Executive Update: March 1, 2019

Executive Update: March 1, 2019

Tim Lawrence

Important Dates
March 12-13: SkillsUSA Foundation Meeting, St. Paul, Minn.
March 20-21: SkillsUSA Board of Directors Meeting, Sacramento, Calif.

Executive Director’s Report

Alumni Task Force Builds Three-Year Strategic Plan
On Feb. 6 and 7, a group of stakeholders met to discuss the future and develop a new three-year strategic plan for the SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends Association. Teachers, business partners, state SkillsUSA directors and former state, national and local SkillsUSA officers, along with a current national officer, attended this important meeting. The task force worked toward the vision of every local SkillsUSA chapter having an active and engaged alumni chapter to provide resources, guidance and support to give every member the opportunity for career success.

The task force was charged with identifying opportunities for current members and building a plan. They developed a strategic plan with a focus on local alumni chapter development and alumni leadership structure to support it. Taryn Zeigler did a great job leading the meeting; Gayle Silvey masterfully facilitated the discussion; and Kelly Horton and I presented the SkillsUSA vision, imperatives and projects. I was proud to be a small part of this discussion.

National Technical Committee Members Preview Atlanta
On Feb. 6 and 7, our national technical committee members met in Atlanta to plan for current and future changes to the SkillsUSA Championships competitions. The group of 77 also toured the Georgia World Congress Center, where the National Leadership and Skills Conference will take place starting in 2021. Thanks to Dave Worden, Jim Kregiel and Kaitlin Youngs for running a quality meeting and to Ashley Ridgeway and Shelly Coates for making the logistical arrangements.

SkillsUSA Featured in ACTE Magazine
SkillsUSA is featured in the February 2019 issue of ACTE’s Techniques magazine. The 11-page article on how CTSOs engage students in CTE features all the career and technical student organizations. Our article highlights the SkillsUSA Framework and Chapter Excellence Program. ACTE members can login to view the story online or see it in the SkillsUSA Press Room: www.skillsusa.org/publications-news/press-room/

SkillsUSA Staff Polishes First Aid Skills
SkillsUSA headquarters staff took American Red Cross basic first aid and CPR/AED training on Tuesday, Feb. 12. The certification is good for two years and will ensure all staff is prepared for medical emergencies at our national conference or elsewhere.

Follow America’s Team as They Train
The WorldSkills USA team is training hard for the 2019 WorldSkills Competition, scheduled for Aug. 22-27 in Kazan, Russia. Hairdressing competitor Rebekah Hagberg went to Finland in January for a special training, while Bricklaying competitor Kelby Thorton demonstrated his skills in January to an international audience at the World of Concrete Expo in Las Vegas.

The full team will assemble March 10-13 in St. Paul, Minn., for training hosted by lead sponsor 3M, which will include a tour of its Innovation Center. Cabinetmaker Ethan Harrison is attending an International Young Adult Furniture Making Invitational in Austria on March 17-24.

For more news, bios, and videos go to the microsite worldskillsusa.org, where you can click to follow the team on social media. The latest video about competitor Ryan Mepplelink was created by our staff member Tom Kercheval. Ryan’s advice to others is: “Don’t ever give up — on anything. In the world of mechanics, we all get thrown curveballs, be it a new problem or an old one disguised. The only way we will learn and better ourselves is to never give up.” See Ryan’s video here: www.worldskillsusa.org/team/ryan-meppelink/

U.S. Presidential Scholars 2019 Candidates Announced
The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program recognizes some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating high-school seniors. Each year, up to 161 students are named as presidential scholars. The process begins with identifying candidates, who must then submit further information. Finalists will be announced later this spring, with winners recognized in Washington, D.C., in June. Last year, SkillsUSA had three CTE Scholars on the list. To view a list of the 2019 candidates, go to: www2.ed.gov/programs/psp/index.html

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

New Magazine Issue: Our Models of Excellence

SkillsUSA Champions magazine Spring 2019SkillsUSA advisors recently received the spring print edition of SkillsUSA Champions. The spring issue traditionally focuses on our local leaders. This issue spotlights three Models of Excellence first-place winners in our Chapter Excellence Program and how they implemented the SkillsUSA Framework in their programming. Throughout the issue, there are articles about current and alumni members from Massachusetts, Texas, New Jersey, Georgia, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee. A teacher’s guide to covering the issue with students is posted alongside the homepage link to the digital edition.

In addition to the news and motivational content in the print issue, the digital edition includes related videos, direct links to external resources and other dynamic material.

Please direct students to the digital edition on the SkillsUSA website homepage or using this link: https://read.nxtbook.com/mercury/skillsusa/champions_spring_2019/spring_2019_cover.html. 

Regional Advisors of the Year Selected 

SkillsUSA’s five regional advisors of the year have been chosen. Congratulations go to Jason McCuish, Lynn Vocational Technical Institute, Massachusetts, Region 1; Rita Yeary, Southampton High School, Virginia, Region 2; David Urlaub, Bay-Arenac ISD Career Center, Michigan, Region 3; Jeanne McClissh, Moore Norman Technology Center, Oklahoma, Region 4; and Norman Champagne, Kofa High School, Arizona, Region 5. These outstanding advisors will all be recognized at the 2019 National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville and one will be named national Advisor of the Year at the Opening Ceremony on Tuesday, June 25 in Freedom Hall.

Upcoming Professional Development for State SkillsUSA Directors

State SkillsUSA directors: SkillsUSA will be holding professional development training for state leaders on May 13-16.

The sessions will cover curriculum, best practices of state associations, implementation plans and key topics, including:

  • A 2.5 hour session on Perkins V, conducted by attorney Michael Brustein. He specializes in education and workforce law and is an expert in Perkins legislation. States will then create an action plan. To learn more about Brustein, go to: bruman.com/attorneys-staff/michael-brustein/
  • The new SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Experiences Exploratory and Adult Learner curricula will be unveiled and a training conducted on the SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Experiences Fundamental and Advanced
  • The new 2.0 version of the Chapter Excellence Program will be ready soon and we will reveal the new dynamics of the program that assists teachers in understanding the integration of the SkillsUSA Framework.

The national office will provide all educational resources for the training. All expenses for state directors will be covered with the exception of travel. If assistant state directors or other state staff members attend, they must cover lodging and travel. The training will take place on May 14-15 and until noon on May 16 at the Comfort Suites and the SkillsUSA National Leadership Center in Leesburg, Va. Plan to arrive on Monday, May 13. Lodging will be arranged once you register. Flights should depart at 3 p.m., or later on May 16.

There is complimentary shuttle service to the hotel from Washington Dulles International Airport and back again. Once you have gathered your bags, call the Comfort Suites at 703-669-1650 for a shuttle pick up at 2H.

Please contact gsilvey@skillsusa.org or 404-216-6040 if you have questions. We look forward to seeing you for this incredible networking and learning opportunity.

Complete your registration by April 19 here: www.surveymonkey.com/r/SDMAY19.

Advance CTE Industry Signature Campaign to Double Investment in CTE

On Feb. 25, Advanced CTE launched a year-long campaign to collect signatures from employers to urge Congress to double the federal investment in career and technical education (CTE). They are looking for sign-ons from small businesses to large corporations in every state and in every industry and hope to collect the first 10,000 signatures by April. Please spread the word. To sign-on, go to: http://isupportcte.org/?page_id=35.

Advance CTE is also looking to receive stories of what successful CTE looks like in your state and why you believe it’s important to increase the federal investment. To submit a short blog or testimonial, email ISupportCTE@careertech.org to learn how.

To learn more about the campaign, go to: http://isupportcte.org/?page_id=588.

CTE Professional Development Trainings for Teachers and Administrators

State SkillsUSA directors: SkillsUSA will offer professional development trainings in the states during the summer of 2019. We encourage you to set up trainings now for your teachers and administrators. Training topics we would like to highlight (but we are willing to create customized trainings based on your needs):

  • SkillsUSA Career Essentials suite

With federal legislation calling for career-ready students, school systems are working hard to prove they are graduating prepared students. Whether you already know about the SkillsUSA Career Essentials suite or need the basics, this session will highlight how the SkillsUSA resources engage students in defining, implementing and measuring their career-readiness. The SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Experiences addresses every point in a student’s educational journey with the additions of the exploratory set for middle school students and the adult learner version. Together, curricula and assessments work to culminate in students earning the new industry-recognized SkillsUSA Career Essentials credential. Each individual who earns the credential establishes and maintains a career readiness portfolio which demonstrates their transferrable career readiness skills and ability to successfully contribute to their place of work.

  • Take your Chapter to the Next Level with the Chapter Excellence Program

Are you ready to take your SkillsUSA chapter to the next level? The SkillsUSA Chapter Excellence Program (CEP) is the best way to develop a successful SkillsUSA chapter and there are new tools to make the process easier. Discover the new step-by-step teacher’s guide to integrate the SkillsUSA Framework into chapter program of work activities, engage students in the process and complete the online application to receive recognition for your success.

These trainings can be stand-alone or tie into your CTE summer professional development conference. The sessions are designed to be two trainings of six hours each with at least 20 teachers or administrators present for the training. SkillsUSA will handle requests on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have questions or need additional information, contact Courtney Ferrell at cferrell@skillsusa.org.

Set up a training today by completing the SkillsUSA request form: https://skillsusa.wufoo.com/forms/training-request-form-zoicm3e1g93zrj/.

Invite Officials and Promote Your State Conference

State SkillsUSA directors: Inviting elected officials and media to your state championships is an important way to spotlight your students and your state’s SkillsUSA program. This will not only help legislators and reporters experience firsthand the competitions showcasing career and technical education students, it will also motivate them to promote and support your program.

You received by email a sample invitation for your elected officials and a sample news release to alert the news media about your state conference. Be sure to invite your governor’s office, CTE state officials, U.S. senators and representatives, your state and local policymakers, members of the media, industry supporters and local chambers of commerce.

We want to remind you that the SkillsUSA advocacy site includes state contacts including your governor, lieutenant governor, state senators and representatives, state attorneys general and other officials. To contact any of these individuals, go to: www.cqrcengage.com/skillsusa/ and click on “Write to your State Legislator.”

Also on the advocacy site, there is a press release template for state conference participants and others to tell the local media about their accomplishments. Parents, instructors, students or anyone can email up to five media outlets at a time. Please spread the word about this important tool at your state conferences.

If you have questions, contact Jane Short at 703-737-0612 or jshort@skillsusa.org.

Now is the Time to Request a National Officer to be a Part of Your State Conference

SkillsUSA national officers are ready to serve and are available to attend your state conference. They might deliver greetings on behalf of the organization, introduce stakeholders, tour business and industry partners, facilitate workshops or help your state officers with their state conference responsibilities. Complete the national officer request form today to have assistance at your conference while providing an incredible opportunity for our student leaders. Go to: https://skillsusa.wufoo.com/forms/national-officer-request-form/.

SkillsUSA Job Opening for SkillsUSA Championships Program Specialist at the National Headquarters 

SkillsUSA has a job opening in the Office of Business Partnerships and Development for the SkillsUSA Championships. Interested applicants for the position should submit a résumé and cover letter to Missy Wilson at mwilson@skillsusa.org on or before March 8. Download the full description here: www.skillsusa.org/category/careers/.

Welding Program Grant Information 

Hypertherm will again award 12 schools (up from 10 last year) in Canada and the U.S. with the following:

  • A Powermax45® XP air plasma cutting and gouging system, a $2,340 value.
  • Hypertherm’s AWS SENSE approved “Plasma Cutting Technology: Theory and Practice” curriculum kit, a $505 value.
  • An initial visit by a Hypertherm District Manager to set up and train on the equipment and curriculum.

Applications are awarded based on the school’s commitment to metal fabrication education, program need, number of students who complete the program each year, instructor plans for system use, and a student testimonial. Applications are reviewed by a team of Hypertherm marketing, sales and training associates. Submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. on April 1 and awards will be announced on or before May 1. All the details can be found at: www.hypertherm.com/grant. 

NLSC Guide Now Available

State SkillsUSA directors: The guide for the 2019 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.

Beware of Unofficial Housing Providers for NLSC

Please be advised that the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official housing provider for the SkillsUSA 2019 National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC). Unofficial housing providers have contacted SkillsUSA 2019 NLSC exhibitors/attendees claiming they can secure hotel rooms. These companies are not authorized to represent SkillsUSA, nor do they have access to official room blocks or rates on behalf of the show. Please be aware that booking hotels through these unofficial contacts may result in unauthorized charges.

Projects Rewarded for Fostering Social and Emotional Learning Skills

Education First, in partnership with the NoVo Foundation, once again seeks applications for teacher-led and district-level projects that foster students’ social and emotional learning skills. They will award up to $5,000 to individual teachers or groups to implement an innovative project in their classrooms or schools in the 2019-2020 school year, and up to $25,000 per year for district-level awardees. More information and application details can be found here: https://education-first.com/social-emotional-learning-innovation-fund/?mc_cid=335c30c4ba&mc_eid=7d97716d5f. The deadline for applications is March 22.

Opportunities are Ample for SkillsUSA Alumni Members 

Alumni Pin Design Contest
SkillsUSA sponsors an Alumni Pin Design Competition that is open to all registered SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends Association members. The winning design will become the official alumni pin for the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. The alumni pin will be produced by the SkillsUSA Store and sold at the alumni booth at conference. If you have questions, contact Taryn Zeigler at: tzeigler@skillsusa.org. For contest details and rules, go to: www.skillsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Alumni-Pin-Rules-2019.doc.

All entries must be received (not postmarked) by the close of business on March 15 at the SkillsUSA national headquarters

Alumni Association Announces Awards Availability
The SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends Association will present two awards at the National Leadership and Skills Conference 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 years for 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, go to: www.skillsusa.org/alumni-association-announces-awards-availability/

Applications must be received, not postmarked, at the SkillsUSA National Leadership Center by April 5. Please mail to: SkillsUSA Alumni Executive Board, c/o Taryn Zeigler, 14001 SkillsUSA Way, Leesburg, VA 20176.

Earn Recognition for Community 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. 

SkillsUSA University Proposals Needed

Are you at the top of your game? A leader in your industry? On the verge of great discovery? Are you willing to share the wit and wisdom you have gained with others? If so, SkillsUSA invites you to share your dynamic, innovative presentation with SkillsUSA students, teachers, business partners and conference attendees at the 2019 SkillsUSA University. All sessions take place in the West Hall of the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) on June 26, 27 and 28.

Sessions can include best practices with a local advisor presenting or an expert in the subject area of: local chapter activities, fundraising, community service, SkillsUSA Program of Work success stories, business etiquette, communication skills for students and local industry partnerships. If you have suggestions for workshop topics, please forward them to us.

Please submit the 2019 SkillsUSA University request-for-presentation proposal by March 30: https://skillsusa.wufoo.com/forms/skillsusa-university-request-for-proposal/.

For more SkillsUSA University information go to: www.skillsusa.org/events-training/national-leadership-and-skills-conference/training-opportunities/skillsusa-university/ or contact Stephanie Bland at 703-737-0622 or sbland@skillsusa.org. 

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. For more information, contact Gayle Silvey at gsilvey@skillsusa.org. To download a Mentoring Guide or apply for recognition, go to: www.skillsusa.org/programs/mentoring-student2student/.

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/.

March Educational Resources Bundle

State SkillsUSA Directors: SkillsUSA is offering special pricing on a select bundle of educational materials. March’s bundle pricing includes the RESOLUTE: Ethics at Work Cards and the Leveraging Your Leadership with POWERRful Presentations. The bundle price is $29.95, a savings of $4.95. Order Stock No. BMAR2019. Here are the descriptions:

RESOLUTE: Ethics at Work Cards (P101)
These cards help students gain insight about conflicting values and discover the possible options and consequences.

Leveraging Your Leadership with POWERRful Presentations (P52)
This provides students six simple steps to give their speeches impact. The Teacher’s Guide provides lesson plans to help teachers help students enhance their public speaking skills.

Due Dates

March 1: National SkillsUSA membership deadline
March 1: National Signing Day submissions due
March 1: National Youth Safety Video Contest video submissions due to CareerSafe
March 8       Program Specialist applications due
March 15: Alumni Pin Design Contest entries due
March 22: Education First grant applications due
March 29: President’s Volunteer Service Award applications due
March 30: SkillsUSA University request-for-presentation proposals due

April 1: Student2Student entries due
April 1: National Technical Honor Society Scholarships applications due
April 5: Pioneer of Excellence Award and Outstanding Alumni and Friends Achievement Award applications due
April 1: Hypertherm grant applications due
April 5: Pioneer of Excellence Award and Outstanding Alumni and Friends Achievement Award applications due
April 15: Sharon Melton Myers Memorial Scholarship applications due
April 19: State SkillsUSA director registrations due for professional development training

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

June 1: National officer applications due
June 7: GAERF 2019 Student Design Competition entry deadline

National Staff Travel

March 3-7: Portland, Ore./Equipment & Engine Training Council meeting/Dave Worden
March 6: Jacksonville, Fla./Meeting with state SkillsUSA director/Gene Dudley
March 10-13: St. Paul, Minn./WorldSkills USA Training and SkillsUSA Foundation meeting at 3M/selected staff
March 11: Alachua, Fla./Meeting with NCCER/Gene Dudley
March 14-16: Greenville, S.C./South Carolina State Leadership and Skills Conference/Tim Lawrence
March 20-21: Sacramento, Calif./SkillsUSA Board of Directors’ meeting/select staff
March 21-24: Charlotte, N.C./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
March 26: Washington, D.C./National Policy Seminar 2019/Tim Lawrence and Courtney Ferrell
March 27-29: Louisville, Ky./Hotel visits/Shelly Coates
March 31-April 3: New Orleans/COABE Conference/Gene Dudley


April 3-6: Portland, Ore./Equipment & Engine Training Council meeting/Dave Worden
April 4-5: Lake Charles, La./SkillsUSA Louisiana College/Postsecondary State Leadership and Skills Conference/Gene Dudley
April 4-6: Linn, Mo./Missouri State Leadership and Skills Conference/Courtney Ferrell
April 8-10: Washington, D.C./Advance CTE Spring Meeting/Gene Dudley
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 17-18: Dallas/NCCER Workforce Development Committee meeting/Amy Serafino and Cathy Arrington
April 17-20: Orange Beach, Ala./Alabama Career Technical Administrators Conference/Gene Dudley
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