Executive Update: August 1, 2021

Executive Update: August 1, 2021

Important Dates:
Aug. 17-19: State SkillsUSA Director Virtual Training
Aug. 20: State SkillsUSA Director Virtual Business Meeting
Sept. 18-22: Washington Leadership Training Institute, Alexandria, Va
Oct. 4-7: State Directors Association Annual Professional Development and Training Conference, Atlanta, Ga.

Michelle Martinez Joins Headquarters Staff

SkillsUSA welcomes Michelle Martinez to the national staff as senior manager of state association professional development. Michelle brings 35 years of experience in education in a variety of teacher positions, as well as serving in the counseling department and working as an assistant principal. Since 2008, she has served as a lead SkillsUSA advisor, member of her state association’s board of directors, regional coordinator and tabulations lead. In 2019, she became SkillsUSA Arizona state director. We know you’ll enjoy working with Michelle!

SkillsUSA State of the Association Report

Want to know what we’ve been up to? The SkillsUSA annual “State of the Association” is an interactive, content-rich report that covers the SkillsUSA staff’s work (and the challenges we’ve faced) from June 2020 to the present. You may find this to be a useful resource. The report has been uploaded to our press room here.

Career Opportunity at SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA has a career opportunity available for a Senior Manager of Member Engagement. This position is grant-funded and the person in this role will be responsible for the development and management of the user experience for the organization’s member online platform. The posting is active until Aug. 2. More information is available here.

Don’t Miss the Swag in our TikTok Challenge

Our new summer “SkillsUSA Champions Challenge” on TikTok includes both the SkillsUSA Official Song (“SkillsUSA: Champions at Work”) and the new Theme Song (“SkillsUSA: United as One”). Participants should submit a short video featuring either song. This can be a lip-syncing video, a story video, a dancing video or whatever you desire as long as one of the songs is the soundtrack. This is a great icebreaker activity for your state officer team, or any member can create a solo video. The top prize is valued at $200 and includes a “SkillsUSA swag bag” from the SkillsUSA Store plus a $100 Amazon gift card! Entries are due by Aug. 7. Find full details on our site.

Deadline Extended for HVACR Scholarships

The Clifford H. “Ted” Rees, Jr. Scholarship Foundation (an AHRI Charitable Foundation) is partnering with SkillsUSA to offer eight meri-based $2,500 scholarships to high school juniors, seniors or college/postsecondary students in a HVACR or a general construction program who are pursuing postsecondary career training in the HVACR industry. The scholarship is intended to provide tuition support in the 2021-22 school year. Applications are due Aug 15.

Registration Opens Aug. 2 for the 2021 Washington Leadership Training Institute

Join us in-person this fall for our 2021 Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI), scheduled for Sept. 18-22. This conference is for all SkillsUSA students and advisors who want to grow in the Essential Elements of professionalism, communication and leadership and passionately advocate for career and technical education (CTE). The conference will be held at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center hotel, located at 5000 Seminary Rd, Alexandria, VA 22311. WLTI registration opens on Aug. 2, and both conference and hotel reservations must be made no later than Aug. 27 at 8 p.m. (ET). To register, go here. Hotel reservations will be made through Passkey (link provided soon) or through rooming lists provided to hotel (more information coming soon). For more information, a WLTI guide is now available here. Please email WLTI@skillsusa.org with any WLTI-related questions.

WLTI Scholarships Available

The SkillsUSA Leadership Development Scholarship provides financial support for four students to attend the 2021 WLTI. State directors should collect student nominations from local chapter advisors and then choose one application to submit to SkillsUSA headquarters staff by Aug. 13. The scholarship was funded by former SkillsUSA board president and Caterpillar executive Robert L. Flint to open doors for participation to more students in need. Click here for the application.

Request WLTI Congressional Appointments Now

Students and advisors attending WLTI will have time to visit with their senators and representatives on Sept. 21 between 9:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., either in-person in Washington, D.C. or virtually from the hotel. While Capitol Hill currently offers only limited (and fully escorted) constituent visits, we are hopeful more in-person visits will be allowed in September as restrictions ease up. WLTI attendees should begin requesting congressional appointments now. SkillsUSA provides a customizable meeting request on the SkillsUSA advocacy webpage so you can email offices easily. Email your appointment request to Congress here.

Member Registration is Open — Join Early as a Professional

The SkillsUSA registration site is officially open for the new school year! We encourage advisors to join early so they receive all mailings and emails. Professional members receive many benefits when they submit membership with a valid email address: the Framework Integration Toolkit ensures career readiness within your classroom, training program and chapter; the Program of Work Toolkit includes resources to help implement an effective and successful Program of Work; the Jump into STEM!” curriculum provides an opportunity to engage elementary-school and middle-school student in STEM learning; and the SkillsUSA Technical Standards are the official regulations for SkillsUSA Championship competitions. National dues for professional members are $20 plus state dues, which vary. 2021-2022 state dues and deadlines can be found here.

State SkillsUSA Directors to Meet in Atlanta

The State Directors Association Professional Development and Training Conference will be held in-person on Oct. 4-7 in Atlanta, Ga. This training will center on the successful transition of the national conference from Louisville to Atlanta in June 2022. Essential information will be shared, and venue tours will take place to ensure the success of attendees during NLSC 2022. The national organization will provide all training and cover a portion of the state director’s lodging, food and local transportation. Attendees must arrange their own travel and cover the cost of their flights into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The deadline to register is Aug. 6 with payment due by Sept. 17. Please see SkillsUSA CONNECT for more details (www.skillsusaconnect.org/events/item/319/472). If you have questions, contact Gayle Silvey at gsilvey@skillsusa.org.

United as One PPT Template

SkillsUSA has released a PowerPoint template for the 2021-22 membership theme, SkillsUSA: United as One. To download the sample slides and use the template in your presentations this school year, visit the SkillsUSA Brand Center.

Share Your Champions

The “SkillsUSA Champions” magazine staff is always looking for potential feature stories for the new digital hub. If you know of a SkillsUSA student, advisor, industry partner or graduate whose story would be motivating and inspirational, please submit the information through our online form.

SkillsUSA Announces Scholarship Recipients

In partnership with SkillsUSA, the Larry Rash Memorial Scholarship Fund has awarded two $2,500 scholarships for further education at any postsecondary program in architecture or a related field. The 2021 recipients are: Nicole Cheng from Folsom High School in California; and Wonuola Abiodun from Union Grover High School in Georgia. Wanuola was the 2021 SkillsUSA High School Gold Medalist in Architectural Drafting.

Fine Homebuilding and SkillsUSA have announced 11 recipients of the $2500 #KeepCraftAlive Scholarship. The $2500 scholarship is paid directly to the college/postsecondary institution the student will attend. The 2021 recipients are:

  • Alabama: Dakota McDaniel, Cullman Area Technology Academy
  • California: Francisco Santoyo, Montecito High School.
  • Georgia: Cristian Veloso, Savannah Technical College.
  • Mississippi: Brandon Stephens, Simpson County Technical Center.
  • New Jersey: Philip Lepore, Morris Knolls High School.
  • North Carolina: Annayeli Dionesio, Columbus Career & College Academy.
  • North Dakota: Benjamin Shook, Davies High School.
  • Texas: Roberto Aguilar, Gilberth Reed Career and Technical Center; Ryan Daly, Stratford High School; Cooper Waddell, Ben Barber Innovation Academy.
  • Utah: Joshua Costello, Utah Valley University.

SkillsUSA Finalists for the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence

Twenty-three SkillsUSA instructors are among 61 teachers from across the country who were recently 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 teachers were selected by an independent panel of judges from a field of more than 700 applicants. The list of the SkillsUSA instructor finalists is located here.

Due Dates

August 1: Clifford H. “Ted” Rees, Jr. Scholarship applications due
Aug. 2: Senior Manager of Member Engagement applications due
Aug. 6: State Directors Association Conference registration deadline
Aug. 7: TikTok Challenge entrees due
Aug. 13: WLTI Scholarship applications due
Aug. 27: WLTI Conference and Hotel Reservations deadline

Sept. 17: State Directors Association Conference payment due