Friday Flash, November 06, 2020
NJ SKILLSUSA CHAMPIONSHIPS UPDATE
The following message was sent by Mr. Carey to our contest coordinators, site coordinators, consultants and volunteers:
It’s been a while since we last communicated, and so I wanted to provide some updates. Besides all the disruptions created by COVID this year, our state grant to operate SkillsUSA has not been approved yet. In spite of being told in August that we would officially be approved starting October 1, we are still in the process of applying for funding now that the online application has just been made available. We should be OK once the application is submitted, but it has been touch and go for over 2 months. Thankfully our state staff has continued working on a volunteer basis.
Regarding the national technical standards for the 2021 NLSC, there are now two versions of every contest: in-person and virtual. They are accessible online with your professional membership. There are few changes in the in-person standards for 2021, but the virtual standards define an alternative contest format which involves live streaming of contestant performances. These standards call for an advisor or teacher to be present for safety purposes, and a proctor from industry who does not judge but represents the “eyes ” of the remote judges. I’m not sure this is a workable format for state competitions, but your feedback is welcomed.
Regarding the 2021 NLSC, the national office will be announcing on November 16 as to whether there will be an in-person conference in June in Atlanta, or if the event is done virtually. Chances are the event will be virtual, and that leaves the states with the decision of following national’s lead, or trying to conduct in-person and/or hybrid competitions.
There are other unknown circumstances we face, such as districts which have canceled all after-school clubs and travel. There are early indications that state membership may fall precipitously this year, which means contest registrations may inevitably drop as well.
We have what I would consider provisional approval to conduct state competitions on four campuses this spring, but that may be subject to change depending on COVID restrictions. And as far as our judges and volunteers, we cannot assume we will have the same level of support and participation as in the past for the same reasons.
Finally, we have established January 15 as the deadline for contest registrations. This is a few weeks earlier than usual, but it will give us more lead time to develop a plan amidst all the changes and uncertainties.
So, the planning process for now is to determine which contests will have sufficient registrations. Then we need to establish the date and location in conjunction with the contest coordinator and the host school’s site coordinator. Right now our goal is to conduct in-person competitions that will adhere to the host district’s COVID restrictions vis-a-vis social distancing and group gatherings. If all goes well, we would award medals in an abbreviated awards ceremony at the conclusion of each day of competition. It would obviously be smaller in scale, but still exciting and motivational for the students.
Please let me know your thoughts as we move forward. We will schedule a virtual consultants meeting when we have a better indication of where we’re heading, but for now we need to get a handle on the national contest format and the numbers of contestant registrations we can expect by January 15.
Thanks for your continued support, and I welcome feedback.
NATIONAL OFFICE NEWS ITEMS
Share Your Messages of Support and Thanks for Our Teachers
Throughout the pandemic, SkillsUSA’s social media has highlighted many SkillsUSA members who have worked to keep our nation moving in the fight against COVID-19. While frontline workers deservedly have taken center stage, career and technical education and our SkillsUSA programs nationwide could not happen without our dedicated teachers and advisors.
As we approach the season of Thanksgiving, we’d like to create a thank-you video to let all SkillsUSA teachers know how valued they are, to let them know we see how hard they work and to show them how much that work is appreciated. We need your help to make that happen. We’re requesting brief videos from SkillsUSA students, state directors, partners, parents, school administrators and other stakeholders offering short messages of thanks for our teachers. Current teachers and advisors are also welcome to submit their own messages of thanks and encouragement to their peers around the nation.
Videos can be shot on smartphones, should be a maximum of 15 seconds, and are due to SkillsUSA by Nov. 13. Let’s ensure our SkillsUSA instructors know they are valued, respected and appreciated for their heroic work.
Submit your video here: https://skillsusa.wufoo.com/forms/share-your-messages-of-support-for-teachers/. If you prefer, upload your video through a file-sharing service like WeTransfer or Dropbox and send the link to director of communications Tom Kercheval at: email@example.com.
Attend ACTE’s CareerTech VISION Virtual Conference
ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2020 has moved to a fully online, virtual experience this year. The Nov. 30-Dec. 4 event can be attended from the comfort and convenience of your school, office or home and features enhanced programming and immersive professional development to address timely topics impacting career and technical education.
The week-long conference allows flexibility to tailor session times to your availability. All attendees will receive access to over 300 sessions following the event. Attendees will have opportunities to network and participate in interactive experiences through a dynamic virtual platform at this flagship event.
For conference rates, speakers and program details, go to: www.careertechvision.com.
#SkillsUSAGivingHopeDay Doubles Up on Hope
The SkillsUSA Hope Fund was founded in 2019 to provide scholarships or support for individual students and SkillsUSA chapters in crisis. Contribute to the 2020 campaign and join us as a SkillsUSA member or supporter who makes a difference. Between now and Dec. 1, participate in #SkillsUSAGivingHopeDay and know that every donation you make to SkillsUSA will be doubled, because, once again this year, contributions will be matched by CareerSafe.
Thanks to the generosity of CareerSafe in supporting the campaign, every donation doubles up to help SkillsUSA, up to $10,000. Follow the 2020 campaign on social media and share the #SkillsUSAGivingHopeDay posts to help spread the word.
Porsche Technology Apprenticeship Program
Despite record unemployment and millions of Americans out of work, graduates of the most recent Porsche Technology Apprenticeship Program (PTAP), offered exclusively in partnership with Universal Technical Institute, have gone immediately to work. One hundred percent of the program’s most recent graduating class received job offers at Porsche dealerships in California, Alabama, Texas, Florida, North and South Carolina, Pennsylvania and New York.
Top students enrolled in UTI’s Automotive Technology Program across 11 campuses nationwide are recruited for PTAP. The PTAP program is offered in a blended format, combining online education with hands-on training in CDC-compliant labs in Atlanta, Ga.; Easton, Pa.; and Eastvale, Calif. Porsche directly supports, equips and invests in the program, allowing students to receive training on all the latest Porsche vehicles and technologies. Tuition and housing costs are covered by Porsche, and the company also arranges local part-time employment for students while they are in the 23-week program. Porsche dealerships across the country offer employment to most students upon — and often before — graduation.
For more information about the Porsche Technology Apprenticeship Program, click here.