Advisor Update April 2017

SkillsUSA Michigan

This newsletter contains both the Advisor Update and the SkillsUSA Flash!

State Contest Info

Please be sure to download the most current state contest info for your contest at The file contains important info regarding your contest and several contests have been updated in recent weeks.

Annual State Advisor Meeting

The Annual State Advisor Meeting is Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in the Imperial Room at 8:00 pm during the State Conference. The State Advisor Council would like at least one advisor from each school to attend. We ask for your attendance at this meeting as it is the only state advisor meeting all year and we need your input! We will also be awarding the Advisor Years of Service and passing out the National Conference information.

2017 Official Voting Delegates Chart

The 2017 Official Voting Delegates Chart is now on our web site at The official voting delegates represent your school at the Annual Delegate Business Meeting on Saturday afternoon at the State Conference and vote on state issues and for the new state officers. Each school is allowed x number of official voting delegates based on your SkillsUSA membership as of January 15, 2017.

Advisor State Conference Checksheet

An Advisor State Conference Checksheet is available on our web site at This checklist is a great tool with tips to help you keep on track and organized for the State Conference.

State Conference Text Messages

Please sign up using the codes below to receive important text messages at the State Conference. We are using Remind for these text messages.

  • To receive messages via text, text @2017misc to 81010. You can optout of messages at anytime by replying, 'unsubscribe @2017misc'.
  • Trouble using 81010? Try texting @2017misc to (734) 680-8322 instead.

State Conference Leadership Test

All students attending the State Conference are required to take the Leadership test on Friday afternoon. For this year only, the Leadership test will be given in the International Ballroom at the JW Marriott, across the street from the Amway. The students with the top ten scores on the Leadership test will be recognized at the Sunday Awards Ceremony. A study guide for this test is available on our web site at

State Conference Dress Code

The State Conference Dress Code was approved by the Advisor Council in July 2008. The Advisor Council will be on hand at each meeting to determine if a student is properly dressed before he/she will be allowed on the stage. This dress code applies to all participants (students, advisors, observers, guests, etc.).

Friday Night General Session and Saturday Delegate Meeting: School-logo attire or SkillsUSA Michigan attire is required. A SkillsUSA blazer, sweater or windbreaker is encouraged but not required. Business attire is NOT allowed.

  • Women: School-logo collared shirt (any color) or white collared or collarless shirt, dress pants or skirt no shorter than 2” above the knee, skin-tone seamless hose, and close toed dress shoes OR white collared shirt, black pants or skirt no shorter than 2” above the knee, skin-tone seamless hose, and close toed dress shoes.
  • Men: School-logo collared shirt or white collared shirt, dress pants, dress socks, and dress shoes OR white collared shirt, black pants, black socks, and dress shoes.

Sunday Morning Awards Ceremony:

Students and Advisors - SkillsUSA Michigan attire or appropriate National Competition clothing is required. A SkillsUSA blazer, sweater or windbreaker is encouraged but not required.Business attire and non-white school-logo shirts are NOT allowed. Please see for the National Competition Clothing list.

  • Women: White collared or collarless shirt (with or without school/SkillsUSA logo), black pants or skirt no shorter than 2” above the knee, skin-tone seamless hose, and close toed dress shoes OR appropriate National competition clothing.
  • Men: White collared shirt (with or without school/SkillsUSA logo), black pants, black socks, and dress shoes OR appropriate National competition clothing.
  • Guests – Guests are to wear business or business casual.

Social and Free Time: Neat casual clothing is acceptable. Shoes must be worn when in public areas. Items not acceptable include hats, bathing suits (unless at the pool), and suggestive attire. Shirts must have sleeves and no bare mid drift. Skirts and shorts must be at least fingertip length.

2017 National Conference Information Packet on Web Site

The 2017 National Conference Information Packet is posted on our web site at There are a lot of changes this year, so please be sure to read the entire packet! FYI - There will NOT be a National Conference meeting immediately following the Sunday Awards Ceremony. This information will be handed out at the Annual State Advisor Meeting on Saturday night.

2017 NLSC Due Dates – IMPORTANT!

For those of you who will be attending the 2017 National Leadership and Skills Conference on June 19-24 in Louisville, KY, please be prepared for the following due dates.

  • April 11, 2017 – Qualifier Not Attending Notification Form due to State Office
  • April 26, 2017 – SkillsUSA Michigan Registration Form due to State Office available at
  • April 26, 2017 – Online Conference Registration Due at – All fields must be completed including home address!
  • May 15, 2017 – Payment deadline to State Office
  • May 15, 2017 – Final refund date
  • May 31, 2017 – Additional Trading Pins Pre-Order Form due to State Office

SkillsUSA Flash

Congratulations to SkillsUSA Week Top Video Entries

Incredible entries for the SkillsUSA Week video competition poured in from across the country. The top entries are below. Each will receive a $200 gift card from Carhartt. Congratulations! View all top entries:

  • Pike-Lincoln Technical Center, Eolia, Mo. (Sydney Rothbard)
  • Keene High School, Keene, N.H. (Mallory Snide, Kaylie Benoit, Elizabeth Squires, Christian Cook and Jennifer Smalley)
  • Cheshire Career Center, Keene, N.H. (Nikolas Morton)

Jump into STEM! Releases Middle-School Edition

In 2015, SkillsUSA launched its free member resource Jump into STEM!, a curriculum developed for high-school students to use when mentoring elementary-school students on future career-path options. Based on the huge success of the elementary-school edition, SkillsUSA has released 22 new Jump into STEM! lessons designed to provide opportunities to engage middle-school students in STEM-related activities. The curriculum now provides tools and activities for SkillsUSA members to help both elementary- and middle-school students take part in interactive career experiences.

The program, sponsored by State Farm Insurance Companies, is available at no charge through SkillsUSA’s 4,000 chapters nationwide. Any SkillsUSA chapter can use the resource, which has been provided to chapter advisors as part of their professional membership.

Your Feedback is Important

SkillsUSA is conducting a research study of teachers and advisors. You may be part of the sample invited to complete a survey. Please watch your inbox on April 4. Stratton Media Strategies LLC is conducting the study for SkillsUSA to determine how best to reach teachers and will gather insights on teachers’ difficulty in driving students to membership resources, including SkillsUSA Champions. Those who provide an accurate email address at the end of the survey will be entered into a drawing for an Amazon gift card.

Stratton Media Strategies LLC is the leader in providing strategic consultation and services to associations. Since its founding in 1984 (as Stratton Publishing & Marketing Inc.), Stratton has worked with more than 300 organizations on projects such as creating integrated communications/marketing print-digital strategies, market research and analysis of organizational effectiveness, rebalancing and repositioning communication vehicles to better support organizational needs and improve financial performance, and refining membership offerings to address market needs.

Apply for Ultimate Collision Education Makeover Grants

Apply now for the Ultimate Collision Education Makeover sponsored by the Collision Repair Education Foundation. Grants are available for high-school and college/postsecondary collision-school programs. The makeover grant program is in its ninth year.

Instructors are advised to begin the application early, and industry professionals are encouraged to get involved by working with their local school’s collision instructors to help them apply on time. The winning schools will be announced during the SEMA show in Las Vegas in October. Awards of up to $50,000 will be given.

The school grant application is available online ( and is due by Thursday, June 1.

“School collision programs are facing tremendous budgetary pressure. It is difficult for many to maintain their program at current capabilities, no less increase their abilities and improve the training they deliver to the industry’s future workforce,” said Melissa Marscin, director of grant programs for the foundation. “The makeover grant program is designed to help collision schools get the much-needed tools, equipment and supplies they couldn’t get otherwise and increase their capabilities. Last year, every school that applied received some level of support through both grants and in-kind donations.”

The grant program incorporates the “Collision School Career Readiness Benchmark” that the foundation launched last year. Under the new program, schools are classified into three tiers:

• Tier 1: Advanced

• Tier 2: Proficient

• Tier 3: Developing

The foundation will determine the designation based on information provided by schools about their program’s capabilities as detailed in the grant application. The criteria for each level include the number of hours of instruction, curriculum in place, and the tools, equipment and supplies a school uses to prepare students for employment in the collision industry.

If there is something that a school needs to advance to the next level, the foundation’s grant application will allow a school to request that particular item. The goal is to help every school acquire the resources to eventually achieve a “Tier 1: Advanced” designation. Schools at Tier 1 status can request support for items that further advance their program.

The organization’s board of trustees selection committee will select the winners and determine which items each school will receive off its wish list.

Since 2009, schools have been able to apply for the Ultimate Collision Education Makeover Grant to get much-needed tools, equipment and supplies. More than $4 million in cash and in-kind donations have been given to schools as a result of the grant program, and over 25,000 collision students have benefited from it.

Industry members interested in getting involved with the foundation and joining its efforts to support the future of the collision industry should contact its director of development, Brandon Eckenrode, at 847-463-5244 or

Searching for End-of-Program Assessments?

The SkillsUSA Work Force Ready System provides assessments for career and technical education that are supported by industry, education and policy leaders. We've engaged these leaders to ensure that employers recognize our assessments, help instructors validate their programs and provide career-seekers with proof of what they can do. Skill Connect Assessments are 100-percent industry driven and defined. There are more than 40 technical, employability and customer service assessments that include ASE automotive and PrintED assessments. Take a free, 10-question Skill Connect Assessment demonstration at: For more information on the SkillsUSA Work Force Ready System, visit:

Celebrate Your Seniors in Style with SkillsUSA Graduation Regalia

Don’t forget that graduation season is only three months away. Gift your graduate with SkillsUSA graduation regalia. SkillsUSA stoles, honor cords and tassels are available at the SkillsUSA Store for purchase. Visit to view all of the ideas to celebrate SkillsUSA members.

Can’t find what you are looking for? Call Kim Henderson at 703-674-5465 or email

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.

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:

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

Incomplete applications, those missing requested information and appropriate signatures, will be disqualified and not be evaluated.

Nominations must be submitted by April 15. Apply here:

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 or

State Leadership and Skills Conference

Friday, April 7th, 12pm to Sunday, April 9th, 12pm

Grand Rapids, MI, United States

Grand Rapids, MI

National Leadership and Skills Conference

Monday, June 19th, 9am to Saturday, June 24th, 9am

Louisville, KY, United States

Louisville, KY