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SkillsUSA Michigan

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March 23, 2018

National Week of Service Challenges Members to ‘Show Off Your Skills’

State association directors, please pass the word: This year’s SkillsUSA National Week of Service will be sponsored by Stanley Black & Decker. The event will be held May 7-11, and SkillsUSA chapters will have an opportunity to be rewarded.


To qualify, SkillsUSA advisors must register as a participating chapter in the National Week of Service. The first 50 advisors who register their chapter plus 15 or more of their students who register will receive a Drill and Impact Driver Combo Kit from Stanley Black & Decker (skillsusa-register.org/signup). All students participating in the chapter event must register individually to receive a free T-shirt (skillsusa-register.org/signup).


Stanley Black & Decker is sponsoring a “Show Off Your Skills” challenge where chapters will have an opportunity to compete for a grand prize of $10,000 and four finalist prizes of $4,000 each. Additionally, the state association of the winning chapter will receive a grant for $2,500 in appreciation for its efforts in encouraging chapters to participate.


To participate, chapters must produce a 60-second video for social media that highlights the community service they performed during the National Week of Service and the specific trade skills used. There are no limits to video creativity as long as chapters clearly identify how their skills were used in service to others. Contest entries will be accepted from May 7 (9 a.m. EDT) until May 11 (11 p.m. EDT). A SkillsUSA panel will select the five finalists. Those chapter videos will be posted on May 14 for a communitywide vote via social media to determine the grand-prize winner. The winner will be announced on May 18, with an awards presentation the following week at the winning school.


For more information, go to: www.skillsusa.org/events-training/national-week-of-service/. Registration opens April 2. For questions, email Carol Lowery at clowery@skillsusa.org.


Scholarships Available for Further Education in Technical Fields

Over 1,000 scholarships of up to $2,500 each are available for career and technical education students pursuing college/postsecondary education in their field. This Career and Technical Scholarship Program is funded through the Horatio Alger Endowment Fund and the generosity of association chairman emeritus and endowment fund president Walter Scott Jr.


Scholarships are awarded to students who have faced and overcome great obstacles in their lives and who wish to pursue a career or technical education at an accredited, nonprofit postsecondary institution in the United States. There are 1,020 scholarships up to $2,500 each available.


Eligibility Criteria:

  • Have completed high school (or earned a high-school equivalency credential)
  • Will be enrolled in an eligible program in fall 2018
  • Exhibit a strong commitment to pursue and complete a career or technical program (up to two years) at an accredited nonprofit college/postsecondary institution in the United States
  • Demonstrated critical financial need (must be eligible to receive the federal Pell Grant as determined by completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid [FAFSA]). Fill out the FAFSA here: https://fafsa.ed.gov/
  • Demonstrated perseverance in overcoming adversity
  • Be under age 30
  • Be a U.S. citizen


Funds may be used for tuition, fees, books and supplies. All scholarship funds are paid directly to the institution on behalf of the recipient.

The application will open online March 15 for students enrolling in the fall. For additional information, and to create an account and apply online, visit: https://scholars.horatioalger.org/scholarships/about-our-scholarship-programs/technical/


Apply for a #KeepCraftAlive Scholarship of $2,500

Fine Homebuilding Magazine, through a partnership with SkillsUSA, will award a minimum of 12 scholarship awards of $2,500 each. Applicants must be SkillsUSA high school or postsecondary students who are continuing their education or certification programs in construction-related fields.


In the spirit of the #KeepCraftAlive movement, applicants should celebrate the value and meaning of true craftsmanship in their trades and plan to continue their educations in community colleges, undergraduate programs or industry certification curricula. Fine Homebuilding will award the scholarships to students in fields such as architectural drafting, carpentry, cabinetmaking, electrical and residential wiring, HVACR, masonry, woodworking and plumbing for the 2018-19 academic year.


Selections will be based on completion of an application and a 300-word essay showing applicants’ passion for their craft, along with a letter of support from a teacher, administrator, SkillsUSA advisor or educational/professional mentor.


To apply, use the form at: https://skillsusa.wufoo.com/forms/keepcraftalive-scholarship/. The deadline for applications is April 25. If you have questions, contact Susanne Kahler at 703-737-0616 or skahler@skillsusa.org.


This is the second year for the scholarship initiative. For more information about #KeepCraftAlive, visit: www.keepcraftalive.org/


New Online Community Promotes Equity in Career Tech

If you are a career and technical education professional seeking to increase equity in your programming, there is a new resource for you: the Advancing Equity in Career and Technical Education Community of Practice. Housed on the U.S. Department of Education’s Literacy Information and Communication Systems (LINCS) site, this moderated community offers educators a forum to engage in thoughtful discussions and to share tools and resources to increase equity in their programming.


You can create your account (available for free) at: https://community.lincs.ed.gov/group/advancing-equity


Join today to pose your questions and help answer those of colleagues. Some example topics include: How can I make sure that my rural students have work-based learning opportunities? How can I recruit more females into my advanced manufacturing program? How can I encourage my Native American career and technical students to persist and complete a postsecondary credential?


In addition to facilitated discussions, other equity-focused professional learning opportunities will include webinars, interactive resource reviews, blog posts and important event announcements.


Global Youth Service Day Looking for Participation

Celebrating 30 years of changing the world, Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) activates young people to #LeadASAP through Awareness, Service, Advocacy and Philanthropy. Through service to their community, youth gain powerful 21st-century skills of empathy, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication, skills they need to be successful in school, work and life.


GYSD will be celebrated on April 20-22 in more than 100 countries, with millions of young people working together to address the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and change their communities. Find project ideas and planning tips at: www.GYSD.org