SkillsUSA Flash

SkillsUSA Michigan

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March 17, 2017

Designs Selected for National Conference Pin and T-shirt

Congratulations to Melissa Swanchara, winner of this year’s SkillsUSA National Pin Design Challenge. She is a student at C.S. Monroe Technology Center in Leesburg, Va. Her advisor is Pam Smith.

Congratulations also to Alexis Espinoza, winner of the SkillsUSA National T-shirt Design Challenge. He is a student at YV-TECH in Yakima, Wash. His advisor is Ryan Broom. Both students will be recognized at the Opening Ceremony of the National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Ky., this June.

SkillsUSA/Lowe’s Grants Focus on Local Service This Year

Lowe’s continues an eighth year of generosity with another round of grants to SkillsUSA chapters. Grant information and the application are now available on the SkillsUSA website at: The focus of the grant program is significant community improvement. Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded. Multiple applications per school will be accepted, with priority for funding given to new SkillsUSA chapters.

The best proposed projects will:

  • provide a life-changing experience for the SkillsUSA students involved and the beneficiaries of the grant dollars
  • demonstrate a well-articulated planned partnership with and engagement from local Lowe’s store team(s)
  • show impact by reporting how many SkillsUSA students participated and how many members of the community will be affected
  • show collaboration with other organizations and show sustainability
  • show active use of social media to promote and document the project
  • be improvement projects that use Lowe’s as a resource for employee knowledge or products available at Lowe’s

For more information, email The deadline for grant applications is April 3 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Late applications will not be accepted. Please review the grant guidelines to be sure that applications are properly completed and submitted.

Student Competition Inspires Creative Advertising

The Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF) Student Design Competition is themed MAGnify! This ninth annual contest challenges participants to combine their critical thinking and creativity with cutting-edge technology to design and produce a printed magazine ad.

The ad, featuring a product of their choice and linked to digital media, should demonstrate the essential role that print plays in today’s multichannel media mix. The design must incorporate a reference (URL or other) to the online promotion of their product. Entries will be judged on designs that include both the print and digital media components. One high-school and one postsecondary/college winner will be identified for each of the first-, second- and third-place awards.

The competition is open to all students attending high-school or postsecondary/college institutions in the continental United States who are studying in a graphic communications/printing, advertising, graphic design or interactive media program. Entries selected by GAERF will be judged by a panel of industry professionals.

First-place winners and their instructors will receive a two-day trip, all expenses paid, to attend PRINT 17 in Chicago. The winning students will receive an award of $2,000 presented during PRINT 17’s Career Awareness Day, Sept. 14. Second-place winners will be awarded $1,500, and third-place winners will receive $1,000.

For complete information about the GAERF 2017 Student Design Competition, visit: Entries must be postmarked by June 2.

New Scholarship Offered in Construction Fields

SkillsUSA, in partnership with Fine Homebuilding, announces a new scholarship opportunity for SkillsUSA high-school, college/postsecondary and alumni members studying construction-related fields. Applicants should celebrate the value of true craftsmanship in their trades and plan to continue their educations in #KeepCraftAlive affiliate school programs, community colleges, undergraduate programs or industry certifications.

Fine Homebuilding will award five $5,000 scholarships — a total of $25,000 — to students in fields such as architectural drafting, carpentry, cabinetmaking, electrical and residential wiring, HVACR, masonry, woodworking and plumbing for the 2017-18 academic year.

Selections will be based on completion of an application, along with a 300-word essay showing their passion for their craft and a letter of support from a teacher, administrator, SkillsUSA advisor or educational/professional mentor. Winners will be acknowledged at a special reception June 22 during the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. An added benefit is the possibility of a travel stipend to attend the event.

For more information about the #KeepCraftAlive initiative, visit:

To apply for this opportunity, use the application at: If you have questions, contact Susanne Kahler at 703-737-0616

Students Can Win Big for 3-D Trophy Designs

The Association for Career and Technical Education has launched a second-annual student contest to redesign 3-D printed trophies for the ACTE Excellence Awards. Created by cutting-edge technology, the trophies manifest CTE’s role in preparing students for 21st-century careers, and they harness the power of collaboration between CTE and business and industry partners.

The winning trophy design will be 3-D printed by Stratasys and presented to 10 national award winners at the upcoming ACTE awards banquet in Nashville, Tenn.

First-place designers will receive:

  • $1,000 scholarship prize
  • one-year free rental of a 3-D printer and supplies to the winner’s school
  • 3-D printed copy of their award, courtesy of Stratasys
  • one-year complimentary ACTE membership for students and their teacher
  • paid trip to Nashville to be recognized on stage at this year’s awards banquet
  • recognition in ACTE’s promotional channels and Techniques magazine

The contest is open to high-school, college/postsecondary and adult CTE students in 3-D design or other CAD courses. Students may enter as individuals or as teams of no more than two people. Deadline is May 1. Learn how to enter at:

Scholarship Returns for SkillsUSA Graduates

SkillsUSA and the McMinn County (Tenn.) Vocational Center SkillsUSA Alumni Association are offering a $500 scholarship to a graduating high-school senior who is also a SkillsUSA member. Named for a former national officer, the Sharon Melton Myers Memorial SkillsUSA Scholarship fund provides SkillsUSA members the opportunity to continue their education in college or technical school. Candidates can nominate themselves.

All nominations must include two letters of recommendation from any of the following individuals. Incomplete applications, those missing requested information and appropriate signatures, will be disqualified and not be evaluated.

  • instructors
  • SkillsUSA advisors
  • state association director
  • community leader accompanied by a course transcript

Nominations must be submitted by April 15. Apply here: