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Executive Update: January 15, 2021

Executive Update: January 15, 2021

Important Dates:
February 2021: Career and Technical Education Month
Feb. 7-13: SkillsUSA Week

SkillsUSA Connects with Assistant Secretary of Education to Discuss Careers

The SkillsUSA national officer team connected with the United States Department of Education on Jan. 6 in a virtual meeting where the assistant secretary for career and technical education, Scott Stump, met with the students to encourage their career paths and advocacy efforts. Stump also shared his own Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) experience and career journey with the students.

Citing his own membership in a sister organization, FFA, he said the experience “prepared me to become the person I am today.” Stump’s vision for all CTSOs is that more students should engage and benefit. “If we have three million members in CTSOs and eight million career and technical education (CTE) students, we have a gap of five million students that we need to influence and close that gap in the next five years,” he said.

Stump summed up his role at the U.S. Department of Education saying, “My purpose in life is either to build people or to build systems that build people.”

On Jan. 12, Stump mentioned SkillsUSA again during a Facebook Live event with skilled trades spokesperson Kayleen McCabe on the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA) Facebook page. McCabe and Stump both mentioned the value of SkillsUSA as part of CTE during the live chat. Stump then shared the Find Something New website (www.FindSomethingNew.org), recently launched by corporate America and the Ad Council to inspire and empower Americans to achieve career success in fields such as construction, healthcare, manufacturing, information technology, transportation, energy, communications and public service.

Stump said he is impressed with the creativity demonstrated during the pandemic by CTE programs nationwide to keep students learning. He shared CTE school success stories from the U.S. Department of Education websites as examples to highlight.

Plan Now for 2021 SkillsUSA Week and CTE Month 

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

SkillsUSA Week is Feb. 7-13 and you can participate many ways: honor your community supporters, connect with local business and industry professionals, or make a presentation about SkillsUSA 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, resources to help you engage local business and industry leaders, and a link to send fill-in releases using the Advocacy Site, go to: www.skillsusa.org/events-training/skillsusa-week.

Visit the SkillsUSA Store at www.skillsusastore.org to order SkillsUSA Week T-shirts and other logo products to support your celebration.  

For more information on celebrating CTE Month, we encourage you to look at the resources available on the Association for Career and Technical Education website at www.acteonline.org/why-cte/cte-awareness/cte-month/.

Final Reminder: Proposed Bylaw Amendment Motions Submissions

Current SkillsUSA members can submit proposed bylaw amendments for middle school, high school and college/postsecondary divisions. Bylaw amendment motions must be submitted by Feb. 1 by 5 p.m. ET.

SkillsUSA’s National Executive Council and board of directors will review all submissions during the March 2021 board meeting. All motions will be distributed to state SkillsUSA directors no later than April 15. Motions will then be presented for vote at the official business meeting of the House of Delegates during the 2021 NLSC.

Bylaw amendments are governed by Article XII of the high school and college/postsecondary bylaws and Article X of the middle school bylaws.

For more information and to view the bylaws, click here. The motion form is located here.

If you have questions, contact Tyler Chaffin at tchaffin@skillsusa.org.

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

State SkillsUSA directors: The deadline is approaching and we are looking for additional nominations for both the SkillsUSA Honorary Life Membership and the Outstanding Career and Technical Educator awards.

As you are aware, the Honorary Life Membership is SkillsUSA’s highest recognition for outstanding service that advances the purposes and goals of the national organization, and 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 Honorary Life Membership or Outstanding Career and Technical Educator, submit applications at the following links. The deadline is Feb. 15.

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

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 fields.

Help spread the word about these opportunities:

  • The Marsha Daves Memorial Scholarship is open to current SkillsUSA state officers who are high school seniors or non-senior college/postsecondary students. For more information and to apply, go to: skillsusa.org/membership-resources/scholarships-financial-aid/. The deadline for applications is Feb. 1.
  • SkillsUSA has teamed up with the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) to promote outstanding student achievement within career and technical education. NTHS will award four $1,000 scholarships; two scholarships will be awarded to high school members, and two scholarships will be awarded to college/postsecondary members. For more information and to apply, go to: skillsusa.org/membership-resources/scholarships-financial-aid/. The deadline for applications is April 2.
  • The Sharon Melton Myers Memorial SkillsUSA Scholarship fund will provide graduating SkillsUSA members the opportunity to continue their education in college or technical school. For more information and to apply, go to: skillsusa.org/membership-resources/scholarships-financial-aid/. The deadline for applications is April 15.

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

Take Up the Challenge! National Conference Pin and T-Shirt Design

SkillsUSA is once again sponsoring the 2021 National Leadership and Skills Conference T-shirt and pin design challenges, open to all dues-paying student members. The winning designs will become the official T-shirt and pin design for the 2021 Virtual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.

This annual challenge has been updated to reflect the virtual delivery model of the 2021 National Leadership and Skills Conference. Contestants are encouraged to embrace this unique aspect of the 2021 NLSC in their artwork. Your challenge is to create an icon that can mark this historic occasion for years to come!

The top three finalists from both challenges will be announced on March 7. Student members from across the nation will have the chance to vote on designs for the official pin and T-shirt design of the 2021 NLSC via SkillsUSA CONNECT during the week of March 15, with the final winners being announced on March 22.

Submissions are due by March 1, 11:59 p.m. (ET). To submit your design, go to: Pin Design Challenge Submission and T-shirt Design Challenge Submission.

2020-21 Advisor of the Year

State SkillsUSA directors: This year’s Advisor of the Year (AOY) information and resources are located on SkillsUSA Connect. Please note: there are two different state director guides. One guide is designed specifically for state associations that intend on using the AOY section of the SkillsUSA Register site to collect and judge state-level AOY applications. The other guide is designed specifically for state associations that will be selecting their AOY recipient using their own process/methods and will be submitting their state winner into the National AOY program.

To access the information, log into SkillsUSA CONNECT and go to: www.skillsusaconnect.org/advisor-of-the-year-sd-hub.

A couple of reminders:

  • As a state association, you have complete authority to manage your Advisor of the Year program at the state-level, using whatever process, methods and timelines that work best in your state. You are still able to submit your state Advisor of the Year recipient from the previous school year or the current school year. However, in order to be eligible to achieve the regional or national level award, advisors must be current Chapter Excellence Program (CEP) Level 2 recipients and paid professional members during the 2020-21 school year.
  • An exception to eligibility requirements may be made if the Advisor has retired during or prior to the year in which they are being submitted for National AOY consideration. The Advisor must have been a paid Professional member and met the minimum CEP requirement during their last year of teaching. A letter from an administrator stating the date of retirement must be submitted to Taryn Zeigler at tzeigler@skillsusa.org.

The deadline for state association directors to submit or “advance” their state recipient is April 1.

We are excited to honor and celebrate your advisors across the country! If you have any questions, please contact Taryn Zeigler at tzeigler@skillsusa.org.

State-Level Awards Funded for Advisor of the Year

State SkillsUSA directors: Again this year, SkillsUSA will supply state-level Advisor of the Year (AOY) awards. Each state may order one award for a secondary AOY and one award for a postsecondary AOY to award in your state.

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

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

Awards are custom produced and shipped from the manufacturer, so please allow three weeks for delivery.

Remind Advisors to Register All Members by March 1  

State SkillsUSA directors, please pass this on to your advisors to ensure they receive all membership benefits and that students qualify for national events:

The SkillsUSA 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:

  • The Framework Integration Toolkit, consisting of 45 separate resources.
  • Program of Work Toolkit for in-person and virtual chapter activities.
  • SkillsUSA Championships Toolkit, including the 2021 SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards and local career competition guides.
  • Jump into STEM! Toolkit plus virtual lesson plans.

Call the SkillsUSA Customer Care Team if you need help in starting a new chapter, engaging chapter members, or discovering strategies to strengthen an existing chapter. If you have questions or need assistance with online membership registration, the Customer Care Team can take care of that, too. Call toll free: 844-875-4557 from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. ET Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 11 a.m.–7 p.m. ET Tuesday and Thursday, or email customercare@skillsusa.org.

Earn Recognition for Service Through Presidential Honors 

Once again at national conference, SkillsUSA will recognize individuals or chapters with the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA). This presidential honor 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.

This program allows SkillsUSA advisors, students and registered alumni to earn recognition for their community service and volunteer activities. With SkillsUSA’s focus on community service, many advisors and students have already met the requirements to receive the award. To qualify, SkillsUSA members, advisors or alumni must submit a record of service hours.

For details on qualifying hours and requirements, visit: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/awards/presidents-volunteer-service-award/.

Applications must be received by April 1 for recognition at the 2021 NLSC.

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.

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. When a SkillsUSA chapter mentors an elementary- or middle-school classroom, it helps younger students imagine careers and helps older students practice their skills.

Student2Student recognizes SkillsUSA chapters that are involved in a mentoring program in their communities. To enter, submit your mentoring project plan, description and outcomes. The winning chapter will be recognized at the National Leadership and Skills Conference, a plaque and receive a $500 check for the chapter to use toward expanding next year’s mentoring project. All entries must be submitted by April 1. Winners are announced in May.  

For more information, contact Tyler Chaffin at tchaffin@skillsusa.org or visit: www.skillsusa.org/programs/mentoring-student2student/.

Annual Corporate Forms Needed

State SkillsUSA directors: It’s time to complete the annual corporate form. This information is very important to SkillsUSA and we appreciate your help. Forms are due by Friday, April 23. Complete the form at the following link:  https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/b02839ec11b04f02b0e29d0179111b86.

Email Messages Claiming to Sell SkillsUSA Lists

Periodically, people affiliated with SkillsUSA receive emails from various companies trying to sell an attendee list from one of our conferences or from SkillsUSA TECHSPO.

These are not legitimate offers. Rest assured, these companies don’t have a real list from SkillsUSA.

  1. SkillsUSA never sells our attendee lists or email lists.
  2. Offers claiming to sell these lists are fraudulent.
  3. The people who send these messages are not affiliated with SkillsUSA in any way.

If you have received one of these emails, please forward a copy to info@skillsusa.org for our records.

Avoid direct interaction with these solicitors. The best thing you can do is report their messages as spam and delete them.

Check Out the Techforce Foundation “Be a Pathfinder” Campaign

TechForce Foundation is hosting its annual “Be a Pathfinder” campaign, Jan. 19-31. The campaign helps students discover if they are a good fit for a high-tech career in transportation. The “Be a Pathfinder” resources let students and their parents identify their learning styles through a quiz, and receive a free report with tailor-made tips for career and education success. Take the quiz here: https://techforce.org/mypath.

Scholarships are also available for students in Automotive, Collision Repair, Diesel, Restoration, Marine, Motorcycle, Motorsports or CNC Machining programs who are currently attending a postsecondary program or who will be starting one of these programs within the next four months.

TechForce is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) with the mission to champion students to and through their technical education and into careers as professional transportation technicians. It is the largest nonprofit scholarship provider for technicians, awarding $14.6 million since inception. It also spearheads a workforce development initiative to help encourage and support more young people to pursue the vehicle technician profession. Learn more at www.techforce.org.

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.

Registration Open for ACTE’s Virtual National Policy Seminar

Registration is open for the Association for Career and Technical Education’s National Policy Seminar (NPS). It will be held the week of Feb. 22. Some benefits of attending include:

  • Learning about hot topics in the 117th Congress.
  • Biden Administration official welcome with a preview of educational policy priorities.
  • Outlook and news from Members of Congress working on CTE issues for key committees.
  • Learning best practices in influencing federal policy related to CTE advocacy and messaging.
  • Attending virtual Hill and school visits.
  • Learning from policy and advocacy how-to sessions to help you continue to strengthen support for CTE.
  • Meeting with your Members of Congress and their staff on Capitol Hill to share your CTE success stories and programming needs.
  • Receive updates on legislation and policies impacting CTE and guidance to aid in Perkins V implementation.
  • Attend an all new Innovation Summit on April.

For more information and to see the agenda, go to: www.acteonline.org/nps/.

Due Dates

Jan. 15: State Farm Teacher Assist Grant opportunity deadline
Jan. 31: Cybersecurity Education Award nominations due
Feb. 1: Marsha Daves Memorial Scholarship applications due
Feb. 1: SkillsUSA Bylaw Amendment Motions submissions due
Feb. 15: Honorary Life Member and Outstanding Career and Technical Educator nominations due
March 1: National Conference Pin and T-Shirt Design submissions due
March 1: National Youth Safety Video Contest submissions due
April 1: Advisor of the Year State SkillsUSA Director submissions due
April 1: Student2Student entries due
April 2: National Technical Honor Society Scholarship applications due
April 15: Sharon Melton Myers Memorial SkillsUSA Scholarship fund applications due
April 23: Annual Corporate Forms due