SkillsUSA Flash

SkillsUSA Michigan

January 8, 2016

SkillsUSA Week is Right Around the Corner

Are you ready to show your Champion Pride?

SkillsUSA Week is Feb 7-13, 2016. The SkillsUSA Store has created a SkillsUSA Week T-shirt that will be available for purchase soon at The design is almost complete and will be released next week with additional details and pricing. This creative, unique and one-of-a-kind design captures the energy and excitement of this dedicated week.

Feb. 7 will be here before you know it. Be prepared to show your skills with the SkillsUSA Week T-shirt.

Chapter Excellence Program

SkillsUSA’s Chapter Excellence Program (CEP) recognizes and honors chapters for their achievements. Ensure that your chapter is receiving the recognition it deserves by completing the Chapter of Excellence application. This new program provides lots of opportunities for chapters to receive recognition. Learn how to get started here:

Mike Rowe Speaks Up for SkillsUSA

Welcome to SkillsUSA Champions Magazine, Winter 2016 issue! The lesson plan below will help you facilitate activities and discus­sion in the classroom based on the content of the magazine. Students will develop reading comprehension and critical thinking skills; they’ll also be able to practice the skills listed within the SkillsUSA Framework. The guided reading questions can be given to students prior to their assigned reading or browsing of the magazine. Have students read the article as homework or during class individually, in small groups or aloud as an entire class. Follow up in-class reading with a quick discussion of 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. The lesson below focuses on public service announcements that are presented by Mike Rowe (featured on Page 7). Students can view the magazine online at

Content Discussion Questions

1. The article mentions “the growing skill gap.” What is Mike Rowe referring to?

2. How does SkillsUSA help students develop needed skills for the future?

3. Besides radio, where could PSAs be played or read?

In-Class Activity, 12 minutes

Personal Skills: self-motivated, demonstrates a willingness to learn

Materials needed: paper (one piece per student) writing utensil (one per student), and copy of the SkillsUSA Framework (one per student)

Students will evaluate their own skills using these instructions:

  1. Draw a line vertically down the center of the paper.
  2. Take three minutes to consider your future career, and on the left side of the paper, list skills, traits and qualities a successful person in that job would possess.
  3. Now take three minutes to individually review the frame­work, and on the right side of the paper, list skills you have practiced and developed through SkillsUSA participation.
  4. Finally, compare the two lists. Circle all skills or qualities on the left side of the paper that you have not yet developed or practiced.

Have students share in small groups, discussing at least one of the undeveloped skills and what can be done to improve. Facilitate a discussion by asking questions including:

  • What skills still need to be developed?
  • What can we do to improve and add to our skills?
  • How do you demonstrate a willingness to learn at home? In school? In SkillsUSA? In the workplace?
  • Why is it important to learn daily?

Extended Learning Activity

Personal Skills: responsibility, contributes to success

Have students contact local radio stations and distribute Mike Rowe’s PSAs to be aired

Calling All Talented Designers!

Feb. 1 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 school recognized. Rules are posted on the SkillsUSA website at: Questions may be directed to Heidi Walsh at 703-737-0615 or by email to

Changes Coming to Member Communications

The Winter 2016 issue of SkillsUSA Champions magazine, which includes the annual survey results of technical committee chairs at the SkillsUSA Championships, was mailed last month to those chapters joining before Nov. 16.

This will be the last printed issue of the school year. SkillsUSA is working on the conversion of the Spring (February-March) 2016 issue to a digital edition, available through its website, that will be responsive on all electronic devices. This change is a result of a major survey of SkillsUSA members. The research found that over three-fourths of members rate SkillsUSA’s communications as effective but also request approaches that are better targeted to their specific needs. Student members prefer the SkillsUSA website as their main communications channel and ask for more videos, photos and blogs to encourage greater involvement.

While SkillsUSA been posting issues at, the primary method of delivery has been to mail magazines to teachers for distribution to student members. With this transformation to digital format, anyone can read SkillsUSA Champions anywhere, then share and build on the content as desired. SkillsUSA is also increasing its social media presence as a result of this communications research.