Executive Update: November 15, 2019

Executive Update: November 15, 2019

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

SkillsUSA Welcomes Chelle Travis as Executive Director

On Nov. 4, SkillsUSA welcomed Chelle Travis as its executive director. She brings 17 years of leadership experience in career and technical education to this role, with a solid understanding and track record of implementing and elevating the mission and program of SkillsUSA.

Travis has collaborated with business and industry, educators, legislators and other leaders to design curricula, develop programs and draft legislation, having served the Tennessee Board of Regents as assistant vice chancellor for the Colleges of Applied Technology and as a state SkillsUSA director. She received an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in business from Middle Tennessee State University.

“Chelle Travis, as the fourth-ever leader of SkillsUSA, embodies the dynamic and progressive leadership to expand on the organization’s momentum as well as build on critical relationships with industry. Her history with the organization, capabilities as a systems leader, passion for the mission, and her vision for the future, all make her an excellent fit to lead us,” says Jen Worth, SkillsUSA board president.

“I’m humbled and honored to serve as the next executive director of SkillsUSA,” Travis says. “I have a passion for the mission of our organization, and I am committed to building on SkillsUSA’s strong reputation to meet the needs of the future of work with the talents of our students, insights of our teachers, and requirements of our industry partners.”

Travis will succeed Tim Lawrence, who has led SkillsUSA as the executive director for the past 19 years. “The board is immeasurably grateful for the service Tim provided over his career,” Worth says. “His integrity, thoughtfulness and passion drove the organization to new heights.”

Of Travis, Lawrence says, “She is a proven leader in our space who strongly believes in the mission of our work, and cares deeply about students, teachers and partners. She is a champion for career and technical education and a highly skilled workforce.”

Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Building Grant Applications Due Soon

SkillsUSA has partnered with Harbor Freight Tools for Schools on a new grant opportunity. Eligible programs can receive up to $2,500 to strengthen their local SkillsUSA chapter.

Applications will be accepted through Nov. 25, and grant recipients will be announced Dec. 10. The grants are intended for SkillsUSA chapters established within the past three years that serve students enrolled in one of 27 construction, transportation or manufacturing occupational programs or contests.

To apply, chapters must complete an electronic application and explain how they will use the grant to improve the SkillsUSA program at their school. Applications will be evaluated based on proposed plans, community partnerships and sustainability of program improvements. Schools with 75% or more of their enrolled students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunches are encouraged to apply. Grant recipients will be required to complete an evaluation of their implementation during the 2019-20 school year, sign photography/video waivers and provide photos of students and teachers participating in activities funded by the grant.

The grant opportunity is available to high schools with SkillsUSA chapters established after July 1, 2016, in trade areas that align with the following SkillsUSA Championships competitions:

  • Cabinetmaking
  • Carpentry
  • Electrical Construction Wiring
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR)
  • Masonry
  • Plumbing
  • Sheet Metal
  • TeamWorks
  • Welding
  • Welding Fabrication
  • Welding Sculpture
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • CNC Milling Technology
  • CNC Turning Technology
  • Industrial Motor Control
  • Major Appliance and Refrigeration Technology
  • Mechatronics
  • Residential Systems Installation and Maintenance
  • Automotive Refinishing Technology
  • Automotive Service Technology
  • Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Collision Repair Technology
  • Diesel Equipment Technology
  • Marine Service Technology
  • Motorcycle Service Technology
  • MLR (Maintenance Light Repair)
  • Power Equipment Technology

Grant restrictions: The grant may not be used for the purchase of tools, hardware, electronic goods or related items or accessories (including, without limitation, automotive and motorcycle supplies or accessories, engines and generators, garage and machinery equipment and accessories, lawn and garden accessories and supplies, welding equipment or accessories, and material handling equipment, parts and supplies.

To complete the grant application, go to: https://skillsusa.wufoo.com/forms/2020-harbor-freight-tools-for-schools/

New Job Opening Posted at SkillsUSA

There is a new job posting on the SkillsUSA website for the director of the Office of Communications. Interested applicants should submit a résumé and cover letter to Missy Wilson at mwilson@skillsusa.org on or before Nov. 22. View the job description here: www.skillsusa.org/category/careers/

Maximizing Perkins V for Student Success

To help chapter advisors understand Perkins V as it relates to SkillsUSA and local uses of funds, below is some direct language from Section 135 of the new law that shows that school systems can meet the requirements by implementing the SkillsUSA Career Essentials suite. If you have questions about Perkins V, contact Gene Dudley, SkillsUSA regional senior manager, at gdudley@skillsusa.org.

“(b) Requirements for Uses of Funds. Funds made available to eligible recipients under this part shall be used to support career and technical education programs that are of sufficient size, scope, and quality to be effective and that—

(1) provide career exploration and career development activities through an organized, systematic framework designed to aid students, including in the middle grades, before enrolling and while participating in a career and technical education program, in making informed plans and decisions about future education and career opportunities and programs of study, which may include —

(A)  introductory courses or activities focused on career exploration and career awareness, including non-traditional fields;

(B)  readily available career and labor market information, including information on —

(i)   occupational supply and demand;

(ii) educational requirements;

(iii) other information on careers aligned to State, local, or Tribal (as applicable) economic priorities; and

(iv) employment sectors;

(C) programs and activities related to the development of student graduation and career plans;

(D) career guidance and academic counselors that provide information on postsecondary education and career options;

(E)  any other activity that advances knowledge of career opportunities and assists students in making informed decisions about future education and employment goals, including non-traditional fields; or

(F)  providing students with strong experience in, and comprehensive understanding of, all aspects of an industry” 

‘Boot Camp’ on State Conference Scoring Set for January 

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.

Who’s Ready to Show Your Style?

The SkillsUSA Store is gearing up for SkillsUSA Week 2020! The official T-shirt design for SkillsUSA Week was created by SkillsUSA member Courtney Hand, a junior at Cumberland County Technical Education Center in Vineland, N.J. To order the T-shirt, go to: www.skillsusastore.org/products/SkillsUSAWeekTee. 

#SkillsUSAGivingHopeDay Donation Match Benefits SkillsUSA Members

In lieu of the Giving Tuesday campaign this year, please join #SkillsUSAGivingHopeDay between now and Dec. 3. Giving Hope Day donations will go to the SkillsUSA Hope Fund, which, once funded, 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.

Any donation made to SkillsUSA will be generously matched by our partners at CareerSafe. To donate, visit: http://bit.ly/SkillsUSAHope. Please follow and share SkillsUSA’s social media to help spread the word.

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/. 

Teacher Guide Helps Students ‘Dream It, Do It’

Over the next decade, 2 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled due to the skills gap. With the help of teachers, we can mitigate this gap and show students the reality of modern manufacturing. The Manufacturing Institute’s “Dream It, Do It” toolkit at http://tinyurl.com/gnmdgkd provides teachers with activities to expand students’ knowledge and awareness of the manufacturing industry.

Many people of all ages are amazed to learn how much is manufactured in the United States and how diverse the careers are in this industry. Today’s manufacturing is about new innovation, making an impact and a chance to design and build the future. Whether students are interested in design, engineering or even the business side of the industry, there is a place for everyone in manufacturing. Not only does the industry offer a wide variety of demanding and fulfilling roles, it also offers high pay and opportunity for career advancement.

Due Dates

Nov. 15: Membership registration to receive free resources due
Nov. 25: Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Building Grant applications due
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. 5 : National Conference Pin and T-Shirt Design entries due
March 1: National Youth Safety Video Contest submissions due

National Staff Travel

Nov. 17: Dallas/CBRE meeting/Eric Gearhart
Nov 18-19: Lafayette, La./SkillsUSA Louisiana High School Fall Leadership Conference/Gene Dudley
Nov. 18-20: Atlanta, Ga./service provider meetings/Shelly Coates, Ashley Ridgeway and Kaitlin Youngs
Nov. 19: Austin, Texas/Meeting with SkillsUSA Texas/Eric Gearhart
Nov. 19: Leesburg, Va./NCC–CTSO meeting/Tim Lawrence
Nov. 21: Washington, D.C./Next Atlanta trade show/Shelly Coates, Ashley Ridgeway, Kaitlin Youngs and selected staff
Nov. 23-24: Marlboro, Mass./Massachusetts Fall Leadership Conference/Tim Lawrence
Nov. 25: Crump, Tenn./Building Dedication to James King/Chelle Travis

Dec. 4-7: Anaheim, Calif./ACTE CareerTech Vision 2019/select staff