Executive Update: February 15, 2020

Executive Update: February 15, 2020

Important Dates
February 2020: Career and Technical Education Month
March 10-13: SkillsUSA Board of Director’s Meeting, Atlanta, Ga.

President Proposes Large Increase for Perkins CTE in FY21 Budget Request

On Jan. 31, President Trump issued a proclamation declaring February as CTE Month. The proclamation recognized the importance of high-quality CTE and ensuring all students have access to it. Most notably, the proclamation stated that the President’s “fiscal year 2021 budget proposal to the Congress will include significant increases in funding for [CTE].”

On Feb. 10, the FY2021 federal budget and appropriations process kicked off with the release of the president’s budget request to Congress. The president’s budget proposal is not binding, but is a reflection of the Administration’s priorities for the year and can serve to inform congressional negotiations over spending decisions and new policy proposals.

In exciting news for CTE, the budget proposal included nearly $900 million in additional funding directed to career and technical education (CTE). This is composed of a $680 million increase (53%) for Perkins Basic State Grants, approximately $83 million increase (1112.8%) for Perkins National Programs (with a focus on competitive grants for innovation and modernization of programs), and over $100 million in additional funds that could be generated for Perkins through changes to the H-1B visa program.

See the following article for more information: https://ctepolicywatch.acteonline.org/.

As always, to keep abreast of the latest CTE policy information, go to the Association for Career and Technical Education website here: https://ctepolicywatch.acteonline.org/. 

Celebrating SkillsUSA Week

Feb. 2-8 was SkillsUSA Week and our staff planned some wonderful advocacy activities.

On Tuesday, 12 members of the national officer team, executive director Chelle Travis and some staff started the day at the Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, D.C., where SkillsUSA held a thank you legislative breakfast. Invitations went to the six co-chairs of the House and Senate CTE Caucuses or their staff and we were pleased to have three offices represented. Attending were: Rep. Glenn Thompson (Pa.) and his staff member Nick Rockwell; Brian Moulton from the office of Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.); Kerry McKittrick from the office of Rep. Jim Langevin (R.I.); and Sam Morgante, formerly with the offices of Rep. Langevin (R.I.), Rep. Krishnamoorthi (Ill.) and Rep. Lee (Nev.). Also attending were Casey Sacks, Margaret Romer and Richard Pettey from the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education; Mike Matthews from the Association for Career and Technical Education; and three of SkillsUSA’s business partners including Maureen Tholen, 3M; Jerry Ellner, Universal Technical Institute; and Greg Rintala, Snap On.

SkillsUSA Executive Director Chelle Travis and Rep. Glenn Thompson spoke during the breakfast. Also, during the breakfast, SkillsUSA interviewed Rep. Thompson. Watch that video below:

Rep. Thompson later shared his support of SkillsUSA in a speech to the U.S. House of Representatives that aired on C-SPAN. To see the speech, see below:

Next was a meeting at the U.S. Department of Labor with John Pallasch, assistant secretary of the Employment and Training Administration and Robin Fernkas, acting deputy administrator.    Attending the meeting was Principal Deputy Under Secretary Diane Auer Jones from the U.S. Department of Education. The group talked SkillsUSA programs and events, credentialing through the SkillsUSA Career Essentials suite, and SkillsUSA as a skills gap solution. Here is a video recap:

The day ended with a partners, national officers and staff celebrating over lunch before they enjoyed touring the International Spy Museum.

On Wednesday, Chelle Travis, national officers Melissa Moreno and Miguel Nunez and staff members Craig Moore, Chris Cronbaugh and SkillsUSA Missouri director Joey Baker visited the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C. Chelle and the national officers gave a presentation to the French Embassy’s Labor, Health and Social Welfare Department, members of the D.C. Lear International Committee Board and select workforce and labor staff from other embassies, including Spain, Sweden, Taiwan.

On Thursday, staff celebrated SkillsUSA Week at headquarters with cake and punch.

To see photo highlights of SkillsUSA Week in our Flickr album, go to: www.flickr.com/photos/62244799@N08/sets/72157712975858826.

CTE Month Action Items

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

CTE Month Press Release Templates Available
We encourage you to use the fill-in templates on our SkillsUSA Advocacy Site to write your elected officials and another to contact your local media to let them know about your events during the month of February. Personalize the templates that work for you. To use the SkillsUSA advocacy site, go to: www.congressweb.com/susa/. If you have questions, contact Jane Short at 703-737-0612 or jshort@skillsusa.org.

Share Your SkillsUSA Week and CTE Month Photos
If you took photos of your SkillsUSA Week activities, please share them. Your photos may be featured in our Flickr gallery on SkillsUSA’s home page. Send your best SkillsUSA Week photos to Craig Moore at cmoore@skillsusa.org. Please be sure to identify everyone in the photo.

Share Your SkillsUSA Week and CTE Month News
Share your SkillsUSA Week news and stories Share your SkillsUSA Week news and stories on our social media chanells @SkillsUSA (FacebookTwitter or Instagram) or email it to Haley Uffelman at huffelman@skillsusa.org.

Register Members by March 1 to Receive Valuable Benefits 

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

The national membership deadline is March 1. Students must meet both state and national deadlines to be eligible for national competition, serve as voting delegates or run for national office. Professional membership provides valuable benefits, too. Once advisors join and provide their email address, they will receive access to the following:

  • 2020 SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards 
  • Jump into STEM!curriculum
  • SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Foundations

Call the SkillsUSA Membership Hotline if you need help starting a new chapter, registering members, engaging students, or strengthening an existing chapter. If you have questions or need assistance, the hotline operators can help. Call toll free: 844-875-4557 from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. EST Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 11 a.m.–7 p.m. EST Tuesday and Thursday, or email operators@skillsusa.org.

SkillsUSA National Signing Day is May 8, 2020

Don’t miss this opportunity to have students recognized! Encourage local SkillsUSA chapters to host a SkillsUSA National Signing Day event by inviting business partners, school administrators, teachers, elected officials, SkillsUSA alumni, family and friends to honor students signing “letters of intent” for a job offer, apprenticeship or advanced technical training.

The event is open to all SkillsUSA high school seniors and college/postsecondary members that are pursuing  the skilled trades.

Registration opens Feb. 24. All students participating must register for the event. Advisors should register on the site also to gain access to the SkillsUSA National Signing Day Toolkit and all the details for a successful event!

Get the Swag:

  • 3,000 SkillsUSA National Signing Day caps will be given away to the first 100 chapters that have 10 or more students register for National Signing Day by the Early Bird deadline of April 3.
  • A SkillsUSA National Signing Day table runner will be shipped to each chapter that registers by the deadline of Friday, April 24.
  • Other SkillsUSA National Signing Day merchandise items will be available soon for purchase at: SkillsUSAStore.org

For help or questions, contact Kim Hegedus at khegedus@skillsusa.org or 317-544-8750.

Watch for more information as plans develop. Additional details will be available here: www.skillsusa.org/events-training/national-signing-day/. 

Lincoln Electric Offers Prizes for State Winners 

State SkillsUSA directors: Lincoln Electric Co. is once again offering prizes for state contests in Welding, Welding Fabrication and Welding Sculpture. The prizes are for the top three placements plus a prize for each first-place team’s instructors.

All state directors have already received the order forms from Dave Worden by email. Please complete the forms and submit directly to Lincoln Electric for processing. If you need the forms, contact dworden@skillsusa.org.

Please encourage students and instructors to send a thank you note to Lincoln Electric for the prizes to the attention of Tim Echan, Senior Customer Training Instructor, The Lincoln Electric Company, 22800 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44117.

Miller Electric Offers Prizes for State-Level Gold Medalists in Welding, Welding Fabrication, Welding Sculpture and Collision Repair

State SkillsUSA directors: Miller Electric Manufacturing Co. is continuing its awards to state-level high school and college/postsecondary first-place medal winners in Welding, Welding Fabrication, Welding Sculpture and Collision Repair Technology. The information has been emailed to state SkillsUSA directors by Dave Worden. The email included a letter outlining the new rules for the awards and a form for state directors to give to their winners. Here is a YouTube video to review the process:

These certificates are only for the gold medalists. Prizes are not available if your state does not run any of the aforementioned contests. It is important to Miller that these prizes are only awarded to the gold medalist in the respective contest. We ask that they are not substituted for other place finishers or to other contests, regardless of your levels of local industry support.

Student Leadership Scholarships for Activate and Leverage Training

State SkillsUSA directors: Once again, SkillsUSA is offering leadership scholarships for students who wish to attend Activate and Leverage during NLSC.

Leadership development for students is at the core of SkillsUSA. Through a structured SkillsUSA leadership-training program, students have the opportunity to prepare for leadership roles as the future leaders of America’s skilled and technical workforce. SkillsUSA leadership activities help mold character, citizenship and the employability skills required for a highly skilled 21st Century workplace.

The SkillsUSA Student Leadership Development Scholarship was established in 2007 with financial support from Robert L. Flint, former Caterpillar executive and SkillsUSA board president (1998-99). SkillsUSA administers the scholarship fund with advisory support from Flint and a panel of scholarship fund donors. In 2018, the scholarship will provide financial support for eight students who have strong leadership potential and who would greatly benefit from national leadership training but do not have the sufficient resources to participate.

Only SkillsUSA state association directors may submit applications for scholarship candidates. Each state association, including both high school and college/postsecondary associations in applicable states, may submit one application. State association directors should solicit the lead chapter advisors for nominations, and then choose one nominee’s application to submit to the SkillsUSA national office. Once nomination applications are received at the SkillsUSA National Leadership Center, a panel of SkillsUSA staff and leadership trainers will evaluate the applications and select the top candidates. The donor advisory committee will review the finalists’ applications and determine the winners.

  • $1,300 Activate and Leverage Training Scholarship– To provide support for top students who have insufficient chapter, school or community resources to participate in national level SkillsUSA leadership training. It will help support expenses for SkillsUSA Activate and Leverage Training held in Louisville, Kentucky over three days in June. This amount covers registration, materials, meals, lodging (four nights, double room), shuttle bus transportation from hotel to training site daily and $50 spending money. Transportation from home to the event and back is not included. The deadline for applications is May 6. 

Application: https://skillsusa.wufoo.com/forms/2020-student-leadership-development-scholarship/.

Alumni Association Announces Awards Availability

The SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends Association will once again present  two awards at the National Leadership and Skills Competition in Louisville, Ky.:

  • The Pioneer of Excellence Award recognizes Alumni and Friends members and/or business and industry partners who have been a “Pioneer of Excellence” for over five yearsfor the alumni association
  • The Outstanding Alumni and Friends Achievement Award is for Alumni and Friends members and/or business and industry partners who have demonstrated a “Commitment for Excellence” for up to five years for the alumni association

To apply, please find the applications here: www.skillsusa.org/alumni-association-announces-awards-availability/. 

Applications must be received, not postmarked, to the SkillsUSA National Leadership Center by April 3. Please mail to: SkillsUSA Alumni Executive Board, Attn: Laura Rauch/Taryn Zeigler, 14001 SkillsUSA Way, Leesburg, VA 20176. 

NLSC Guide Now Available

State SkillsUSA directors: The guide for the 2020 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference is now available. The NLSC Guide is provided each year to help directors prepare for conference and covers many key topics. State association directors can access the updated guide by visiting the secure state-director-only site.

As always, the national staff is ready to provide assistance whenever needed. Do not hesitate to contact any staff member if you have questions on the guidebook content or just need help.  

Schedule a One-on-One Demo with Career Essentials Coach 

To learn more about the SkillsUSA Career Essentials curriculum and to gain a greater understanding of how to implement it within your program, we encourage you to sign up for a one-on-one, 15-minute demonstration of the curriculum. To register for a free session, click on the link and complete a short information form. A coach will contact you to set up your demo: https://goo.gl/forms/jIS73zAkkDXSl80d2.

For additional questions and assistance, please call 844-875-4557 and ask to speak with a SkillsUSA Career Essentials coach.

To visit the website, go to: www.careeressentials.org/.

National Officer Candidates Sought 

Do you have amazing students who would love to be national ambassadors for SkillsUSA next school year? This is an incredible opportunity for personal and professional development, travel and more. The 2020 SkillsUSA national officer candidate application and national officer program guide are now available: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/students/national-officer-selection-process/.

National officer candidates must have earned the Career Essentials: Experiences, Fundamental Micro-Credential, or the Advanced or Adult Learner Credential, prior to applying (depending upon their age). The Fundamental course (ages 14-16), Advanced course (ages 17-19) and Adult Learner course (ages 20+) and additional information are available at: www.careeressentials.org/implement/experiences/.

The application deadline for national officer applications is June 1 by 6 p.m. EST. Contact Kim Hegedus, khegedus@skillsusa.org, 317-544-8750 with questions. 

Looking for Images for SkillsUSA Champions 

SkillsUSA Champions features student photography in each issue. We’re looking for images of SkillsUSA chapters in action or showing the concentration or perseverance of individual members performing hands-on skills. For details, email anyinfo@skillsusa.org and put “Image Photo” in the subject header or write SkillsUSA Champions, 14001 SkillsUSA Way, Leesburg, VA 20176. The photographer’s chapter is awarded $150 for each photo we publish (one per issue).

Chapter Charter Certificates Make Great Recognition 

Have you established new SkillsUSA chapters in your state this year? State leadership and skills conferences provide the perfect opportunity to recognize newly formed chapters during your general session or awards ceremony. To request middle-school, high-school or college/postsecondary chapter charter certificates, complete this form: https://skillsusa.wufoo.com/forms/chapter-charter-request-form/. 

Advisor of the Year Submissions Open

The SkillsUSA Advisor of the Year program recognizes professional members who actualize the organization’s mission of empowering students. A SkillsUSA chapter is only successful with the support of a dedicated advisor who intentionally integrates the SkillsUSA Framework and ensures students can demonstrate and articulate the skills they have developed.

Each state is eligible to name an Advisor of the Year. State Advisors of the Year advance to the regional competition. At the National Leadership and Skills Conference, the five regional winners will be interviewed. All five will be recognized and a national winner will be announced at the Opening Ceremony. The deadline to submit state-level recipients is April 1.


Application Areas:

  • Philosophy on CTE and SkillsUSA Framework skill development
  • Intentional SkillsUSA Framework integration into school and chapter
  • Communication of SkillsUSA Framework skill development

For more information and resources, please visit the state director website.

If you have questions, contact Taryn Zeigler at tzeigler@skillsusa.org.

State-Level Awards Funded for Advisor of the Year

State SkillsUSA directors: A grant to the SkillsUSA Foundation from Toyota will fund your state Advisor of the Year (AOY) awards. Each state may order one award for a secondary AOY and one award for a postsecondary AOY, if you award it.

To order your AOY award, send an email request to Kim DeVenuto from the SkillsUSA Store at KDeVenuto@egroupengage.com. Be sure to include the following information in your email:

  • Item: SkillsUSA State Advisor of the Year Award
  • The full name of the advisor to be honored
  • Your state association
  • Your shipping address (no P.O. boxes, please)
  • The date by which you need your award delivered

Awards are custom and shipped directly from the manufacturer so please allow three weeks for delivery. The SkillsUSA Foundation will pay the invoice for your award, including shipping.

SkillsUSA Scholarship Opportunities Now Open for Applications

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 SkillsUSA students can take full advantage of these opportunities:

For additional scholarship information, continually check the website at: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/scholarships-financial-aid/.

National Youth Safety Video Contest Still Open

CareerSafe sponsors an annual National Youth Safety Video Contest. Students across the country are invited to create a two-minute video demonstrating workplace safety. All submissions should be sent to CareerSafe by March 1. The winning students will receive a SkillsUSA prize pack and a scholarship up to $2,500, and the winning school will receive a prize up to $5,000. For more information, visit the CareerSafe website at: www.careersafeonline.com.

News from the Association for Career, Technical and Adult Education (ACTE)

 CTE Month activities

  • Share your CTE stories via #CTEMonth during ACTE’s #29DaysofCTE @actecareertech, featuring fun CTE facts, the CTSOs, and more, and nominate your local CTE programs, teachers and students to be highlighted in our #CTEMonth wrap up on Feb. 29 to be entered into a gift card raffle to close out #CTEMonth!
  • Plan to join ACTE for #CTSOChat on Twitter @actecareertech to discuss the importance of CTSOs for students and their communities on Feb. 24 at 5:00-6:00 p.m. EST.
  • Encourage your students to enter the NASA HUNCH-CTE Month student video challenge with the theme Living and Working on the Moon and Beyond. This challenge is open to middle school, high school and postsecondary students, who are asked to produce a video two minutes or less in length. The deadline to submit videos is on March 2. Information can be found on the CTE Month site at acteonline.org/cte-month. Video challenge questions can be submitted to Julia O’Brien at jobrien@acteonline.org or 703-683-9377.

CTE Learn New Teacher Courses

  • ACTE is offering two new teacher courses they developed in partnership with NOCTI. The courses are available onCTE Learn, and each course is $129 and includes 4 CEU credits. These courses are directly relevant to CTSO advisors . When you visit the site, note all of the free courses which you’ll see highlighted in the blue box titled “CTE Lessons.” Michael Connet is the contact for more information: mconnet@acteonline.org or 703-683-9341 

Horatio Alger Scholarship

Conference Updates

  • ACTE is hosting a CTE Innovation Summitin conjunction with their National Policy Seminar. The event takes place on April 1.
  • ACTE’s CareerTech VISION Call for Proposals is open until Feb. 29. The conference will be held in Nashville, Tenn. on 2-5.

Student Trophy Design Contest
ACTE is excited to announce their annual student contest to design the trophies for the ACTE Excellence Awards. The winning trophy design will be 3D-printed by Stratasys and presented to 10 national award winners at the 2020 ACTE Awards Banquet.  The first-place designers will receive the following prizes:

  • $1,000 scholarship prize for the winning team
  • A free one-year lease of a 3D printer and materials for the winner’s school, courtesy of Stratasys
  • Paid travel trip to Anaheim, Calif. for the winner and teacher to be recognized at the 2020 ACTE Awards Banquet in front of more than 400 attendees
  • A 3D-printed copy of their trophy design, courtesy of Stratasys
  • One year complimentary ACTE membership for the students and their teacher
  • Recognition in ACTE’s promotional channels and Techniques magazine

The deadline is May 1. More information can be found at: www.acteonline.org/professional-development/acte-awards/student-trophy-design-contest/.

Free Career Exploration for Students and Schools 

“Cue Career” aggregates the resources of industry associations for career exploration/navigation and workforce development, and is a free resource for schools and students. Students can explore careers by watching video interviews with professionals and accesss information on scholarships, internships, apprenticeships, mentorships, micro-credentials and badges offered by associations.

Cue Career also periodically provides livestreams including panels of industry experts into classrooms and students can ask questions live. There are two upcoming livestreams:

All upcoming livestreams are listed here: www.cuecareer.com/medical-health-sciences-live-stream-for-cte-month/ 

If you and your students are interested in learning more, contact Heather Wetzler at HWetzler@CueCareer.com or 917-5412-4549. To view the Cue Career website, go to: www.cuecareer.com. 

Educational Podcast Helps Students Learn from Others 

“Learn from Others” is a site that offers free educational podcasts where successful professionals from many different lines of work share their career experiences. The podcasts are their answers to four questions: “What did you want to be when you grew up?”, “What do you do today?”, “What would you do differently?”, and “What is the typical career path for your position?”. The podcasts are categorized by the National Career Clusters Framework to help students learn more from career journeys that apply to their career path. To listen, go to: http://learnfromothers.org/index.html.

Due Dates

Feb. 15: Honorary Life and Outstanding Career and Technical Educator nominations due
March 1: SkillsUSA National Membership Deadline
March 1: National Youth Safety Video Contest submissions due
March 31: President’s Volunteer Service Award applications due
April 1: Student2Student entries due
April 1: Advisor of the Year submissions due
April 1: National Technical Honor Society applications due
April 3: Pioneer of Excellence Alumni Award applications due
April 3: Outstanding Alumni and Friends Achievement Award applications due
April 3: Early bird registration deadline for National Signing Day
April 15: Sharon Melton Myers Memorial Scholarship applications due
April 24: Registration deadline for National Signing Day
May 6: Student Leadership Scholarships for Activate and Leverage application deadline
June 1: National Officer Candidate applications due

National Staff Travel

Feb. 19-20: Wichita, Kan./NC3 Signing Day/Chelle Travis
Feb. 20: Harrison, Ark./Represent SkillsUSA at the NC3 Signing Day at North Arkansas College-Harrison/Gene Dudley
Feb. 20: Martinsville, Va./Represent SkillsUSA at the NC3 Signing Day at Patrick Henry Community College/Eric Gearhart

March 10-13: Atlanta/SkillsUSA Board of Directors’ Meeting/select staff
March 11-13: Atlanta/Georgia State Leadership and Skills Conference/Chelle Travis
March 21-22: Manchester, N.H./New Hampshire State Leadership and Skills Conference/Chelle Travis
March 31-April 3: Las Vegas/International Wireless Communications Expo/Jim Kregiel

April 1-3: Yakima, Wash./Washington State Leadership and Skills Conference/Chelle Travis
April 6-10: Colorado Springs, Colo./Colorado State Leadership and Skills Conference/Chelle Travis
April 19-20: Tulsa, Okla./Oklahoma State Leadership and Skills Conference/Chelle Travis
April 21-22: Chattanooga, Tenn./Tennessee State Leadership and Skills Conference/Chelle Travis
April 24: Syracuse, N.Y./New York State Leadership and Skills Conference/Chelle Travis
April 25: Roanoke, Va./Virginia State Leadership and Skills Conference/Chelle Travis
April 28-29: Madison, Wis./Wisconsin State Leadership and Skills Conference/Chelle Travis