Executive Update: December 1, 2019

Executive Update: December 1, 2019

Important Dates
Dec. 4-7 : Association for Career and Technical Education CareerTech Vision Conference, Anaheim, Calif.
Dec. 10-11: SkillsUSA Board of Directors Meeting
Jan. 11-12: Conference Management System “Boot Camp,” Leesburg, Va.
February 2020: Career and Technical Education Month
Feb. 2-8: SkillsUSA Week

Executive Director’s Report

I am so honored to be serving as your new executive director of SkillsUSA. Career and technical education is my passion as well as my heritage. After more than 17 years invested in this field at the secondary and postsecondary levels, leading SkillsUSA feels like a very natural next step.

My parents and grandparents have a CTE background. My mom was a CTE instructor for 40 years and a CTSO advisor, my father was a machining student and practitioner before becoming postmaster of our small town, and my grandmother was a licensed cosmetologist. Their experiences informed my own career path. I taught at the secondary and postsecondary levels, had national medalists in SkillsUSA’s Quiz Bowl and Job Interview competitions, and I served as state SkillsUSA director in Tennessee. Most recently, I served the Tennessee Board of Regents as associate vice chancellor for the Colleges of Applied Technology and senior director for workforce and economic development at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

As SkillsUSA’s executive director, I pledge to remember that all SkillsUSA stakeholders are essential to this organization. You connect students, teachers and partners to our program and to meaningful opportunities in your states. Without your dedication, SkillsUSA simply could not exist as one of the nation’s largest individual membership organizations, and one of the largest that is volunteer-driven. 

It’s Hard to Say Goodbye — But You Can Help!

SkillsUSA’s director of communications, Tom Hall, retires on Dec. 10 after 34 years of dedicated service to SkillsUSA. He will be greatly missed as our communications expert, magazine editor, brand manager and solid voice of reason. He has always been incredibly meticulous in his work and always put members first. If you would like to send a note to Tom, you can do so at thall@skillsusa.org through Dec. 10.

Heidi Walsh, program director of the WorldSkills USA program and manager of NLSC opening and awards ceremonies, retires on Dec. 31 after 30 years of service to SkillsUSA. Over the years, Heidi served a number of roles in education and training, as well as publications in addition to her current role. If you would like to congratulate Heidi on her retirement, you can do so at hwalsh@skillsusa.org through Dec. 31. 

Nominations Open for Honorary Life Membership, Outstanding Career and Technical Educator

If you would like to nominate someone for SkillsUSA’s national Honorary Life Membership or Outstanding Career and Technical Educator, please submit your nomination by going to the following assigned links and completing the online application. The deadline for both applications is Feb. 15.

If you have any questions, please contact Laura Rauch at lrauch@skillsusa.org or 703-737-0619.

Interested in Becoming a Mentor to a New State SkillsUSA Director? 

State SkillsUSA directors: Are you interested in using your experience as a state SkillsUSA director to help someone else and mentor a new state director? Now is the time to explore the possibilities in serving as a mentor by completing a quick application. Applicants will be sent a mentor guide to prepare them to serve and then will be notified when there is a new state director who is a match. To complete an application, go to: www.surveymonkey.com/r/SDmentor. If you have questions or need additional information, contact Gayle Silvey at gsilvey@skillsusa.org.

Register Soon for the ‘Boot Camp’ on State Conference Scoring 

State SkillsUSA directors: SkillsUSA will be holding a Conference Management System “boot camp” with programmer Mark Williams on Jan. 11-12 in Leesburg, Va. The training is for state SkillsUSA directors and anyone who works with the state scoring system.

The training begins at noon on Saturday, Jan. 11 (lunch provided) and ends at noon on Sunday, Jan. 12. Please plan your travel accordingly.

SkillsUSA has reserved a room block at the Comfort Suites, 80 Prosperity Ave., Leesburg, Va. Meals and training will be provided by SkillsUSA. Attendees must pay for their travel and lodging. To reserve a room, call the Comfort Suites at 703-669-1650 and request the SkillsUSA room block. There is a free shuttle service to the hotel from Washington Dulles International Airport.

To register, go to: www.surveymonkey.com/r/CMSBC2020. Registration must be received by Dec. 13. Additional information about the boot camp is posted on the state SkillsUSA director website at: www.skillsusa.net/directors.

If you have questions, contact Patty Duncan at 703-737-0635.

#SkillsUSAGivingHopeDay Donation Match Benefits SkillsUSA Members

In lieu of Giving Tuesday, please join us for #SkillsUSAGivingHopeDay between now and Dec. 3. Giving Hope Day donations will go to the SkillsUSA Hope Fund, which will provide emergency scholarships for individual students in crisis, chapters affected by natural disasters, and meals for students in need while attending the National Leadership and Skills Conference. All donations made to this fund will be generously matched by our partners at CareerSafe. To donate, visit: http://bit.ly/SkillsUSAHope. Please follow and share on SkillsUSA’s social media channels to help spread the word about this student fund.

Amazon Smile Purchases Benefit SkillsUSA

Don’t forget that you can support SkillsUSA when you do your holiday shopping through Amazon. Make your order through AmazonSmile and search for ”SkillsUSA Foundation” as your charity of choice. SkillsUSA will receive a percentage of the sale and you will not incur any additional cost.

Take Up the Challenge! National Conference Pin and T-Shirt Design

Feb. 5 is the deadline for entries to be received (not postmarked) for the SkillsUSA National Conference Pin and T-shirt Design Challenge. This event is open to all paid student members of SkillsUSA. This is a great way to have a student and advisor from your state recognized on stage at the national conference. Rules are posted on the SkillsUSA website at: www.skillsusa.org/competitions/pin-design-challenge/.

Seeking Talented Singers to Open Conference

SkillsUSA is seeking a talented student or adult member to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Opening Ceremony of the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference on June 23, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. Auditions must be received by Feb. 3. SkillsUSA does not pay any travel expenses for the selected singer to attend the national conference.

To audition, submit a video of yourself singing the national anthem: https://skillsusa.wufoo.com/forms/national-anthem-auditions/. 

Focus Your Students on Safety

CareerSafe sponsors a National Youth Safety Video Contest, in which students across the country are challenged to create a two-minute video demonstrating safety in the workplace. All submissions should be sent to CareerSafe by March 1. The winning students will receive a SkillsUSA prize pack as well as a scholarship up to $2,500, and the winning school will receive a prize up to $5,000. For more information, visit the CareerSafe website after Oct. 15 at: www.careersafeonline.com.

Due Dates

Dec. 13: Registrations due for January conference scoring “boot camp”
Jan. 31: Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award nominations due
Feb. 3 : National Anthem audition videos due
Feb. 3 : National Conference Pin and T-Shirt Design entries due
March 1: National Youth Safety Video Contest submissions due

National Staff Travel

Dec. 3-7: Anaheim, Calif./ACTE CareerTech Vision 2019/select staff
Dec. 16-17 : Washington, D.C./Connect D.C./Shelly Coates, Ashley Ridgeway and Kaitlin Youngs
Dec. 18: Washington, D.C./Convention and Visitors Bureau event/Shelly Coates, Ashley Ridgeway and Kaitlin Youngs