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America's Highly Skilled Work Force
Meets In Kansas City
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The Minnesota SkillsUSA delegation returned to Kansas City June 23-27, 2012 for its 48th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference, a showcase of career and technical education students. Quality career and technical education was the centerpiece of the conference. More than 15,000 students, teachers, education leaders, and representatives from more than 1,100 national corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions attended the event. Special highlighted events were the SkillsUSA Championships June 25 and 26 with 94 hands-on skill and leadership competitions.
The winners of the annual SkillsUSA Championships were announced Wednesday evening, June 27, 2012 at the Awards Ceremony of the National Leadership and Skills Conference. The Conference was held June 23 - June 27, 2012, at the Municipal Auditorium, the Kemper Arena, H. Roe Bartle Hall, the downtown Marriott and the downtown Sheraton in Kansas City, Missouri. More than 5,900 outstanding career and technical education students joined in the excitement of hands-on competition in ninety-four different trade, technical, and leadership fields.
Working against the clock and each other, the participants proved their expertise in job skills for occupations such as electronics, technical drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts. There were also competitions in leadership skills, such as extemporaneous speaking and conducting meetings by parliamentary procedures.
The Minnesota Delegation of over 200 students, advisors, voting delegates and national education team members were on hand for the weeklong event. Special congratulations to the entire Minnesota Delegation for such a great showing in medal count, bringing home 31 medallion winners in both college and high divisions in sixty different leadership/skilled contest areas and sixty-one (61) students also received their Skill Point Certificate at NLSC. This is a significant achievement that documents their knowledge and hands-on abilities. The Skills Point Certificate is a tool to recognize outstanding talent beyond those who earn the gold, silver or bonze medals at the SkillsUSA Championships. The same industry leaders who defined the competencies for the Championships determined a “cut score,” Which is a score that indicates excellence for students entering technical fields. Each Certificate is designed with industry logos that represent many companies in the technical area and also list the competency areas tested.
Students from the following colleges competed at the National conference: Alexandria Technical & Community College, Central Lakes College-Staples, Century College, Dakota County Technical College, Dunwoody College of Technology, Hennepin Technical College-Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie Campuses, Hibbing Community College, Lake Superior College, Minneapolis Community & Technical College, M State-Detroit Lakes, Mn West-Canby, Ridgewater College-Willmar, Riverland Community College-Austin, St. Cloud Technical & Community College, Saint Paul College, and South Central College-North Mankato.
Students from the following high schools/technical centers competed at the national conference: Alexandria Technical & Community College, Austin High School, Cambridge-Isanti High School, Carver-Scott Educational Cooperative, Century High School, Dakota County Area Learning School, Dakota Ridge High School, Foley High School, John F. Kennedy High School, Mounds View High School, Northeast Metro 916, Red Wing High School, Roseville High School, St. Francis Senior High School, Tartan High School and Technical High School.
Special congratulations to Dr. Marlys Bucher who received SkillsUSA’s highest recognition with the National Honorary Life Membership on Monday evening, June 25th during the opening ceremonies in front of 14,000 SkillsUSA & CTE students. It is awarded for outstanding service that advances the purposes and goals of our organization. Dr. Marlys Bucher is employed by the MN Department of Education, Center for Postsecondary Success. Education Specialist II - Coordinator Secondary Perkins/CTE Assessment and Evaluation Specialist. Also in attendance during the conference was Dr. Ron Anderson, President of Century College, Dr. Cecilia Cervantes, President of Hennepin Technical College, Joy Bodin, Dean of Student Success, Hennepin Technical College, Nikki Hedtke, Minnetonka Public Schools, Ann Rosenthal, Saint Paul College and Julie Diedrich, Industry Relations- MN Great Clips Salons.
SkillsUSA is the national organization for students in trade, industrial, technical and health occupations education. It sponsors the SkillsUSA Championships annually to recognize the achievements of career and technical education students and to encourage them to strive for excellence and pride in their chosen occupations. SkillsUSA organizes this event, and it is considered the single greatest day of industry volunteerism in America every year at an estimated cost of more than $36 million. Each SkillsUSA Championships contestant is a state-level gold medalist.
The SkillsUSA Championships is unique because more than 1,700 technical experts from labor and industry design and judge the contests to a set of entry-level job skills that test both a student’s knowledge and hands-on abilities. Safety practices and procedures - an area of great concern to labor and management alike - are judged and graded and constitute a portion of a contestant’s score. Students who excel in competition know they have achieved the skills necessary to be successful when they enter the workforce. SkillsUSA affiliated instructional programs represent one hundred thirty different occupational areas.
The philosophy of the SkillsUSA Championships is to reward students for excellence, to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance and to keep training relevant to employer’s needs.
For additional information, please contact: Jennifer Polz, Executive Director, SkillsUSA Minnesota
P.O. Box 29286 • Minneapolis, MN 55429 • 763.560.1932 Office • 763.560.1936 Fax
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps each student to excel.
SkillsUSA is a national organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations, including health occupations. SkillsUSA was formerly known as VICA (the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America).
SkillsUSA programs also help to establish industry standards for job skill training in the lab and classroom, and promote community service. SkillsUSA is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and is cited as a successful model of employer-driven youth development training program” by the U.S. Department of Labor.