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February 8, 2018

The Best Way to Build a Successful SkillsUSA Chapter

SkillsUSA’s Chapter Excellence Program (CEP) recognizes your achievement in integrating the SkillsUSA Framework in chapter activities related to the program of work. As a chapter’s yearly action plan, the SkillsUSA program of work is at the heart of student learning and employability development. By using our framework as a guide, chapters have a blueprint for creating relevant activities that encourage participation and help students understand what they’re learning.


The SkillsUSA Framework’s focus on intentional learning turns the program of work into more than just a planning tool. Using the framework, the program of work becomes the vital conduit that links students to the application of personal, workplace and technical skills demanded by industry — the SkillsUSA trifecta for student success.


Within the personal, workplace and technical skills areas, there are specific Essential Elements tied to each. The Essential Elements are high-demand employability skills as defined by industry, and the benchmark for measuring student success during an activity. For example, if students learn the Essential Element of responsibility during a personal skills activity, the SkillsUSA Framework requires that a chapter be specific regarding the “how” and “why” students learned responsibility. This conscientious approach gives added meaning to the valuable experience students gain in while planning, organizing and implementing activities. Most importantly, this approach actualizes SkillsUSA’s mission to “empower members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens” on the chapter level.


Every chapter is encouraged to participate in CEP, and there are three award levels to recognize program involvement. The first two levels are acknowledged by a chapter’s state SkillsUSA association, and the third level is recognized nationally through Models of Excellence. Each level is designed to give chapters a benchmark for success and future improvement, leading to stronger chapters and better prepared students. The more a chapter applies the SkillsUSA Framework, the greater the chance for CEP honors.


Start Your CEP Application Today

Start your Chapter Excellence Program application today and begin to earn recognition for your chapter! The online application is on the main page of the membership registration site once you have logged into your school account (www.skillsusa-register.org/Login.aspx) and it is due February 15. Questions? Use the resources below to introduce students to CEP:


Additional help is only a phone call or email away: 844-875-4557 or operators@skillsusa.org


Do You Want Your Students To Grow In Their Professionalism, Communication And Leadership Skills?

Consider budgeting for you and your student leaders to attend the Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI) held in the nation’s capital Sept. 22-26. This conference offers advanced training for students and advisors that focuses on professionalism, communication and leadership. During the conference, participants will demonstrate the use of these key essential elements while advocating for SkillsUSA and career and technical education. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to tour Washington, visit the SkillsUSA National Leadership Center and watch the changing of the guards along with a wreath ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns.


Conference registration opens Aug. 1 and is $450 per participant. Visit the following website for additional information: https://www.skillsusa.org/events-training/washington-leadership-training-institute/


Alumni Association Announces Awards Availability

The SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends Association will once again be presenting two awards at the National Leadership and Skills Competition 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: https://www.skillsusa.org/alumni-pioneer-excellence-award-outstanding-alumni-friends-achievement-award/

Applications must be received, not postmarked, to the SkillsUSA National Leadership Center by April 16. Please mail to: SkillsUSA Alumni Executive Board, c/oTaryn Zeigler, 14001 SkillsUSA Way, Leesburg, VA 20176.


SkillsUSA Championships Clothing and Tools App Updated

SkillsUSA has updated the “SkillsUSA: Clothing and Tools” app for 2018. For each contest, the app includes an overview, eligibility and clothing requirements, and safety guidelines. It also lists the tools, equipment or materials that contestants must provide. The app is free for students, instructors and SkillsUSA business partners and is available in both the Apple Store: http://apple.co/2dtlb8d and the Google Play Store: http://bit.ly/2e5fRec. The app was created and sponsored by Pearson (www.pearsoned.com).


Note: This is a great starter resource that does not replace the SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards. The app connects users to SkillsUSA’s membership site, where educators must join as professional members to receive the full book at no charge.


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: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/scholarships-financial-aid/. Or contact Susanne Kahler, 703-737-0616 or skahler@skillsusa.org