Executive Update: June 1, 2020

Executive Update: June 1, 2020

Important Dates
June 26: NLSC 2020 Virtual Recognition Sessions at 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

SkillsUSA Members Named Presidential CTE Scholars

The U.S. Department of Education has named five outstanding SkillsUSA seniors as 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars, the highest honor for high school students at the federal level. This is the fourth year SkillsUSA members received the honors. The students are:

  • Jarod Harris of Seward, Neb., a student at Seward High School and 2019-20 SkillsUSA National High School Parliamentarian
  • Daniel Marella of Cranston, R.I., a student at Cranston High School West
  • Jake Okun, of Scottsdale, Ariz., a student at Desert Mountain High School
  • Saviel Ortiz of Lawrence, Mass., a student at Greater Lawrence Regional Vo-Tech High School
  • Elizabeth Ann Wozniak of Meriden, Conn., a student at Orville H. Platt High School

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars honors outstanding students each year based on grades, school transcripts, an essay, community service, leadership and a demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

Established in 1964, the program has honored almost 7,600 of the nation’s top-performing students. This year the U.S. Presidential Scholars program recognized 161 high-school seniors for their accomplishments in academics, the arts or career and technical education. Usually the scholars are recognized at a Washington, D.C. ceremony but events may be virtual this year. To learn more and see a full list of the 2020 Presidential Scholars, go to: www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-secretary-education-betsy-devos-names-161-students-2020-us-presidential-scholars. 

Regional Advisors of the Year Selected

SkillsUSA’s five regional advisors of the year have been chosen. Congratulations go to:

  • Charlene Zinnel, Dorchester Career & Technology Center, Maryland, Region 1
  • Joseph Chapman, Center for Advanced Technical Studies, South Carolina, Region 2
  • Sara Plozay, Upper Valley Career Center, Ohio, Region 3
  • Cody McPherson, Geary High School, Oklahoma, Region 4
  • Kimberly Miller, Woodland High School, Washington, Region 5

These five outstanding advisors will be recognized on June 26 during the 2020 NLSC Virtual Recognition Session and one will be named National Advisor of the Year . 

“SkillsUSA Grad Night” Archived Video Now Available 

It was an exciting moment for the SkillsUSA family on Wednesday, May 27, when we held a virtual celebration to highlight all of SkillsUSA’s 2020 graduates.

Hosted by four of our talented 2019-20 SkillsUSA national officers, the 30-minute online event streamed live on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram,. The event featured music, messages of inspiration and a keynote address from Snap-on Incorporated President and CEO Nick Pinchuk. Also speaking were SkillsUSA Executive Director Chelle Travis and SkillsUSA Board of Directors President Jennifer Worth.

Snap-On Incorporated Chairman and CEO Nick Pinchuk spoke about SkillsUSA and the need for essential skills: “You see the capabilities you learn at SkillsUSA are those that are needed to support our country in the turbulence. Now eventually hopefully soon the skies will clear, and the virus will go away, and we’ll return to our normal life. And historians at that time will start documenting this period and when they do, they will write about the contributions of the workers and their skills how they delivered us and kept us afloat in the flood. They will write about you and SkillsUSA. This is your time.”

If you missed this great speech and the live event, you can view the archived version on our YouTube or Facebook page and celebrate the success of our SkillsUSA members. Be sure to share the links, too!


Facebook: www.facebook.com/SkillsUSA/videos/705104440250268/. 

“Essential Skills, Essential Workers” Summer Campaign

SkillsUSA and Centricity (SkillsUSA’s merchandising partner) have teamed up for a summer communications campaign dubbed “Essential Skills, Essential Workers.” The June 1 – Aug. 31 messaging campaign is designed to promote positivity in the wake of the current pandemic while reminding the nation of the vital role the skilled trades continue to play in the American success story.

The current health crisis has sparked newfound appreciation for many professionals who have traditionally been undervalued by society. SkillsUSA, however, has consistently championed the value and dignity of all workers since its founding in 1965. Healthcare specialists, plumbers, electricians, automotive technicians and workers in so many other skilled areas have always been essential. We hope this is a moment in time when we can make significant progress in elevating the public’s perception of the value of career and technical education, along with SkillsUSA’s unique positioning as a champion of all skilled workers.

As part of the awareness campaign, Centricity will release a series of SkillsUSA “Essential Skills, Essential Workers” merchandise, from mask headbands and hand sanitizers to T-shirts and water bottles to highlight the skills we bring to our national needs. Look for more information on our website (www.skillsusa.org) and our social media channels soon.

SkillsUSA Seeks “Essential Skills” Stories   

Recently, we asked states to share with us which SkillsUSA chapters are building or donating personal protective equipment (PPE) in light of the current pandemic. SkillsUSA is pulling together a few brief stories to highlight those chapters in our publications and social media.

In addition to healthcare stories, we also seek essential workers in fields such as automotive technology, culinary arts, welding, cabling or other areas where CTE skills are supporting communities during the current crisis.   If you know of any students, advisors or chapters who are helping, please share those stories and contact information so we can get the details. Photos are also greatly appreciated! Send your materials to Jane Short at jshort@skillsusa.org. 

NLSC 2020 Virtual Recognition Session 

Join us virtually on June 26, 2020, for the National Leadership and Skills Conference Virtual Recognition Session. This year’s session will give us an opportunity to be apart “together” while we recognize key supporters and leaders in SkillsUSA. We will host three 30-minute segments at 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. EDT, during which we will recognize our Pin and T-shirt Design Challenge Winners and present awards for Advisor of the Year, Outstanding Educator, President’s Volunteer Service Award, Student2Student, Alumni, Honorary Life and Chapters of Excellence. We will also meet some of our sponsors and hear a retiring address from Jarod Harris, SkillsUSA National High School Parliamentarian. Finally, we will announce the 2020-21 SkillsUSA National Officer Team. Watch for more information soon. 

Virtual Delegate Sessions and National Officer Elections

One of the most anticipated events of a SkillsUSA summer is the election of new national officers.  SkillsUSA is proud to announce details of our virtual delegate sessions and national officer candidate events leading up to the announcement of our 2020-21 National Officer Team on June 26.

Here is the most relevant information candidates and voting delegates need to know. 

2020 Virtual Delegate Business Sessions 

Tuesday, June 23 – C/PS – Zoom – beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT

  • Delegate Business Session
  • Meet the Candidate
  • Voting (via online system)

Wednesday, June 24 – HS – Zoom – beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT

  • Delegate Business Session
  • Meet the Candidate
  • Voting (via online system)

All SkillsUSA national voting delegates should block several hours to accomplish the business session, Meet the Candidate and voting for their division. No registration will be conducted for delegate sessions. SkillsUSA members, advisors and state directors are welcome to attend these events online. Middle school delegates may attend either Zoom business session, as there will not be a specific session for this division.

No new business will be brought forward during the delegate sessions. If you have an issue to be reviewed, please email Kim Hegedus at khegedus@skillsusa.org. For the most up-to-date information on delegate events, visit: www.skillsusa.org/events-training/national-leadership-and-skills-conference/delegate-sessions/.

Free E-Learning Resources from Klein tools 

SkillsUSA’s partner, Klein Tools, is providing new content for e-learning. They have developed a Tools 101 video for instructors and student on tool selection and maintenance. The videos are broken down into four segments.

To access the videos, you will be asked to complete a short form and then be directed to the content: www.surveymonkey.com/r/Tools101_2020.

Listen to SkillsUSA Podcasts 

SkillsUSA podcasts cover a wide range of topics of interest for anyone involved or interested in SkillsUSA and career and technical education. Recently, SkillsUSA staff member Craig Moore sat down with Glori Beaufort, a SkillsUSA member since high school. They discussed Glori’s SkillsUSA experience and how she uses the skills she learned in her professional life. To listen, go to: https://bit.ly/Glori-Beaufort.

From basic “how-to” information to memorable speeches, SkillsUSA podcasts contain something for everyone. Our podcasts are free, and you can subscribe through iTunes. You can also find the podcasts on our website at: www.skillsusa.org/publications-news/podcasts/. 

Action Needed: Ask Congress to Include CTE Resources in Next Relief Package 

On May 15, the House Democrats introduced and passed H.R. 6800, the Health Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, a $3 trillion, 1,800-page follow-up coronavirus relief package. Although it made substantial investments into our education system, it does not include dedicated resources for CTE programs.

It is critical that the next relief package provides the necessary resources to ensure students can gain skills that are needed to help combat the pandemic and that will be needed by business and industry as we shift toward long-term economic recovery.

The Association for Career and Technical Education has made it easy for you to write to your U.S. House and Senate representatives by providing a pre-written template on their advocacy site to request inclusion of CTE funding in the next relief package. Members of Congress prioritize action requests from their constituents, so contacting them makes a huge difference.

To write Congress, go to the ACTE action template and follow the prompts: www.acteonline.org/advocacy/take-action/#/58.

If you prefer, call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected with a specific congressional office (this is effective if you already have contacts). Here are key talking points:

  • CTE is critical to helping our economy recover and get Americans back to work.
  • Significant investment is needed to upskill and retrain 30 million Americans who are out of work and the many whose jobs are impacted as a result of Coronavirus.
  • During the last recession, postsecondary enrollment increased by nearly 2.5 million students or 16 percent. The increase was largely due to nontraditional-aged college students, and 50 percent of the new enrollments went to community colleges. A similar trend can be expected with the current predicted economic downturn.
  • The next stimulus bill must include a significant investment in CTE and workforce development programs to nimbly and adequately support urgent workforce needs.

As always, to keep up to date with the latest CTE legislation news, check out ACTE’s website at www.acteonline.org. 

“Keep CTE Moving” Helps Students Continue Learning 

SkillsUSA has joined with Lincoln Electric, Tooling U-SME, Haas Automation, NC3, camInstructor, NCCER, The American Welding Society, Autodesk, Caterpillar Inc. and Sandvik to form a career and technical education (CTE) instructional resource called the CTE Coalition. The coalition mobilized Keep CTE Moving, a website providing free resources for CTE instructors and students.

Keep CTE Moving allows instructors and students access to hundreds of online classes, videos, and instructional materials in machining, welding, mechatronics, industry 4.0, and programming. These resources will help CTE faculty and students adapt teaching and learning to a virtual environment with the flexibility to learn now and test hands-on skills later. Coalition partners are also providing recorded sessions highlighting best practices in virtual learning.

Visit Keep CTE Moving regularly for new partners, more learning resources and guidance. For more information, go to www.ctecoalition.com.

Gifts for Graduates From the SkillsUSA Store

Commemorate the year and honor the hard work of your graduating seniors, including chapter or state leaders, with a gift from the SkillsUSA Store. The Class of 2020 has overcome difficult hurdles this year, and  they deserve to be recognized and honored for their achievements. Make them feel like the champions they are with a thoughtful gift to celebrate their time with SkillsUSA. See the collection here: https://tinyurl.com/ya7of8q3.