SkillsUSA Flash

SkillsUSA Michigan

January 13, 2017

Ring in 2017 with Career Planning and Goal Setting

It’s time to kick off the new year with the help of the Career Transitions site. This is a free resource where students can:

  • Assess their career interests by taking an online assessment
  • Browse career paths and check out videos of real people working in the field
  • Learn to write a résumé and cover letter

With this free registration, students will receive a year’s worth of career planning tools and resources that will help ensure they are career-ready. Don’t delay, have students sign up today to begin to take advantage of these tools!

Lesson Plans Bring SkillsUSA Champions Magazine into the Classroom

Looking for a great way for your students to get connected to SkillsUSA? The SkillsUSA Champions magazine brings to life stories from fellow members from across the nation. Have students read the Winter 2017 issue’s “Engineering a New Future Free from Old Limits” as homework or during class individually, in small groups or aloud as an entire class. Then quickly discuss the article.

Finally, use the discussion questions to help students apply the article to their own SkillsUSA experience. Activities are provided for practice and extended learning. Enjoy the connectivity with the magazine, but most of all, enjoy the integral linkage that SkillsUSA creates to your classroom. Quick link:

Content Discussion Questions

  1. How are Rachel and Olivia serving as role models?
  2. What limits (real or imaginary) do you face at home? In school? In SkillsUSA? In the workplace?
  3. Who are your role models?

In-Class Activity, 20 minutes

Workplace Skills: Teamwork, Utilizes

individual strengths of team members

Materials needed: Large butcher paper (one piece per small group of four students), paper (one piece per student), writing utensil (one

per student) and markers (one per student)

Divide students into groups of four. Each student needs one piece of paper. Give these instructions:

  1. Individually, think about the skills and strengths you possess.
  2. List strengths and attributes you have that will lend to the success of your group.
  3. You have 90 seconds.

After 90 seconds, give these instructions:

  1. Share your lists with your group.
  2. Discuss the strengths you each bring to the team.
  3. You have four minutes to share and discuss.

After four minutes, give additional instructions:

  1. As a group, create the “ultimate team member” by combining all of your strengths and positive attributes.
  2. Draw your person on the butcher paper, and assign a name to your creation.
  3. List the attributes of your “ultimate team member” on the butcher paper. We will work to improve and build positive relationships within this group.
  4. Finally, your group will write a short story about this imaginary person, highlighting everything he or she can do with all of the amazing characteristics.
  5. You have eight minutes.

After eight minutes, have each group share its person and story with the class.

Facilitate a discussion by asking questions including:

  • Would you like to have your imaginary person on your team? Why or why not?
  • What makes a team successful?
  • How do you personally contribute to teams in school? In SkillsUSA? In the workplace?
  • How do you use individual strengths of team members in school? In SkillsUSA? In the workplace?

Extended Learning Activity

Workplace Skills: Multicultural Sensitivity and Awareness, Expands knowledge of diverse culture, race, religion and sexuality

Provide the class a list of individuals who have broken barriers in terms of culture, race, religion or sexuality, or allow students to choose their own. Have each student select and research one person. Present findings to the class using PowerPoint, Prezi or another presentation method.

The list of individuals might include: Carol Moseley Braun (first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate), Angela Merkel (Germany’s first female chancellor), Jackie Robinson (first African-American to play major league baseball), Maryam Mirzakhani (Iranian mathematician and first female to win the Fields Medal, most prestigious mathematics award), Sarah Thomas (first female NFL official), Laverne Cox (first transgender woman to have a wax statue at Madam Tussaud’s and star of a Netflix show), Kristi Yamaguchi (first Asian-American female to win an Olympic gold medal for the United States), Elizabeth Blackwell (first female doctor in the United States), John F. Kennedy (first U.S. president to practice Roman Catholicism), Barbara McClintock (pioneer in cytogenetics).

Get Ready for SkillsUSA Week, Sponsored by Carhartt

Plan now to celebrate SkillsUSA Week Feb. 5-11 by encouraging student members and advisors to host events that include administrators, business leaders and legislators. You can participate in SkillsUSA Week lots of different ways: hold an open house, invite local media to tour your programs, conduct a community service project, work with area businesses to build more meaningful partnerships, or engage with policymakers to talk about the value of technical education. For a sample calendar, proclamation and press release, go to:

The SkillsUSA Store has created a SkillsUSA Week T-shirt for $12. Visit to order your shirt and a whole host of products that are ready for your week of celebration!

Share your SkillsUSA Week news, mail stories and photos with Tom Hall at 14001 SkillsUSA Way, Leesburg, VA 20176 or email

Carhartt is the official sponsor of SkillsUSA Week.

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

Feb. 3 is the deadline for entries to 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. Rules are posted on the SkillsUSA website at: Questions may be directed to Heidi Walsh at 703-737-0615 or by email to

Looking for Talented Singers Once Again

SkillsUSA is once again seeking talented student or adult performers to sing the national anthem at the NLSC Opening Ceremony. Audition videos can be submitted on CD or DVD and must be the singing of the national anthem.

Please be sure each disc is marked with your name, address, school name and email address. Email submissions are not accepted. Send auditions to Heidi Walsh, SkillsUSA, 14001 SkillsUSA Way, Leesburg, VA 20176. Questions may be directed to her at 703-737-0615 or Auditions must be received by Feb. 3. SkillsUSA does not pay travel expenses for the singer to attend national conference.