Active Advisor News: March 2019

Active Advisor News: March 2019

Update from Tim Lawrence

National Officers Lead SkillsUSA Week Efforts
SkillsUSA had some great chapter activities across the nation to celebrate SkillsUSA Week and our national officers and staff also busy with activities.

On Monday, for Appreciation Day, SkillsUSA North Carolina director Peyton Holland and representatives of SkillsUSA’s lead sponsor for SkillsUSA Week, Channellock Inc., attended a school assembly and went on a campus tour at Nash Community College in Rocky Mount, N.C.

Tuesday was Advocacy Day. Thirteen members of the national officer team, executive director Tim Lawrence and some staff started the day at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE). They were greeted by Assistant Secretary of Education Scott Stump. The OCTAE meeting was chaired by Casey Sacks, deputy assistant secretary for community colleges and six U.S. Department of Education staff members attended. Also involved in the meeting were Channellock Inc. representatives including vice president Ryan DeArment. The group talked about the SkillsUSA Framework, credentialing through the SkillsUSA Career Essentials suite, and SkillsUSA as a skills gap solution. There was an update on Perkins V.

Next was a meeting with Laurie Rowe, senior policy advisor to Secretary Alexander Acosta, at the U.S. Department of Labor. Our group discussed credentialing through the SkillsUSA Career Essentials suite, apprenticeship and other opportunities for CTE students.

Students then headed to Capitol Hill to visit Kerry McKittrick at the office of Rep. Jim Langevin (R.I.); Sam Hattrup at the office of Rep. Rob Portman (Ohio); Nick Rockwell at the office of Rep. Glenn Thompson (Pa.); and Sasha Rauch-Kelly at the office of Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.). The last legislative appointment was with Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (Pa.), with whom the group had a photo opportunity and short visit.

On Thursday, for SkillsUSA Serves Day, national officers and the Channellock representatives headed to the company’s hometown of Meadville, Pa., for a school assembly and tour of Crawford County Career and Technical Center.

On Friday, a group of national officers and Channellock representatives traveled to Catawba Valley Community College in Conover, N.C., to participate in a pep rally and tour of the 80,000-square-foot Workforce Solutions Complex.

I also served as a panelist for a CTE 101 briefing for Capitol Hill staffers. The event was a recruitment push for the House CTE Caucus and a co-sponsorship push for the House’s CTE Month resolution. Hosted by Reps. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) and Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), the panelists talked about career and technical education programs, Perkins V funding, and career and technical student organizations (CTSOs). I used the lens of SkillsUSA to describe how CTSOs benefit both education and industry. My remarks were recorded and if you would like to listen to them, they have been uploaded to the SkillsUSA Podcast channel here:

To see highlights of SkillsUSA Week in our Flickr album, go to:

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: 

National Research Center Data Shows SkillsUSA Members are Learning Essential Skills and Developing Career Plans
New research at public high schools in the United States has been released by the National Research Center for College and University Admissions (NRCCUA) that shows the majority of SkillsUSA members feel they are engaged in relevant coursework that prepares them for higher education or careers.

A study of 15,943 career and technical (CTE) students in Fall 2018 indicates that SkillsUSA members are acquiring significant skills from their career and technical coursework including responsibility (66 percent), work ethic (60 percent), teamwork (59 percent), communication (55 percent) and decision making (43 percent). Nearly half of students (47 percent) cite professionalism as a key trait they have acquired and feel their CTE program has positively influenced their grade point average (53 percent). To see the rest of the report, and other news about SkillsUSA, go to the press room at:

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

SkillsUSA National Signing Day for Construction Trades Deadline Extended

May 8 will be SkillsUSA National Signing Day, presented by Klein Tools.

This day will celebrate and publicly acknowledge high school seniors who are committing to careers in the building and construction trades. Whether they are starting an apprenticeship, entering a more focused technical education program, or entering the field directly, we want to reinforce support for the decision to help close the skills gap and promote a positive image for the trades.

In partnership with Klein Tools, SkillsUSA will host National Signing Day events at approximately 500 schools throughout the country — but we need to hear from you first! We are looking for Class of 2019 students who are committed to careers or continuing education in:

  • Residential Wiring
  • Building Trades and Renovations
  • HVAC
  • Plumbing

Participation will be limited to 500 eligible programs. The deadline for submissions has been extended to March 12. 

If you have graduating high-school seniors who fit the criteria, please use this link to start the conversation with the SkillsUSA National Signing Day team:

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. 

Models of Excellence Highlighted in Magazine

The spring print edition of SkillsUSA Champions 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:

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:

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 blog or testimonial, email

To learn more about the campaign, go to:

2019 National Conference Anthem Singer, T-Shirt Design and Pin Design Winners Announced

Singing the national anthem at the opening ceremony of SkillsUSA’s national conference will be Paravi Das, a graphic communications student at the Academies of Loudoun in Leesburg, Va. Coincidentally, Paravi is also this year’s winner of the conference’s T-Shirt design challenge. Her advisor is Pam Smith.

This year’s winner of the conference pin design challenge is Cameron Moore, a graphic communications student at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Mich. His advisor is William Brown. 

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, please contact Taryn Zeigler at: For contest details and rules, go to: 

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 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.

Advocacy Tools Help Promote State Conferences

On the advocacy site, there is a press release template for state conference participants and others to tell local media about their accomplishments. Parents, instructors or students 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 

Registration Site for NLSC Courtesy Corps Opens March 15

SkillsUSA continues to work to enhance the National Courtesy Corps (NCC) experience at the National Leadership and Skills Conference.

More than 200 NCC members will be needed in 2019. The work of this group is deeply appreciated by the technical committees. This is also a great opportunity for students to network with industry and business partners and experience 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. This campus is about 12-15 minutes from the Kentucky Exposition Center.

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 students. SkillsUSA will provide an individual schedule for each student and advisor listing work assignments, breaks, free time, etc., and there will be a separate advisor session to review student duties and responsibilities.

Registration begins March 15 at this site:

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

Harbor Freight Tools for Schools National Championship Scholarship

SkillsUSA is proud to announce, in partnership with Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, a scholarship opportunity for SkillsUSA members. Eligible members can apply to receive up to $1,500 to assist in attending the 2019 National Leadership and Skills Conference. Applications will be accepted from March 15 to May 10. Grant recipients will be announced May 15.

Awards from the fund will be open to students who are: members of SkillsUSA chapters at public high schools in the United States, eligible to compete on behalf of their state in the 2019 SkillsUSA Championships and are registered to compete in specific contests. See the scholarship application for full details, including eligibility, here:

mikeroweWORKS Foundation Travel Scholarships

The mikeroweWORKS Foundation, in partnership with SkillsUSA, is proud to offer a $1,000 scholarship opportunity for SkillsUSA members who have competed and placed first in their state association competition and have insufficient personal, chapter, school or community resources to participate at the 2019 SkillsUSA Championships. Scholarships will be awarded, based on need, to offset the costs of travel and participation.

The award is based on a student-written, one-page narrative describing the student’s financial need for the scholarship including the lack of school or community resources. Preference will be given to applicants from program areas of manufacturing and industrial applications, construction, technical computer applications, firefighting, electronics and transportation.

The student may be nominated with a letter of recommendation written by their advisor, or state SkillsUSA director. Applications must be submitted via the online form to the national office of SkillsUSA for review and determination by midnight EDT on May 15. Scholarship recipients will be informed on June 1.

Full details and the application can be found at this link:

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:

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:

March Educational Resources Bundle

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.

Global Youth Service Day Looking for Participation

Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) celebrates and mobilizes the millions of young people who improve their communities through service.  GYSD is celebrated in more than 100 countries with young people working together to address the world’s most critical issues and help their communities thrive. Through service to their community, youth gain powerful skills like empathy, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication – skills they need to be successful in school, work, and life. GYSD will be celebrated on April 12-14. Find project ideas and planning tips at

Projects Rewarded for Fostering Social and Emotional Learning

Education First, in partnership with the NoVo Foundation, is seeking 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: The deadline for applications is March 22.  

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, themed “GREETINGS!”, challenges students to design and produce a printed greeting card for the occasion of their choice. One secondary- and one postsecondary-school winner will be identified for each of the first-, second- and third-place awards. The first-place award is $2,000 plus a two-day, 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: 

Reminder: 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: Applications must be received by March 29.

Reminder: 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 wisdom you have gained with others? If so, we want you!

SkillsUSA invites you to share your dynamic and presentation with our SkillsUSA students, teachers, business partners and conference attendees at the 2019 SkillsUSA University. All sessions will 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 do not want to present, but you have suggestions for workshop topics, please forward them to us.

The 2019 SkillsUSA University proposals are due by March 30:

For more SkillsUSA University information go to: or contact Stephanie Bland at 703-737-0622 or

Reminder: National Officer Candidate Applications Sought

The 2019 SkillsUSA national officer candidate application and national officer 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. 

Reminder: 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. To download a Mentoring Guide or enter your program for recognition, go to: