Executive Update: December 15, 2018

Important Dates
Jan. 12-13: SkillsUSA Scoring Boot Camp, Leesburg, Va.
Jan. 16-19: State Directors Association Officers Meeting, Atlanta
February: Career and Technical Education Month
Feb. 3-9: SkillsUSA Week
Feb. 5-7: SkillsUSA Championships Technical Committee Chair Meeting, Atlanta

Executive Director’s Report

ACTE CareerTech VISION Conference a Success
From Nov. 27-31, several staff and I attended the Association for Career and Technical Education’s national conference in San Antonio. Kelly Horton, Gayle Silvey, Gene Dudley, Amy Serafino, Courtney Ferrell and Taryn Zeigler all worked and represented SkillsUSA at various meetings and the SkillsUSA booth at the Career Tech Expo. National officers Preston Prince and Brandon Ramirez were there and spoke eloquently at several events. More than 4,000 career and technical education (CTE) educators and administrators attended the CareerTech VISION conference.

That Wednesday, we attended the NCCER Construction Careers Pathway Summit. Its focus was the skills gap and a search for solutions through a just-released NCCER longitudinal research study titled “Restoring the Dignity of Work.” The research covered the entire construction arena and included data gathered from attendees interviewed at our 2018 National Leadership and Skills Conference. During the research report presentation, SkillsUSA was mentioned as a solution to the skills gap. Brandon Ramirez was a featured speaker at the summit luncheon and spoke on behalf of all students when he shared his journey through SkillsUSA and CTE. Brandon then introduced Robin Utz from the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education. She provided an update on Perkins V and its implications on workforce and training.

Later, I was at the ACTE Awards Banquet as a guest of the Texas Industrial Vocational Association (TIVA). SkillsUSA Foundation member Larry Teverbaugh took the stage to present the CareerSafe national safety award to a deserving university instructor. It was great to see several of our SkillsUSA professional members honored on stage, including advisor Bart Taylor, who won the national Carl Perkins Award for Community Service.

The full conference kicked off with the opening ceremony on Thursday with Jenna Bush Hagar as the keynote speaker. The daughter of former President George W. Bush and a former third grade teacher in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., she now serves as an education correspondent for NBC’s “Today” show. She was genuine in telling stories of life in the White House, growing emotional when she talked about her grandparents, former First Lady Barbara Bush and former President George H.W. Bush. Her recollections were meaningful, as I remember being invited by the first President Bush to the White House for his announcement of his “thousand points of light” initiative. I was the Virginia state director, and I attended the ceremony with national high school president Billy Davis from Spotsylvania, Va. It was a memorable moment to stand with one of our great presidents.

Immediately following the opening ceremony, the Career Tech Expo opened. SkillsUSA had a premier space on the exhibit floor featuring the SkillsUSA Career Essentials suite.

On Thursday, I attended the Trade and Industrial (T&I) awards ceremony, led by SkillsUSA board member Dean Baker. This year, I served as the T&I awards chair. We had dozens of applicants for all three award categories. I was honored to announce the awards as Dean Baker and national officer Brandon Ramirez presented plaques and $500 awards to the three outstanding educators. Former SkillsUSA board member John Gaal of Missouri won the Lifetime Achievement Award; Jenna Hartman of Florida was named the New Teacher of the Year; and Brian Manley from Colorado won Teacher of the Year. They were all very deserving of this recognition.

On Thursday evening, SkillsUSA held a stakeholder dinner at the Republic of Texas Restaurant on the San Antonio Riverwalk for state SkillsUSA directors and corporate members attending ACTE. This was my 15th year carrying on this tradition. There were 31 people at the dinner, including nine state SkillsUSA directors. It was great to see Sarah Heath, board member and state CTE director from Colorado, with her husband and new baby son, and board member Dean Baker and his wife. Also attending were Steve Hidden, SkillsUSA Foundation member from Miller Electric, and new teacher honoree Jenna Hartman.

On Friday, several staff and I met with the executive director and president-elect of the Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE), which serves 55,000 teachers and 1.3 million adult learners. They are interested in partnering with SkillsUSA.

While I was there, it was great to spend time with NCCER CEO Don Whyte, NCCER Vice President Steve Greene, Robin Utz from the U.S. Department of Education and ACTE Executive Director LeeAnn Wilson and her executive staff. And, thank you to our staff for their hard work and contributions at ACTE Vision.

New President Leads NCCER
As I mentioned previously, the chair of our SkillsUSA Championships Carpentry competition and longtime friend of SkillsUSA recently became the new president of NCCER. I thought you might like to see a link to this article about Boyd Worsham: www.nccer.org/news-information/press-releases/detail/nccer-announces-new-president

Excellent Article Shares Information About CTSOs
I think you’ll enjoy reading a recently published story about career and technical student organizations by Kate Stringer of 74million.org. SkillsUSA is mentioned throughout the article, including former national officer Brice Harader Pate, former WorldSkills competitor Kieron Kohlmann and SkillsUSA instructor Bart Taylor.

The nonprofit news website based in New York City focuses on education issues in the United States. Co-founded by former CNN host Campbell Brown, the organization’s name refers to the 74 million children in America under 18 years of age. See the article here: www.the74million.org/article/when-co-curriculars-spark-careers-over-80-years-how-career-and-technical-student-organizations-have-evolved-from-bricklaying-to-business-management-to-robotics/

Broan Meeting Holds Promise
On Dec. 4, staff member Amy Serafino, Wisconsin SkillsUSA director and board member Brent Kindred, two of his state officers and I met with executives at Broan corporate headquarters in Milwaukee. We met with former board president and CEO of Broan Frank Carroll and Jim Bohn, our national TeamWorks technical committee chair. Broan has been manufacturing exhaust fans, range hoods, door chimes, central vacuums and other products since 1932.

Frank and Jim assembled the full executive team of 16, and we met from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. We heard the Broan story and history of the organization and took a plant tour to see their manufacturing operation. We had lunch with the team and then presented the SkillsUSA story. Amy, Brent, the state officers and I all presented different aspects of our program. Amy wrapped up the meeting with a partner request. Broan is interested in engaging at all levels, and Frank Carroll gave a commitment to endorse our SkillsUSA Career Essentials credentials following review. It was a great day with old and new friends and state leadership. Amy did a great job in putting together the schedule, presentation and agenda for this meeting.

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

New Magazine: Career Readiness and How It Starts at Championships

SkillsUSA advisors are now receiving the winter print edition of SkillsUSA Champions. Please direct your students to the digital edition of the magazine on the SkillsUSA website here: www.skillsusa.org/publications-news/skillsusa-champions-magazine/In addition to the news and motivational content in the print issue, the digital edition includes related videos, student presentations, direct links to external resources and other dynamic material. The digital edition goes live next week.

The winter issue always focuses on the SkillsUSA Championships, and it can be helpful in recruitment. This one includes articles about student members from Pennsylvania, Kansas, Georgia, New Jersey, California, Florida, Maine and New York. A feature story appears about our ambassador to the WorldSkills Champions Trust, as well as a profile of a dedicated advisor from inner-city Providence, R.I. There’s also a wrap-up of our record-breaking Washington Leadership Training Institute. A teacher’s guide to covering the issue with students is posted alongside the link to the digital edition.

#GivingTuesday a Success 

Thanks to all of our SkillsUSA champions, SkillsUSA exceeded our individual giving campaign goal for #GivingTuesday and ended at $10,287 raised. With CareerSafe’s matching grant, SkillsUSA raised $20,287, which will go to core mission support. A big thank-you to all donors and to our friends at CareerSafe! If you still want to donate, go to: www.skillsusa.org/get-involved/donate/

Plan Now for SkillsUSA Week

In preparation for SkillsUSA Week Feb. 3-9, encourage student members and advisors to host events that include administrators, business leaders and legislators. You can participate in SkillsUSA Week lots of different ways: hold an open house, invite local media to tour your programs, conduct a community service project, work with area businesses to build more meaningful partnerships, or engage with policymakers to talk about the value of technical education.

For a sample calendar, proclamation and press release, go to: www.skillsusa.org/events-training/skillsusa-week

The SkillsUSA Store has created a SkillsUSA Week T-shirt for $18. Visit www.skillsusastore.org to order your shirt and a whole host of products that are ready for your week of celebration.

New Items Added to Brand Center

The SkillsUSA Brand Center at www.skillsusabrandcenter.org has been updated with new resources for state directors and advisors. New and updated templates match the current membership kits including local brochures, meeting fliers, administrator fliers, program covers, sample press releases and presentations.

The interactive website allows members to download SkillsUSA logos (national, state and slogan art) or search for a logo they need and download it in the proper format for an individual job (EPS, JPG, PNG). Another function allows local members to create their own personalized SkillsUSA logo with the name of the chapter.

The SkillsUSA Brand Center helps unify SkillsUSA’s visual identity and demonstrates the importance of consistency in how SkillsUSA is communicated and helps members advocate for our brand. Members must register for the site, which enables them to save specific items as favorites when returning. After registering, users will see a column on the left side of the webpage with a menu of options, from identity standards and applications to downloads and the personalized logo generator.

ACTE Election Time is Here

From Nov. 30 to Dec. 31, members of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) have a chance to elect officers for positions on the ACTE board of directors.

All ACTE individual professional, retired, educational institution members, and national affiliate organizations whose membership dues are current, are eligible to vote. Biographical information and platform statements for the nominees are located here: www.acteonline.org/board_election_candidates/#toggle-id-2

The election process will be conducted via electronic ballot only. Ballots have been sent to member email addresses listed in the ACTE database. If you have not received the email, contact: support@directvote.net. Electronic ballots must be cast by Dec. 31 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

The Best Way to Build a Successful SkillsUSA Chapter 

You know you are having a great year in SkillsUSA, so why not be recognized for it? Did you elect officers, hold chapter meetings and engage in chapter activities? Then take it to the next level: Complete the Chapter Excellence Program Quality Chapter application and receive the recognition you have earned as a chapter.

Start your SkillsUSA Chapter Excellence Program (CEP) application today and earn recognition for your chapter. The online application is on the main page of the membership registration site once you log into your school account (www.skillsusa-register.org/Login.aspx).

The Building a Successful SkillsUSA Chapter Teacher’s Guide can be downloaded at: www.skillsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/cep-Teachers-Guide-2018-v2.pdf. The guide offers simple and easy steps to follow on completing the application, engaging students in the process and infusing the SkillsUSA Framework into chapter activities.

For questions or help, call or email the SkillsUSA Hotline: 844-875-4557 or operators@skillsusa.org.

Constitutional Amendments Deadline Approaching

Current SkillsUSA members can submit proposed constitutional amendments to the middle school, high school and college/postsecondary constitutions. Constitutional amendment motions must be submitted, in writing, to Kim Hegedus at khegedus@skillsusa.org by Feb. 1 by 5 p.m. ET.

SkillsUSA’s National Executive Council and board of directors will review all submissions during the March 2019 board meeting.

All motions will be distributed to state SkillsUSA directors no later than 60 days prior to the National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) by April 25. Motions will then be presented for vote at the official business meeting of the House of Delegates during the 2019 NLSC.

Constitutional amendments are governed by Article XII of the high school and college/postsecondary constitutions and Article X of the middle school constitution.

For more information and to view the constitutions, go to: www.skillsusa.org/events-training/national-leadership-and-skills-conference/delegate-sessions/. The motion form is located here: www.skillsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Constitution-and-Bylaw-Amendment-Form.docx. If you have questions, contact Kim Hegedus at 317-544-8750 or khegedus@skillsusa.org.

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

If you would like to nominate someone for SkillsUSA’s national Honorary Life Membership or Outstanding Career and Technical Educator awards, please submit your nomination by Feb. 15. Awards are presented in June at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. Online applications are available at: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/awards.

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

Earn Recognition for Service Through Presidential Honors

SkillsUSA is a certifying organization of the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA), allowing advisors, student members and registered alumni to earn recognition for community service activities and time spent volunteering.

This award is a presidential honor that recognizes the valuable contributions of volunteers across the country who are answering a national call to serve others through their current activities or lifetime efforts. With SkillsUSA’s focus on community service, advisors and students may already meet the requirements to receive the award. To qualify, SkillsUSA members, advisors or alumni can submit a record of their service hours.

For details on qualifying hours and requirements for submission, visit: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/awards/presidents-volunteer-service-award. Applications must be received by March 29.

Gain National Attention for Student Mentoring

SkillsUSA sponsors a national recognition opportunity called the Student2Student mentoring program. Mentoring connects young people to personal growth and development, as well as economic opportunities.

Student2Student recognizes SkillsUSA chapters that are involved in a mentoring program in their communities. When a SkillsUSA chapter mentors an elementary- or middle-school classroom, it helps younger students imagine careers and helps older students practice their skills. To enter, submit your mentoring project. The winning chapter will be recognized at the National Leadership and Skills Conference and in the Awards and Recognition book. In addition, the winner will be invited to present at SkillsUSA University. All entries must be submitted by April 1. Winners are announced in May. To download a Mentoring Guide or enter your program for recognition, go to: www.skillsusa.org/programs/mentoring-student2student/.

For more information, contact Gayle Silvey at gsilvey@skillsusa.org. 

SkillsUSA Scholarship Opportunities Now Open 

Applications for several scholarships are now open to benefit SkillsUSA students in pursuit of higher education or certification in their chosen field. Help spread the word so more SkillsUSA students can take advantage of these opportunities:

Additional scholarships may be announced soon, so check the website for updates: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/scholarships-financial-aid/.

Due Dates

Dec. 31: Association for Career and Technical Education board of directors electronic ballots due

Feb. 1: SkillsUSA constitutional amendment motions must be submitted to Kim Hegedus in writing
Feb. 4: National Anthem audition videos due
Feb. 5: National Conference Pin and T-shirt Design Competition entries must be received (not postmarked)
Feb. 15: Honorary Life and Outstanding Educator applications due

March 1: National Youth Safety Video Contest video submissions due to CareerSafe
March 29: President’s Volunteer Service Award applications due

April 1: Student2Student entries due

May 1: Nominations due for ACTE Business-Education Partnership and Champion for CTE awards due
May 1: Marsha Daves Scholarship application deadline
May 1: Fine Homebuilding #KeepCraftAlive Scholarship application deadline

National Staff Travel

Dec. 17: Washington, D.C./Perkins V meeting/Gene Dudley
Dec. 18: Deatsville, Ala./Ingram State Technical College meeting/Gene Dudley
Dec. 19: Montgomery, Ala./SkillsUSA Career Essentials implementation Meeting/Gene Dudley

Jan. 16-19: Atlanta/State Director Officers’ Meeting/selected staff
Jan. 20-22: Monett, Mo./teacher training/Courtney Ferrell
Jan. 22: Reston, Va./National Coordinating Council for Career and Technical Student Organizations meeting/Tim Lawrence

Feb. 5-7: Atlanta/SkillsUSA Championships Technical Committee Chair meeting/selected staff
Feb. 20-22: Louisville, Ky./Louisville Advisory Council meeting/Tim Lawrence

March 10-13: St. Paul, Minn./WorldSkills USA Training and SkillsUSA Foundation meeting at 3M/selected staff
March 14-16: Greenville, S.C./South Carolina State Leadership and Skills Conference/Tim Lawrence
March 21-24: TBA/national officer pre-NLSC training/Courtney Ferrell
March 25-27: Arlington, Va./ACTE National Policy Seminar/Tim Lawrence
March 26: Washington, D.C./National Coordinating Council for Career and Technical Student Organizations meeting/Tim Lawrence

April 9-11: Greensboro, N.C./North Carolina State Leadership and Skills Conference/Tim Lawrence
April 11-13: Grand Island, Neb./Nebraska State Leadership and Skills Conference/Tim Lawrence
April 25-26: TBA/Iowa State Leadership and Skills Conference/Tim Lawrence
April 28-30: Tulsa, Okla./Oklahoma State Leadership and Skills Conference/Tim Lawrence

May 1-2: Napa, Calif./NCCER Board Meeting/Tim Lawrence
May 14: Reston, Va./National Coordinating Council for Career and Technical Student Organizations meeting/Tim Lawrence