Active Advisor News: April 2019

Active Advisor News: April 2019

Update from Tim Lawrence

Tim LawrenceAnother Milestone Set for SkillsUSA Membership
This is another record-breaking membership year for SkillsUSA. As of today, the combined total of paid professional and student members is 366,209. Compared to last year’s total of 361,031 (not including alumni or honorary life members), there are an additional 5,178 members. We’ll keep counting until April 15, when SkillsUSA publishes the final membership report for the year. The SkillsUSA membership deadline was March 1 for national competitors and voting delegates, but membership remains open for all others, including professional members.

SkillsUSA in the News
SME recently asked me to write a guest article for their publication about SkillsUSA and the skills gap. The article, “Real-World Experiences Build a Better Workforce,” was published on the website March 11. To see it, go to:

New Annual Report Shows Growth
The new SkillsUSA annual report is now available in print and for digital download. The report recaps fiscal year 2018 and highlights our growth and success across many national programs, as well as providing a look at organization statistics. Download it here:

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

Plan Now to Serve May 5-11

As part of SkillsUSA’s annual program of work, we ask local chapters to plan, promote and conduct a community service project during the SkillsUSA National Week of Service, May 5-11. This helps commemorate the organization’s founding on May 8, 1965.

SkillsUSA advisors or chapter officers can email a brief description of their local events and photos to Gayle Silvey at In return, we’ll send you a SkillsUSA logo gift item valued at $15 to say thanks.

Help build awareness of SkillsUSA in your community by publicizing your events. To locate contacts for your local area newspapers, use the SkillsUSA Advocacy Site. Go to the webpage, click on the Media tab, enter your ZIP code, and choose up to media five outlets at a time. Next, click on Compose Your Own Letter, and paste in your press release or an invitation to cover your events. To see contact information for each media outlet, click on the name. The Advocacy Site is located here:

Share This Survey with Youth on Attitudes About Work

SkillsUSA is working with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), WorldSkills and the G-20 nations to gather data from youth ages 18-24 who are high school graduates. The survey takes a global look at how youth perceive the future of work and the rising influence of automation and artificial intelligence.

Adding data from United States — current students or graduates — is very important. If you have students or graduates in the 18-24 age group, please forward the link and ask them to take the survey. Also, please share this link with colleagues, family, friends and any students who are 18-24. The survey can be taken by CTE or non-CTE students/graduates.

The deadline is April 5. Here is the survey link: 

Photos Needed for Retirement Tribute

Tim Lawrence, the executive director of SkillsUSA, will be retiring next year. For his exemplary service, and as one of only three executives during the history of SkillsUSA, the SkillsUSA board of directors, SkillsUSA Foundation and the SkillsUSA staff are planning tributes, the first of which will be held during the National Leadership and Skills Conference’s opening ceremony.

Please help us celebrate Tim. If you have photos of Tim with teachers and students, attending your SkillsUSA state events over the years, or of fun and memorable experiences with him, please email them to the national headquarters team at We need to collect and organize them by April 15 at noon ET. Thank you in advance for your support!

Use Press Release Templates to Promote State Conferences

On the SkillsUSA advocacy site, there is a press release template for state conference participants, instructors and parents to tell local news media about their participation and accomplishments. Users can send an email to up to five media outlets at a time. Go to: If you have questions, contact Jane Short at 703-737-0612 or

Watch for a Communications Survey from SkillsUSA

At SkillsUSA, we are committed to continually assessing member needs and improving our work. Stone Ward Communications of Chicago is working with SkillsUSA to conduct research that will help us determine the best ways to develop and deliver printed and digital member communications and resources, including SkillsUSA Champions magazine.

A scientifically selected group of state SkillsUSA directors, SkillsUSA instructors, students and business partners will be invited to complete a survey to provide insight and feedback. We want your honest assessment of what we do well and what we could be doing better to address your informational needs. Following the survey, further research will include one-on-one interviews, focus groups and other qualitative research.

In the survey, SkillsUSA instructors will be asked if they are able to connect us to counselors, administrators and parents of their students, to conduct further research. This step is crucial to obtaining information from all stakeholders and supporters of the organization. Each group will be surveyed separately, followed by interviews or focus groups at a later date.

We know your time is valuable, so the questionnaire should only take about 10 minutes to complete. Responses go directly to the research company and are confidential. For sharing their opinions and providing us with an accurate email address at the end of the survey, we will give those who respond by the deadline the chance to enter a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card.

Please watch your inbox and complete your survey. Thank you for your participation.

Alumni Association Seeks Awards Nominees

The SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends Association will once again be presenting 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, please find the applications here: 

Applications must be received, not postmarked, to 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.

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:

Reminder: National Officer Candidates Sought

For this year’s national officer candidates, an application and program guide are now available on the SkillsUSA website here: The application deadline for SkillsUSA to receive national officer applications is June 1. Contact Kim Hegedus,, 317-544-8750 with questions. 

Advance CTE Industry Signature Campaign to Double the Investment

Advance CTE represents state leaders responsible for secondary postsecondary and adult career and technical education across the country. Like SkillsUSA, Advance CTE is always looking for opportunities to advocate on behalf of career and technical education students, and its new “I Support CTE” campaign does exactly that.

The year-long campaign, launched in February, aims to collect signatures from employers to urge Congress to double the federal investment in CTE programs. Looking for sign-ons from small businesses to large corporations in every state and industry, Advance CTE hopes to collect the first 10,000 signatures by April. Please spread the word. To sign on, go to:

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 learn how to submit a blog or testimonial, email

To learn more about the campaign, go to:

Registration for NLSC Courtesy Corps Open

SkillsUSA needs more than 200 National Courtesy Corps (NCC) members for the National Leadership and Skills Conference. The work of this group supports the technical committees and is deeply appreciated. This is a great opportunity for students to network with industry partners and experience the national conference.

NCC members receive free conference registration plus housing, local transportation, meals and entertainment. Each member is given several free shirts to wear during the week. All NCC participants are housed at the University of Louisville’s Community Park in Louisville, Ky., about 15 minutes from the Kentucky Exposition Center. SkillsUSA works to enhance the NCC experience each year.

NCC members are responsible for their own transportation to and from Louisville and should arrive on Saturday, June 22, by 4 p.m. so they can start to work in the contest areas on Sunday, June 23. Departure is Saturday, June 29.

Advisors must supervise their participating students and all members must abide by the NLSC Code of Conduct. SkillsUSA will provide individual schedules for students and advisors listing work assignments and breaks. There will be an advisors-only session to review student duties and responsibilities.

Dorothy Loges from Missouri is the NCC chair. Questions can be directed to her at: To register, go to:

‘Meet the Employer’ Sponsored by Magna International

SkillsUSA will be conducting a Meet the Employer event for SkillsUSA students at the National Leadership and Skills Conference on Friday, June 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All student members, regardless of graduation date and curriculum, are encouraged to attend and bring résumés. We anticipate over 50 employers will staff booths in the East Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center. Magna International, 3M, CBRE (commercial real estate services), Centuri Construction, Ferguson, IAA, NASSCO, Spirit AeroSystems, Textron Aviation and Nissan were the first companies to sign up. Meet the Employer will include career development seminars for attendees.

A flier about Meet the Employer can be downloaded and shared with your students who are coming to Louisville in June:

Prepare Delegates to Vote on New Constitutional Amendments

New constitutional amendments will be presented to the high school, middle school and college/postsecondary House of Delegates during the National Leadership and Skills Conference in June.

If you have delegates representing your state at the National Leadership and Skills Conference, please ensure they arrive with a strong familiarity with the motions that will be discussed during their business meetings.

To see them, go to:

To assist with preparing your delegates to vote on these motions, training videos will be posted in the near future on the SkillsUSA delegate sessions webpage at:

If you have questions, contact Kim Hegedus at

Help Launch the SkillsUSA Hope Fund

The SkillsUSA Hope Fund was established this year to provide emergency scholarships for individual students in crisis to further their trade education, as well as for chapters affected by natural disasters. The fund is growing, and we anticipate opening scholarships in 2020. We encourage our SkillsUSA staff, state SkillsUSA directors, board and foundation members, teachers and all stakeholders and supporters to consider making a donation to help the fund launch. To donate, go to:

SkillsUSA’s Newest Official Partners Listed

The following organizations have made financial contributions of at least $25,000 and/or documented in-kind contributions of at least $75,000, are supporting the SkillsUSA Framework and SkillsUSA Career Essentials credential, and have thereby qualified to be recognized by the SkillsUSA Foundation as a SkillsUSA Official Partner in 2019.

  • 3M
  • Air Products
  • American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
  • AMT–The Assn. for Mfg. Technology
  • Apex Tool Group (ATG)
  • Arconic Foundation
  • CareerSafe
  • Carhartt, Inc.
  • CBRE
  • Cengage Learning
  • Centuri Construction Group
  • Channellock Inc.
  • Charles Koch Charitable Foundation
  • Deere & Company
  • Distribution Contractors Association (DCA)
  • Ferguson Enterprises, Inc.
  • Fine Homebuilding/Taunton Press
  • GE Appliances, A Haier Company
  • Goodheart-Willcox Publisher
  • Harbor Freight Tools for Schools
  • Harley-Davidson Motor Co. Inc.
  • IAA – Insurance Auto Auctions
  • Klein Tools, Inc.
  • Koch Industries, Inc.
  • Kreg Tool Company
  • The Lincoln Electric Company
  • Lowe’s Companies
  • Magna International
  • mikeroweWORKS Foundation
  • Miller Electric Mfg. LLC
  • Newell Brands
  • Nexstar Legacy Foundation
  • Nissan Motor Corp. in USA
  • Pella Corporation
  • PHCC Education Foundation
  • PPG Industries, Inc.
  • Praxair, Inc.
  • Rogers (Electric)
  • Safelite Group
  • Snap-on Incorporated
  • Spirit AeroSystems
  • Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.
  • State Farm Insurance Companies
  • Stratasys
  • Toyota Foundation
  • Toyota Motor North America
  • United States Coast Guard
  • Universal Technical Institute (UTI)
  • Volvo Construction Equipment

GAERF Announces Student Design Competition

An 11th-annual student design competition has been launched by the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF), in conjunction with its managing organization, the Association for PRINT Technologies. All students are invited to enter who are attending recognized secondary or postsecondary institutions in the continental United States and studying graphic communications/printing, advertising, graphic design or interactive media.

The GAERF 2019 Student Design Competition, with “GREETINGS!” as the theme, challenges students to design and produce a printed greeting card for the occasion of their choice. One secondary and one postsecondary winner will be identified for each of the first-, second- and third-place awards. The first-place award is $2,000 plus an all-expenses-paid trip for the student and instructor to attend PRINT 19 in Chicago Oct. 3-5. The second-place award is $1,500, and the third-place award is $1,000. The entry deadline is June 7.

For more information about the contest, go to: