January 2020

Important Deadlines
February 5
State Qualifying Event Registration Deadline
February 14
Membership Deadline
March 6
CEP Submission Deadline
March 20
Advisor of the Year Application Deadline
SLSC Registration Deadline


Resources to Help Chapters Level Up to Excellence

A healthy and active SkillsUSA Chapter is essential in ensuring students are gaining the “SkillsUSA Advantage”. Having a great chapter is easy with the SkillsUSA Chapter Excellence Program. Participating in CEP comes with many benefits including local, state, and national recognition to your school, conference financial incentives ($5 reduction in SLSC student registration) and more all while ensuring students are career ready. SkillsUSA Illinois is committed to helping chapters excel.

The Chapter Excellence Program submission deadline is March 6, 2020 at 10:59 p.m. Checkout these new resources and, as always, reach out to membership@skillsusaillinois.org with any questions.

Tune Up Tuesdays
In the fall, SkillsUSA Illinois launched a new professional development opportunity for advisors, Tune Up Tuesday. These webinars last about 30 minutes with 15-20 minutes of content leaving 10-15 minutes for open questions and answers.  Please visit SkillsUSAIllinois.org/TuneUpTuesday to learn about up coming topics and to registrar for the next webinar. 


Advisor Group on Facebook
SkillsUSA Illinois has created Advisor Group on Facebook as a space for advisors from around the state to come together, share best practices and dive deeper into SkillsUSA Illinois. This group is for active advisors; chapter and training program will be requested for verification purposes. To join, please click here.


Chapter Fundraiser: Double Good
Looking for an easy, profitable and effective chapter fundraiser? Checkout Double Good Popcorn, SkillsUSA’s official fundraising partner. Between September 1 – October 31 chapters have raised over $82,325 to support local chapters. When advisors sign up through an email or at SkillsUSAFundraising.com, they will automatically be sent a sample package of popcorn with steps on how to get started. Contact info@skillsusafundraising.com or 833.754.5545 for more information.

L.E.A.D. 2019

On November 7-9, 2019, SkillsUSA Illinois hosted L.E.A.D. an annual two-day leadership conference that allows SkillsUSA members find their “start button” through hands-on, high-energy and motivational programming. The conference took place at the Sheraton in Lisle, IL. All training engrains SkillsUSA Framework skill development. The conference developed student members in four essential elements of the SkillsUSA Framework:

  • Work Ethic (Personal Skill) – Getting work done.
  • Communication (Workplace Skill) – Accurate exchange of information and ideas.
  • Leadership (Workplace Skill) – Guiding and influencing individuals to achieve a goal.
  • Job-Specific Skills (Technical Skill Grounding in Academics) – Effectively fulfilling all job functions.

Students became aware and demonstrate these career readiness skills; along with completing job interview training which culminated with a simulated interview with an actual human resource professional of one of our business and industry partners. At L.E.A.D. students had the opportunity to focus on how to lead their chapter for the coming year. Our business partners all agree, L.E.A.D. gives students a differentiator when applying for their next job and makes an influence on their future success.

Advisors had the opportunity to attend sessions on how to ensure students are career ready for any career path of study. The SkillsUSA Chapter Excellence Program ensure students have the co- and extra- curricular activities to develop skillsets 21st century careers demand as well as brings local, state, and national recognition to programs and schools. Advisors were able to create a plan of action for their chapter for the year. SkillsUSA also equips teachers with gold-standard educational resources to help students build all the skills they’ll need to thrive. Advisors were able to explore these resources in-depth and develop implementation strategies that can be used in their professional practice.

Attendees were also able to earn the coveted SkillsUSA Illinois Statesman Certification, an award that recognizes those who have demonstrated mastery of leadership skills and SkillsUSA knowledge to show career readiness.  

Board of Directors Update

At the last SkillsUSA Illinois Board of Director meeting held on November 8, 2020 in Lisle, Illinois, the Board approved the addition of three new members. SkillsUSA Illinois is excited to announce the appointments of these individuals and look forward to their leadership to continue fulling the organization’s mission and goals.

Business and Industry Representative
Greg Palese
Vice President of Marketing
Klein Tools

Educational Representative (Regions III & VII)
Mark Lobes
Applied Technology Teacher
Victor J. Andrew High School

Educational Representative (Regions IV & V)
Katie White
Graphic Design Instructor
Bloomington Area Career Center

SkillsUSA Illinois Board of Directors also approved an updated organization policy manual. This can be found on the SkillsUSAIllinois.org/PolicyManual.

Advisor Honored for Teaching Excellence

SkillsUSA advisor and welding instructor Jodi Lancaster at Livingston Area Career Center (Pontiac, IL). Jodi was awarded second place in the Harbor Freight Tool for Schools Teaching Excellence Program. Excellence is defined as teachers who love their subject matter; who are highly knowledgeable and skilled; who implement a curriculum matched to a relevant career pathway; who encourage exploration and experimentation by students in a safe environment; and who connect students to new relationships and experiences outside the classroom. Her welding program received a check for $50,000 from Harbor Freight to continue this legacy of excellence. Congratulations, Jodi! We are so proud to have a finalist here in Illinois.

Award Announcement | Illinois Article


York Community High School Partners with IAA and Safeway Insurance

SkillsUSA Illinois was excited to provide a business and chapter partnership between York Community High School with IAA and Safeway Insurance. After 6 months of coordination, IAA and Safeway donated a 2018 Chevy Malibu to York’s Automotive Training Program.

This vehicle will be used by as an instructional resource for students to make necessary repairs to return the car to a street ready condition. Not only is this a great learn opportunity for SkillsUSA members, the chapter will benefit by being able to sell the vehicle as a fundraiser when the project is completed.

Look for future updates on this project as it progresses. A special thank you to SkillsUSA Illinois Board of Directors business and industry reprehensive, Brian Hildreth, for his hard work on this exciting project.

State Qualifying Events 2020

Every winter hundreds of SkillsUSA Illinois students partake in the annual State Qualifying Events (SQE). This is their gateway to many of the competitions at the SkillsUSA Illinois Championships during the State Leadership & Skills Conference.

State Qualifying Event registration is now open. Exam Preparation Guides are now available, and Event Preparation Guides will be available in the next few weeks. More information is available at SkillsUSAIllinois.org/SQE.

The registration deadline is February 5, 2020.


Thank You To Our Partners

SkillsUSA Illinois could not succeed if it were not for this amazing partners.

Dane and Jessica Stevenson Family Foundation
Support for Chapters of Focus program

Support for E.A.D., State Leadership and Skills Conference and Ready2
(work-based learning program)

Klein Tools
Support for State Leadership and Skills Conference as a cluster sponsor and prize donation

Employee match program – Support for mission driven work through the volunteer work of SkillsUSA Illinois Board of Directors Alumni & Friends representative Loree Moore.

Interested in learning more about how you can get involved with SkillsUSA Illinois?  Contact info@skillsusaillinois.org.