. If they win, their entire share of the prize will be awarded to the school. All winners will be announced in late October.

Congratulations, Winning SkillsUSA Filmmakers

In June, SkillsUSA Digital Cinema students from across the country went head-to-head in a Digital Cinema challenge sponsored by “Sneak on the Lot,” an organization that offers young people a “safe and effective way to express themselves through film and the arts while providing an unmatched leadership training environment.” While the free event was not an official SkillsUSA competition, SkillsUSA’s Digital Cinema technical committee played a huge role in making sure the event was a fun and successful way for students who missed out on this year’s canceled SkillsUSA Championships to gain some recognition for their burgeoning filmmaking skills.

Students from 16 states participated: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin. As part of the challenge, students were asked to create their films in the style of one of the following directors: Steven Spielberg, Nora Ephron or Alfred Hitchcock. Students weren’t told beforehand which director would be chosen, so they had to be familiar with each director’s style before the challenge began.

Submissions were evaluated on camera movement, composition, blocking, lighting, pacing, music and creativity, and more than $20,000 in gear and training opportunities were awarded to the winners.

Congratulations to the winners listed below. (The individual creators are solely responsible for each video’s content.)

1st Place: “Neighborhood Watch”
Vancouver School District #37 (Vancouver, Wash.) https://theater.sneakonthelot.com/videos/433059526

2nd Place: “Oblivious”
Har-Ber High School (Springdale, Ark.) https://theater.sneakonthelot.com/videos/433015307

3rd Place: “Drive”
Cypress Bay Television (Weston, Fla.) https://theater.sneakonthelot.com/videos/433059356

Sneak On The Lot is hosting a series of seminars and contests that will focus on various filmmaking skills leading up to the 2021 state and national competitions. They will be hosting an introductory seminar on Tuesday, August 4, at 7 p.m. EDT for all those interested in participating.

To register, visit: https://sneakonthelot.com/free-seminars-form/.

Got Champions?

The SkillsUSA Champions magazine staff is looking for stories for upcoming editions of the magazine and the new digital hub. If you know of a SkillsUSA student, advisor, industry representative or alumnus whose story would be motivating and inspirational, please email the director of communications, Tom Kercheval, at tkercheval@skillsusa.org.  

USDOE Seeks to Advance Technology in Rural High Schools

The Rural Tech Project is a $600,000 challenge to advance rural technology education and prepare students for the careers of today and tomorrow. The U.S. Department of Education invites high schools and local educational agencies to propose technology education programs that use competency-based distance learning. This project is open to any publicly funded school or local education agency that delivers education to a rural community and to students in grades 9-12.

After both phases of the project are complete, the Rural Tech Project will compile the insights from all finalists and share lessons learned as a resource for other rural communities who might adapt similar models.

Phase 1 of the Rural Tech Project is open to any publicly funded school or local education agency that delivers education to a rural community and to students in grades 9-12. The judging panel will recommend up to five finalists to receive an equal share of the $500,000 prize pool and progress to Phase 2.

No matter where students live, where they want to work or what they want to do, we recognize that today’s learners will need advanced technology skills. However, traditional teaching models may not effectively deliver transferable technology skills, especially in rural communities.

For more information on this innovative challenge, visit the Rural Tech Project. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 8 at 5:59 p.m. EDT.