Executive Update: November 16, 2020

Executive Update: November 16, 2020

Important Dates
Nov. 18: Pour the IndusTEA
Nov. 30-Dec. 4: ACTE CareerTech VISION Conference (Virtual)
Dec. 7-8: SkillsUSA Board of Directors Meeting (Virtual)
Feb. 2021: Career and Technical Education Month
Feb. 7-13: SkillsUSA Week

2021 National Leadership and Skills Conference and SkillsUSA Championships to be Held Virtually 

After careful consideration and research, SkillsUSA has decided that the 2021 National Leadership and Skills Conference and SkillsUSA Championships will be held virtually in 2021, with localized hands-on elements for select competitions.

For the full video announcement from SkillsUSA executive director Chelle Travis and SkillsUSA board president and Chief Marketing Officer for Snap-on Incorporated Sam Bottum, please go to nlsc.skillsusa.org. The video goes into great detail on the reasoning behind our decision and what we’re working on for the format of the event. There you’ll also find a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section offering even more answers to your questions. The FAQ will be regularly updated as more information becomes available.

Although we know the first reaction to this news will be disappointment, we want to assure all of our members and stakeholders that we WILL be holding an engaging and inspiring event they can all be proud of, including ALL of our SkillsUSA Championships competitions, SkillsUSA TECHSPO, delegate sessions, national officer elections and many opportunities for leadership development, professional development and member/chapter recognition.

We will be working with a company specializing in virtual conferences to create an EVENT, not “just another Zoom conference.” Our partners are offering more support than ever, and the bronze, silver and gold medals earned there — while not presented in-person — will offer the same life-changing career and educational opportunities they always have. SkillsUSA will also be working closely with all of our state associations to support their efforts in conducting their own successful state leadership and skills conferences, which the national conference is so dependent on.

We encourage all our members and stakeholders to once again tap into the resilience that’s a hallmark of our organization as we commit ourselves to hosting an engaging, inspiring and ultimately life-changing national conference. “We’ve all had to leap a lot of hurdles this year, and there are still a few more to come,” says Travis. “But that finish line is getting closer, and we’ll cross it together as SkillsUSA, one united and empowered organization.”

Specific dates, times and details are still being finalized and will be made available soon through all available channels.

SkillsUSA Celebrates Career Essentials Certified Teachers

During October, we celebrated more educators who became SkillsUSA Career Essentials certified teachers. They are now exceptionally equipped to use the Career Essentials curriculum as a turnkey tool to help learners define, implement and measure their career-readiness skills. These educators are now part of a national network of educators committed to preparing learners for success in the workforce:

Ronald Scott, North Point High School for STI

Lauri Redmon, Career and Technology Center at Fort Osage

Jesse Zweep, SkillsUSA Nebraska State Office

South Dakota
Katie Paulson, SkillsUSA South Dakota State Office

Andrew Smith, TN College of Applied Technology

Terri Altmann, Rebirth Empowerment Education

Twila DeMasters, Central Virginia Community College

Francie Dye, Central Virginia Community College

Janie Wilcox, SkillsUSA Wyoming State Office

To acknowledge the efforts of these teachers, we maintain a digital map that depicts the number of Career Essentials certified teachers in each state. Find the map here: https://mycareeressentials.org.

If you are implementing Career Essentials Experiences with your students and would like to become a Career Essentials certified teacher, please register for the Career Essentials Implementation Training. 

Pour the IndusTEA

On Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. (ET), SkillsUSA will be hosting a career cluster panel discussion specific to each career cluster that we cover. This new, high-energy, informative experience will connect members with business and industry partners. We invite you and your students to attend this event to gain useful insight and information about the industries they are stepping into.

The virtual event information will be shared in SkillsUSA CONNECT. To gain access to the event, chapters have two options:

  • Students can individually access the event in SkillsUSA CONNECT and watch it on their personal device.
  • The advisor can access the event in SkillsUSA CONNECT and project it in their classroom.

For further information, visit the Pour The IndusTEA page in SkillsUSA CONNECT, SkillsUSA’s new virtual community for members and advisors. 

SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards Are Now Available 

The SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards are the official competition guides for the SkillsUSA Championships, and they’ve been newly revised for 2021. The standards feature all the rules for each national competition, including an overview, lists of technical skills and knowledge required, clothing requirements, eligibility, and equipment lists. They also list the embedded academic skills in math, English and science.

In light of the recent announcement that the national conference will be held virtually in 2021, the standards have also been updated to reflect what will be needed in the virtual environment. Rules for state and local events may vary from the national guidelines, but most competitive events are modeled after the national technical standards.

SkillsUSA professional members receive access to all the SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards as a free member benefit when they have submitted a current and accurate email address with their membership details. They’re also available online to professional members as part of their paid membership.

Watch this video to learn how to access the SkillsUSA Championship Technical Standards.

New Integration Tools and Local Contest Guides

SkillsUSA has launched professional development videos and activity sheets to help advisors integrate the SkillsUSA Framework into their classrooms and chapters. Access the on-demand videos and activity sheets here: absorb.skillsusa.org.

SkillsUSA has a series of new guides to help you host a local competition or coach student competitors. Each “Local Career Competition Guide” provides a competition description and sequence, Essential Element integration and step-by-step instructions for success, from pre-work to celebration and evaluation. To learn more, join an upcoming session:

  • 5 – Hosting A Local Championship Guide.
  • 5 – Championship Coaching Guide.
  • 9 – Hosting A Local Championship Guide.
  • 16 – Championship Coaching Guide.

To view the schedule and register for the free opportunities, go to: www.skillsusaconnect.org/events.

SkillsUSA Educational Resources + Professional Development = Empowered Educators 

Each year, SkillsUSA releases new educational resources to support the development and demonstration of personal, workplace and technical skills in CTE students. The “Jump Into STEM” curriculum has been updated to include virtual lesson plans. Also “Career Essentials Foundations” lesson plans were enhanced and essential element videos were added, three new SkillsUSA Championships coaching guides became available, and the “JumpStart 2.0 Activities and Icebreakers” book was released.

Professional development to support advisor awareness and implementation of resources is a huge benefit of SkillsUSA professional membership. If you prefer just-in-time professional development, SkillsUSA has launched a series of professional development videos and activity integration sheets to help you integrate the Essential Elements of the SkillsUSA Framework in your classroom and chapter. To access the videos and integration activity sheets, go to: www.skillsusaconnect.org/advisor-professionaldevelopment-opportunity.

If you prefer instructor-led professional development, go to this link. You can also view the full schedule of opportunities and register to attend in SkillsUSA CONNECT on the “Professional Development Opportunities” page under “Advisor Resources.”

Upcoming sessions include:

  • 17 – Jump Into STEM.
  • 17 – Chapter Excellence Program.
  • 18 – Critical Thinking at Work.
  • 18 – Conflict Management at Work.
  • 19 – Framework Integration Strategies & Foundations Lesson Plans.
  • 19 – JumpStart 2.0.

Black Friday Deals on the SkillsUSA Store 

All November, you can enjoy deep discounts on a wide selection of products from the SkillsUSA Store. Find inspiration for your next gift or giveaway by shopping the “Black Friday” category. With most products discounted at 50% or more, don’t miss your chance to score great deals on apparel, bags, drinkware and more. Even better, if you shop on Black Friday you can enjoy free shipping on any size order! If shopping on Black Friday, make sure to use code “BlackFriday2020” at checkout to take advantage of free ground shipping.

Visit www.SkillsUSAStore.org today! 

New Digital Resources Showcase Value of Membership 

In these challenging times, SkillsUSA is striving to increase the value of membership for every member and supporter. Here are some new resources to help teachers share these key messages on why students should join:

  • The Value of Membership: Share the value of SkillsUSA membership with administrators, partners or parents: http://bit.ly/SkillsUSA-Value.
  • Connect, Learn and Grow: This lively video explains what SkillsUSA is about in a compelling message you can share with students, parents, instructors or administrators. To see or share the video, see below: 

Program of Work Builds Better Students 

We encourage state directors and advisors to get to know the newly revised SkillsUSA Program of Work (PoW), now updated to better serve student growth and more easily align with the needs of the community and industry partners. The PoW is a chapter management tool, an individual growth plan and the ultimate student engagement aid. Resources include a “Program of Work Launch Activity Guide” with instruction, videos and virtual options to help you implement activities throughout the school year. Access the Program of Work resources here: www.skillsusa.org/programs/program-of-work/. 

#SkillsUSAGivingHopeDay Doubles Up on Hope   

The SkillsUSA Hope Fund was founded in 2019 to provide scholarships or support for individual students and SkillsUSA chapters in crisis. Contribute to the 2020 campaign and join us as a SkillsUSA member or supporter who makes a difference. Between now and Dec. 1, participate in #SkillsUSAGivingHopeDay and know that every donation you make to SkillsUSA will be doubled, because, once again this year, contributions will be matched by CareerSafe.

Thanks to the generosity of CareerSafe in supporting the campaign, every donation doubles up to help SkillsUSA, up to $10,000. Follow the 2020 campaign on social media and share the #SkillsUSAGivingHopeDay posts to help spread the word.

Visit: www.skillsusa.org/get-involved/donate/skillsusa-hope-fund/.

CTE in a Virtual World

Join Universal Technical Institute (UTI) on Friday, Nov. 20, for a 5-hour virtual conference that will bring together CTE educators and high school counselors from across the U.S. to learn how skilled trades education and career-readiness resources are evolving in a virtual world. You’ll connect with other CTE educators and UTI leaders and hear from industry representatives from SkillsUSA and Roush Yages Engines. Plus, you’ll receive five professional development hours and an opportunity to earn 20 hours virtually. To view the schedule and register to attend, visit http://bit.ly/UTIConference.

World Series of Innovation Competition for Young Entrepreneurs

World Series of Innovation is an online, project-based competition sponsored by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Young innovators from across the globe are encouraged to enter and compete for cash prizes.

In the competition, small teams of young entrepreneurs (ages 13-24) create business solutions that align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and answer a special challenge posed by an entity from the private sector. Some teams compete independently, some are affiliated with schools or youth development organizations, and some undertake a challenge as a guided classroom project. Educators who are interested in using the World Series of Innovation in the classroom or encouraging student participation as an extracurricular enrichment opportunity can access a robust toolkit that provides additional resources for students and teachers.

The submission period is open until Dec. 14 at 11 p.m. ET. Visit https://innovation.nfte.com/ to learn more.\

Cybersecurity Education Award Nominations Sought 

On Nov. 9, the U.S. Department of Education announced a call for nominations for the Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award.

Now in its second year, the award is presented annually to one elementary educator and one secondary educator who instill in their students skills, knowledge and passion for cybersecurity. Any educator whose subject matter includes cybersecurity is welcome to apply. Recipients of this honor will receive acknowledgement by the President of the United States and the U.S. Secretary of Education, public recognition and professional development opportunities.

Educators from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, all U.S. territories, Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools and tribal areas are eligible. Anyone may nominate an educator, and self-nominations are permitted.

The nominations close on Jan. 31, 2021. For the rules, terms and conditions and specifics on how to apply, please visit www2.ed.gov/documents/presidential-cybersecurity-education-award.pdf.

Porsche Technology Apprenticeship Program 

Despite record unemployment, 100% of the most recent graduating class from the Porsche Technology Apprenticeship Program (PTAP), offered exclusively in partnership with Universal Technical Institute, have gone immediately to work.

Top students enrolled in UTI’s Automotive Technology Program across 11 campuses are recruited for PTAP. The PTAP program is offered in a blended format, combining online education with hands-on training in CDC-compliant labs in Atlanta, Ga.; Easton, Pa.; and Eastvale, Calif. Porsche directly supports the program, allowing students to receive training on the latest Porsche vehicles and technologies. Tuition and housing costs are covered by Porsche, and the company also arranges local part-time employment for students while they are in the 23-week program. Porsche dealerships  nationwide then offer employment to most students upon graduation.

For more information about the Porsche Technology Apprenticeship Program, click here. 

Attend ACTE’s CareerTech VISION Virtual Conference

This year’s ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2020 has moved to a fully online, virtual experience. The Nov. 30–Dec. 4 event can be attended from the comfort and convenience of your school, office or home and features enhanced programming and immersive professional development to address timely topics impacting career and technical education. Attendees will have opportunities to network and participate in interactive experiences through a dynamic virtual platform at this flagship event.

For conference rates, speakers and program details, go to: www.careertechvision.com.

Due Dates

Dec. 14: World Series of Innovation Competition applications due
Jan. 13: Saf-Gard Safety Shoe Co. Grant Application Deadline
Jan. 31: Cybersecurity Education Award nominations due