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Executive Update: December 1, 2020

Executive Update: December 1, 2020

Pour the IndusTEA Connects Students to Industry

On Nov. 18, SkillsUSA chapters from across the country participated in industry discussion panels as a professional development activity. The trade-specific discussions with industry partners were hosted by SkillsUSA and held via Zoom to help members stay motivated and focused on future career paths in this unusual school year, which for many students is hybrid or virtual.

More than 500 students and teachers at SkillsUSA schools participated in one of 12 simultaneous discussions organized by career cluster, including architecture and construction, information technology, manufacturing, STEM and transportation.

The high-energy, informative experiences connected members with business and industry panelists. Teachers gained valuable information about the trade areas they’re teaching, and students gleaned useful insight about the industries they’ll soon be stepping into. After a general overview, groups of students broke into smaller groups for panel discussions with industry role models. These discussions provided industry overviews along with the opportunity to ask questions and hear about trends, job outlooks, and what education is needed for specific careers.

SkillsUSA advisors could register their whole classroom or chapter, or students could register individually. Two dozen companies and organizations joined in the panel discussions.

Fall Leadership Conferences Serve Thousands of Members

This fall, SkillsUSA partnered with 23 state associations to collaborate on the development and delivery of virtual fall leadership conferences. More than 3,000 students and teachers took part in the one-day, virtual Empowering Experiences events, delivered by SkillsUSA staff, alumni and current national officers. The conferences were held on SkillsUSA CONNECT between Oct. 27 and Nov. 13.

The virtual fall leadership conferences began with participants completing the SkillsUSA Framework Essential Element Assessment in SkillsUSA CONNECT and the SkillsUSA Framework Certification in SkillsUSA Absorb.

On conference day, participants engaged in small group sessions around two SkillsUSA Framework Essential Elements, interacted in a large group break-out session hosted by a Zoom DJ, planned next steps for individual Framework skill development, met fellow members by racing against the clock in a SkillsUSA Framework Treasure Hunt, and were recognized for their achievements through state celebration and recognition sessions, many facilitated by state officer teams.

SkillsUSA “Elevates” Local Officer Development

On Nov. 16, 17 and 20, SkillsUSA held “Elevate,” a new conference experience. Local officers in 122 chapters and 18 state associations became more intentional about planning their Program of Work with the Framework at the forefront.

Participants began by defining their own “Why, How and What” for their SkillsUSA chapters before focusing on building skills relative to four Essential Elements. For the participants, these Essential Elements were outlined as follows:

  • Self-Motivation: Following through with tasks and responsibilities even when you don’t feel like it.
  • Communication: Committing to open, frequent and inclusive communication with teammates and members who prefer to communicate differently than you.
  • Teamwork: Working as a team takes a concerted effort from each member to demonstrate effective teamwork. It takes trust, the freedom to disagree, commitment to the goals, accountability, and attention to results, with each team member focusing on the mission of the team.
  • Planning, Organizing and Management: Practicing sound management strategies to overcome challenges in your role as chapter leaders.

Chapters that participate in Elevate and then implement a Program of Work with intentional Framework skill-building embedded into their activities will be able to deliver on the SkillsUSA mission to empower members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. Members will also be able to successfully complete the SkillsUSA Chapter Excellence Program.

Plan Now for 2021 SkillsUSA Week

State SkillsUSA directors, please pass this on to your advisors:

SkillsUSA Week is Feb. 7-13 and you can participate in many different ways: honor your community supporters, connect with local business and industry professionals, or make a presentation about your CTE program and SkillsUSA chapter at a school board meeting.

We encourage you to celebrate all week by planning activities that follow the daily schedule of events that will be held by local chapters nationwide:

Monday, Feb. 8, Recognition Day. Celebrate and honor members, advisors, administrators, business partners, community leaders and supporters who make a meaningful impact on your CTE program and SkillsUSA chapter.

Tuesday, Feb. 9, Give Back Day. Rally around your school and community by focusing on ways for your chapter to give back.

Wednesday, Feb. 10. Partner Day. Invite local business and industry leaders to connect with chapter members as you highlight the importance of developing the career-readiness skills found in the SkillsUSA Framework.

Thursday, Feb. 11, Advocacy Day. Amplify CTE in your community by conducting a local public relations activity, such as presenting to school board members, administrators or community leaders.

Friday, Feb. 12, SkillsUSA Day. Celebrate SkillsUSA by wearing your favorite SkillsUSA shirt, planning a celebration activity or by posting your Framework story on social media using the hashtag: #SkillsUSAWeek

For a packet of resources including information on how to request time on a school board meeting agenda with talking points, a guide to celebrating SkillsUSA in your chapter, and resources to help you engage local business and industry leaders, go to: www.skillsusa.org/events-training/skillsusa-week.

Congratulations to Thomas Glaser from Walker County Center of Technology in Jasper, Ala. for winning the 2021 SkillsUSA Week T-Shirt Design Contest! Visit the SkillsUSA Store at www.skillsusastore.org to order SkillsUSA Week T-shirts and other logo products to support your week of celebration.  

SkillsUSA Professional Development Sessions in December

Professional development related to SkillsUSA programs and educational resources is a benefit of SkillsUSA professional membership. The following sessions will take place in December:

  • 1 – SkillsUSA Championships Coaching Guides.
  • 3 – Hosting A Local Championships Guide.
  • 8 – Conflict Management at Work & Critical Thinking at Work.
  • 10 – Framework Integration 101.
  • 14 – Program of Work.
  • 15 – Conflict Management at Work.

To register, visit: www.skillsusa.org/wpcontent/uploads/2020/09/SkillsUSA-2020-ProfessionalDevelopment-Opportunities.pdf. You can also view the full schedule of opportunities in SkillsUSA CONNECT on the “Professional Development Opportunities” page under “Advisor Resources.”

Nominations Open for SkillsUSA Honorary Life Membership and Outstanding Career and Technical Educator

Nominations are now open for the SkillsUSA Honorary Life Membership and the Outstanding Career and Technical Educator awards. Honorary Life Membership is SkillsUSA’s highest recognition, and it is awarded for outstanding service that advances the purposes and goals of the national organization. The Outstanding Career and Technical Educator Award honors individual educators for their service and dedication to career and technical education and SkillsUSA.

To nominate someone for SkillsUSA’s Honorary Life Membership or Outstanding Career and Technical Educator, please submit applications at the following links. The deadline is Feb. 15.

If you have any questions, please contact Laura Rauch at lrauch@skillsusa.org.

Focus Students on Safety

Once again, CareerSafe will sponsor the National Youth Safety Video Contest.  Students across the country are challenged to create a two-minute video demonstrating safety in the workplace. All submissions must be sent to CareerSafe by March 1. The winning students will receive a SkillsUSA prize pack as well as a scholarship up to $2,500, and the winning school will receive a prize up to $5,000. For details visit the CareerSafe website at: www.careersafeonline.com/scholarships/video-contest.

Amazon Smile Purchases Benefit SkillsUSA

Now you can support SkillsUSA when you do your holiday shopping through Amazon. Make your order through AmazonSmile and search for “SkillsUSA Inc.” as your charity of choice. The direct link is: smile.amazon.com/ch/52-0812433. SkillsUSA receives a percentage of each sale and there is no additional cost to you.

Professionals Can Now Print Membership Cards Instantly

SkillsUSA has implemented a new feature that allows all professional members to print their own membership cards as soon as they join, right from the membership registration website. This new feature provides each member with a quality, printable card without the wait. Each school/organization has the option to print individual cards on one page or print multiple professional cards to a single page using the batch print option. A log-on to the membership registration site is required.

With this new feature, the professional membership card mailing by the national office has been discontinued.

CHARGE Weekly Chapter Officer Video Series Now Streaming!

CHARGE is a weekly video series that covers topics that chapter officers will find useful in the day-to-day management of local SkillsUSA chapters. Each CHARGE video features an activity guide to encourage chapter officer growth and development. The series highlights individual growth and team bonding to effectively run a SkillsUSA chapter as a leader. Find a new episode every Friday in SkillsUSA CONNECT.

Looking for High-Quality Career-Readiness Curriculum?

The “SkillsUSA Career Essentials” suite engages students in defining, implementing and measuring their career-readiness skills along every point in their educational journey, whether it be middle-school, high-school, college/postsecondary, or even adult learners. The project-based learning curriculum is housed in an online platform and includes the turnkey resources teachers need to be successful, including professional development. The curriculum generates high levels of student engagement and provides the opportunity for students to earn the industry-recognized Career Essentials credential. Watch the video below to hear what instructors are saying about the Career Essentials suite:

To learn more, visit www.careeressentials.org. To view discounted price models, visit www.careeressentials.org/pricing/. To register to attend a Career Essentials overview, click HERE.

World Series of Innovation Competition for Young Entrepreneurs

World Series of Innovation is an online, project-based competition sponsored by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Young innovators from across the globe are encouraged to enter and compete for cash prizes as they demonstrate teamwork and critical thinking skills.

In the competition, teams of young entrepreneurs (ages 13-24) create business solutions that align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and select one of nine challenges to answer with a solution. Some teams compete independently, others are affiliated with schools, and some undertake a challenge as a classroom project. Educators who want to use the World Series of Innovation in the classroom or as an extracurricular opportunity can access a robust resource toolkit.

Submissions are due by Dec. 14 at 11 p.m. ET. Visit https://innovation.nfte.com/ to learn more.

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, visit: www.safgard.com/sole-education.

Cybersecurity Education Award Nominations Sought

On Nov. 9, the U.S. Department of Education announced a call for nominations for the Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award.

Now in its second year, the award is presented annually to one elementary educator and one secondary educator who instill in their students skills, knowledge and passion for cybersecurity. Any educator whose subject matter includes cybersecurity can apply. Recipients of this honor will receive acknowledgement by the President of the United States and the U.S. Secretary of Education, public recognition and professional development opportunities.

Anyone may nominate an educator, and self-nominations are permitted.

The nominations close on Jan. 31, 2021. For the rules, terms and conditions and specifics on how to apply, please visit www2.ed.gov/documents/presidential-cybersecurity-education-award.pdf.

Porsche Technology Apprenticeship Program

Despite record unemployment, 100% of the most recent graduates of the Porsche Technology Apprenticeship Program (PTAP), offered in partnership with Universal Technical Institute, have gone immediately to work.

Top students enrolled in UTI’s Automotive Technology Program across 11 campuses are recruited for PTAP. The PTAP program is offered in a blended format, combining online education with hands-on training in CDC-compliant labs in Atlanta, Ga.; Easton, Pa.; and Eastvale, Calif. Porsche supports the program, allowing students to receive training on the latest vehicles and technologies. Tuition and housing costs are covered by Porsche, and the company arranges local part-time employment for students while they are in the 23-week program. Porsche dealerships nationwide then offer employment to most students upon graduation.

For more information, click here.

Due Dates

Dec. 14: World Series of Innovation Competition applications due
Jan. 13: Saf-Gard Safety Shoe Co. Grant Application Deadline
Jan. 31: Cybersecurity Education Award nominations due
Feb. 15: Honorary Life Member and Outstanding Career and Technical Educator nominations due
March 1: National Youth Safety Video Contest submissions due