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November 21, 2016

Free Career Readiness Curriculum with Professional Membership

SkillsUSA’s Career Readiness Curriculum (CRC) can help ensure that you prepare your students for workplace success. CRC supports the SkillsUSA Framework, which includes personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics — all essential to a successful, student-oriented career and technical education program. This curriculum includes 29 lesson plans based on Common Core State Standards. It infuses 21st-century skills into student engagement activities and is considered the first building block of the SkillsUSA Professional Development Program. The Career Readiness Curriculum is a free member benefit as part of SkillsUSA professional membership dues.

Career and technical education and SkillsUSA exist because we believe every student deserves career success. It’s that simple. We’re in the business of ensuring students are ready to excel in the workplace and as leaders of their communities. It’s an awesome responsibility but one to embrace because it defines our legacy of positively influencing student lives. As a CTE instructor and SkillsUSA advisor, you are at the forefront of this purposeful tradition — you are an essential link between your students and career readiness.

So, what do students need for career readiness? We believe the answer lies in the SkillsUSA Framework, in which every student has an opportunity to develop personal, workplace and technical skills. This trifecta for student success centers on industry demands and builds the foundation for relevant and intentional student learning and leadership development. The framework gives students exposure to the whole package offered by career and technical education and SkillsUSA. What’s more, the framework provides a pathway to a better life.

As a free member benefit, SkillsUSA professional members receive the Career Readiness Curriculum (CRC) including lesson plans, corresponding PowerPoint presentations, handouts and student learning strategies and resources. To access the CRC, login to the registration site and look for the icon on the main page:

Go Online with SkillsUSA Champions Magazine

Fall is a great time to get plugged into the digitized SkillsUSA Champions magazine for an interactive classroom experience! Have students read the Fall 2016 issue’s “The Journey to ‘Down Under’ a Car’s Hood 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. If Jennifer Weis had always dreamed of working on cars, why was her first degree in research?
  2. What are advantages of working in fields related to career and technical education?
  3. What skills do you have that could be used in any career field?

In-Class Activity; 20 minutes

  • Personal Skills: adaptability/flexibility; embraces calculated change
  • Materials Needed: one ball of yarn (or similarly soft object) and open space with boundaries marked

Prior to the session, find a flat space to play. Be sure boundaries are clearly marked. The space should be large enough for the group to run around, but not too large that everyone gets tired just crossing the space.

Give this instruction: “Today, we are playing tag. Everyone is on the same team.” Ask for one volunteer to be on a different team. Give the volunteer the yarn ball. Then give these instructions:

  1. The volunteer will try to get people on his or her team.
  2. The volunteer will throw the yarn at anyone who is not on his or her team.
  3. If he or she hits someone (not in the face), that person instantly joins the team.
  4. No one on the first team can touch the ball.
  5. Anyone holding the ball can only take one step and then must throw the yarn ball at someone on the other team or pass it to someone on his or her team.
  6. The game ends when everyone is on the new team.
  7. You have one minute to find a starting position.

Monitor the game. After everyone is on the new team, facilitate a discussion by asking questions including:

  • What strategies did the new team use to tag people?
  • In the end, what was the best strategy?
  • Explain how your plan changed throughout the game.
  • Were you more successful at the beginning or end of the game? Justify your answer.
  • When have you embraced change at home? In school? In SkillsUSA? In the workplace?

Extended Learning Activity

Workplace Skills: self-motivated; exhibits passion for life and career

Have students silently visualize their future. Pose the question, “If you could be anything or do anything, what would it be?” Have students draw an image to represent that dream. Drawings should be secured inside the front cover of their class notebooks as a reminder of the dream.

Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge IV: Now Open for Submissions

Cradle to Cradle and our friends at the Alcoa Foundation and Autodesk want you to envision innovative products that can remain in perpetual cycles of use and reuse. Enter the challenge to win $2,000!

The Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge engages designers and students to help design a sustainable future by applying Cradle to Cradle principles to envision innovative products that can remain in perpetual cycles of use and reuse.

To participate, go to: Entries must be received by Dec. 1.

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 at:

Act Now: National Career and Technical Scholarship Program

High-school graduates who are currently or soon pursuing postsecondary CTE studies may be eligible for up to $2,500 through a new career and technical education scholarship program. By completing a simple 45-minute application, they will be considered for one of 510 scholarships being awarded on a rolling basis through December, 2016.

Applications for the Horatio Alger CTE Scholarship Program are being reviewed now, with all awards being finalized by this December. Act now to take advantage of support for your CTE pursuit. The educational program must result in a certification, credential or degree. For more information or to apply, visit:

If you have any questions or would like more information about the scholarships or the Horatio Alger Association, email Kristen Law at or call 703-684-9444.