Advisor Update November 2019

SkillsUSA Michigan

This newsletter contains the Advisor Update and the SkillsUSA Flash!

New Description Released for SkillsUSA Official Attire

Wearing the official SkillsUSA attire adds a sense of unity and identification, as well as enthusiasm, to meetings, ceremonies, presentations and activities. Members are encouraged to strictly follow the guidelines for official attire during ceremonies, visits with dignitaries, officer campaigns and similar occasions.

Students may select the attire that best fits the gender with which they identify. This is a personal choice as long as the SkillsUSA guidelines are followed. This also applies to competition uniforms for the SkillsUSA Championships as long as clothing meets the stated contest guidelines.

If you want to share these guidelines with members, a description of official attire is listed below and posted here:

SkillsUSA Official Attire

  • Red SkillsUSA blazer, windbreaker or sweater, or black or red SkillsUSA jacket
  • Button-up, collared, white dress shirt (accompanied by a plain, solid black tie), white blouse (collarless or small-collared) or white turtleneck, with any collar not to extend into the lapel area of the blazer, sweater, windbreaker or jacket
  • Black dress slacks (accompanied by black dress socks or black or skin-tone seamless hose) or black dress skirt (knee-length, accompanied by black or skintone seamless hose)
  • Black dress shoes

2019-2020 Membership Dues

  • Student: $14.00 = $8.00 (national) and $6.00 (state)
  • Professional: $26.00 = $20.00 (national) and $6.00 (state). Reminder - All advisors MUST be professional members of SkillsUSA in order for their students to participate in any SkillsUSA activities!

2019-2020 Membership Registration Deadlines
November 15, 2019 is the deadline for your initial membership registration to be submitted to the National Office to be able to receive all four issues of Champions Magazine and free teacher items. All rosters are to be submitted online at Schools are encouraged join by November 15, 2019 in order to ensure full membership services for the year.

January 15, 2020 is the deadline for your final membership registration to be submitted to the National Office. All students must be paid members of SkillsUSA Michigan by January 15, 2019 in order to participate in regional, state and national competitions and/or conferences. If you have any questions/concerns about this deadline, please contact me!

All membership registrations must be submitted online at Paper rosters are discouraged. Please make sure that all membership checks are sent directly to the National Office. When registering, be sure to also register your section under the specific program name, not just Mixed Training. This information is very helpful to the national office in determining what programs are at what schools.

Membership Incentives
SkillsUSA Michigan is encouraging each chapter to increase their membership this year. Each chapter that submits their membership by the due date listed below will qualify for the following incentive(s). Membership must be submitted online at by the due dates in order to meet the requirements.

State Incentive: Membership Increase by January 15, 2020

  • For every five member increase over last year’s membership, the chapter will receive one entry into the drawing for a SkillsUSA blazer, a $99 value.
  • Both student and professional members are included in the chapter’s total membership.
  • Drawing will be held at the State Leadership and Skills Conference in April.

National Incentive: Membership Submitted by November 15, 2019

  • As a special membership incentive, register at least 15 student members in your training program plus one or more professionals by Nov. 15, and you will receive a free educational resource item, Critical Thinking at Work (value $9.95).
  • Instructors who register with 100% membership plus one or more professionals will also receive a SkillsUSA Program of Work calendar (value: $5.95).

Chapter Excellence Program

Chapter Excellence Program (CEP) is the single best way to build a successful SkillsUSA chapter. Every chapter is encouraged to participate in CEP and there are three award levels to recognize program involvement. The first two levels are acknowledged by a chapter’s state association and the third level is recognized nationally. Each level is designed to give chapters a benchmark for success and future improvement, leading to stronger chapters and more prepared students.

Starting this year, achievement of CEP Level 1 will be a required in order to be nominated for the State Advisor of the Year. More information about CEP is posted at

2020 State National Anthem Contest

A SkillsUSA Michigan member will be selected to sing the National Anthem acapella at the Friday Opening General Session on April 17, 2020 at the State Conference. Interested members must submit an audition file of them singing the National Anthem in order to be considered. Student must be a current member of SkillsUSA Michigan and must pay the State Conference registration fee. Only individual entries are allowed, no groups.

All audition files must be posted via the online form available at no later than January 10, 2020. Audition files received after this date will not be considered.

SkillsUSA Michigan reserves the right to not have a student sing the National Anthem if it is deemed that there are no qualified entries submitted by the due date.

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SkillsUSA Flash

Try This Lesson Plan Using SkillsUSA Champions Magazine To Get Students Thinking About Their Future Career Plans

Fall signifies the changing of the seasons and brings the beginning of school, fall sports and cooler temperatures. If you are looking for a change in your classroom, let the teacher’s lesson plans from SkillsUSA Champions magazine bring positive conversations and action into the room.

This teacher’s guide has two major parts: knowledge-based questions for guided reading and activities to dig deep into the content of each article. Using the guide will further develop the skills of reading comprehension and critical thinking, as well as practice skills of the SkillsUSA Framework. Its goal is to provide you the tools necessary to best educate your students in your classroom.

Please direct students to the digital edition on the SkillsUSA website homepage or using this link:

In addition to the news and motivational content in the print issue, the digital edition includes related videos, direct links to external resources and other dynamic material that’s responsive to all devices.

A lesson plan for the Fall issue can be downloaded from the SkillsUSA home page or directly at:

Below, this sample from the lesson plan relates to the column “Opening Another Chapter” in the current issue.

Content Discussion Questions

  1. What are the duties of the SkillsUSA executive director?
  2. Who is someone that leads with passion?
  3. How do you lead by inspiration?
  4. What leadership challenges have you experienced?
  5. How do you make others feel welcome at home? In school? In SkillsUSA? In the workplace?
  6. What happens during a positive, successful transition of power or leadership?

In-Class Activity, 25 minutes

Technical Skills: Professional Development, Develop a career plan

Materials needed: Butcher paper (one piece per group of four), several markers and internet access for each group

Put students into groups of four. Give each group paper and markers. Give these instructions:

  1. As a group, create a timeline starting in 2001 and ending this year.
  2. Use only ¾ of the paper, as we will be looking at the future later in our activity.
  3. Include events that have influenced you and your career plans.
  4. Consider personal events, technological advances, education dates and more.
  5. You have 10 minutes to complete the timeline.

After 10 minutes, have groups share a few highlights from the timeline. Then give these instructions:

  1. Individually, add dates and events to the timeline of things that you will do in the future.
  2. You have four minutes to each add your future events.

After four minutes, bring students back together. Facilitate a group discussion by asking questions including:

  • What events have had the biggest impact on you personally to date?
  • How has the world changed in the past 18 years? How will it change in the next 18 years?
  • What has influenced your career plan?
  • Who at home will help you work toward your career? At school? In SkillsUSA? In the workplace?

Extended Learning Activity

Workplace Skills: Leadership, Build trust

Organize an activity to help everyone feel welcome and part of the program or chapter. You might consider a cookout, pizza party, game night or other social event. Plan get-to-know-you activities so students begin to make connections with peers.

Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Offers Building Grant to SkillsUSA Chapters

SkillsUSA has partnered with Harbor Freight Tools for Schools on a new grant opportunity. Eligible programs can receive up to $2,500 to strengthen their local SkillsUSA chapter.

Applications will be accepted through Nov. 25, and grant recipients will be announced Dec. 10. The grants are intended for SkillsUSA chapters established within the past three years that serve students enrolled in one of 27 construction, transportation or manufacturing occupational programs or contests.

To apply, chapters must complete an electronic application and explain how they will use the grant to improve the SkillsUSA program at their school. Applications will be evaluated based on proposed plans, community partnerships and sustainability of program improvements. Schools with 75% or more of their enrolled students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunches are encouraged to apply. Grant recipients will be required to complete an evaluation of their implementation during the 2019-20 school year, sign photography/video waivers and provide photos of students and teachers participating in activities funded by the grant.

“Harbor Freight Tools for Schools could not be prouder to support excellence in high school skilled-trades education through this partnership with SkillsUSA,” said Danny Corwin, executive director of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools. “The outstanding students, advisors and mentors of the SkillsUSA community demonstrate the great promise of the trades as a course of study and career.”

SkillsUSA executive director Timothy Lawrence added, “Partnerships like these expand opportunities for our members and strengthen relationships between education and industry. SkillsUSA is thrilled to partner with Harbor Freight Tools for Schools on this program, which supports the growth of SkillsUSA chapters across the nation.”

The grant opportunity is available to high schools with SkillsUSA chapters established after July 1, 2016, in trade areas that align with the following SkillsUSA Championships competitions:

  • Cabinetmaking
  • Carpentry
  • Electrical Construction Wiring
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR)
  • Masonry
  • Plumbing
  • Sheet Metal
  • TeamWorks
  • Welding
  • Welding Fabrication
  • Welding Sculpture
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • CNC Milling Technology
  • CNC Turning Technology
  • Industrial Motor Control
  • Major Appliance and Refrigeration Technology
  • Mechatronics
  • Residential Systems Installation and Maintenance
  • Automotive Refinishing Technology
  • Automotive Service Technology
  • Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Collision Repair Technology
  • Diesel Equipment Technology
  • Marine Service Technology
  • Motorcycle Service Technology
  • MLR (Maintenance Light Repair)
  • Power Equipment Technology

Grant restrictions: The grant may not be used for the purchase of tools, hardware, electronic goods or related items or accessories (including, without limitation, automotive and motorcycle supplies or accessories, engines and generators, garage and machinery equipment and accessories, lawn and garden accessories and supplies, welding equipment or accessories, and material handling equipment, parts and supplies.

To complete the grant application, go to:

Participate in National Apprenticeship Week

National Apprenticeship Week gives apprenticeship sponsors and providers the opportunity to showcase their programs, facilities and apprentices. As a result, career seekers can learn more about the benefits of apprenticeship and the programs that are available in their communities.

If you’re thinking about participating, the above website has everything you need to plan, organize and host a successful event.

Membership Incentive Time — Register by Nov. 15

Becoming a professional member of SkillsUSA is one of the best ways to demonstrate to students the opportunities that membership provides. Professional members receive online access to the following as a no-cost member benefit. To receive these, instructors must submit membership and provide an email address: 2019 SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards, Jump into STEM! curriculum and SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Foundations.

Once membership is submitted, an email will be sent with a PIN to access the items electronically.

As a special membership incentive, those who register at least 15 student members plus one or more professionals by Nov. 15 will receive a free educational resource item, Critical Thinking at Work (value $9.95). Instructors who register with 100-percent membership (all students in their program) plus one or more professionals will also receive a SkillsUSA Program of Work calendar (value: $5.95).

Visit to register yourself and student members. If you or any chapter advisors need assistance with SkillsUSA membership or registration, hotline operators are ready to answer questions about starting a new chapter, ways to engage chapter members or strategies to strengthen an existing chapter. Operators are on call 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday (Eastern time). To reach the hotline, call 844-875-4557 or email You can also chat online on the membership registration site.

State Leadership and Skills Conference

Friday, April 17th 2020 at 12pm to Sunday, April 19th 2020 at 12pm

Grand Rapids, MI, USA

Grand Rapids, MI

National Leadership and Skills Conference

Monday, June 22nd 2020 at 9am to Saturday, June 27th 2020 at 11am

Louisville, KY, United States

Louisville, KY