Students from Utah high school and college technical education programs won the nation's highest awards at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. Industry leaders representing more than 1,100 businesses, corporations, trade associations and unions recognized the students for their demonstrated excellence in 91 hands-on occupational and leadership contests, such as robotics, criminal justice, aviation maintenance and public speaking. The following students are winners and Skill Point Certificate recipients: Team A consisting of Josh Critchlow, Nick Richens, Riley Harrison, from College of Eastern Utah, Price, was awarded the College/PostSecondar Gold medal in welding fabrication.
"Over 5,000 students from every state in the nation came to compete in the SkillsUSA Championships this week," said SkillsUSA Executive Director Tim Lawrence. "This is the SkillsUSA partnership at its best. Students, instructors and industries are working together to ensure America has a skilled work force and every student excels. These students prove that career and technical education expands opportunities."
According to Lawrence, survey data says that 75 percent of these students will go on to higher education. Included in that number are 40 percent who will be attending college and working at the same time. Of those graduating from school this year, 76 percent plan to work in the field for which they've trained. "They're the employees industry wants to hire and promote," Lawrence said.
Industry support of the SkillsUSA Championships is valued at more than $30 million in donated time, equipment, cash and material. All contests are run and judged by industry experts using industry standards for employment.
Contests assess hands-on, employability and academic skills. More than 1,200 industry judges participated this year. All student winners received medallions. Many also received prizes such as tools of their trades and/or scholarships to further their careers and education. The SkillsUSA Championships is for high school and college-level students who are members of SkillsUSA.
In addition, for the second year, the winners and other high scorers received Skill Point Certificates. The Skill Point Certificate was awarded in 59 occupational areas at this year's National Leadership and Skills Conference. The Certificate is earned by achieving a score defined by industry, based on contest standards designed by industry representatives. While the SkillsUSA Championships have been a premier event since 1967, the Skill Point Certificates were introduced last year as a component of the SkillsUSA Work Force Ready System: The Way Ahead.
The SkillsUSA Work Force Ready System was developed as an extension of the SkillsUSA mission and supported by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The System recognizes students for excellence in occupational training; it assesses and documents the entry-level technical proficiency and cumulative experiences of candidates. For more information about the SkillsUSA Work Force Ready System, visit, www.workforcereadysystem.com.
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure Americas has a skilled work force. than 300,000 students and instructors annually and served more than 9.6 million members since its founding in 1965. The organization has 19,333 sections and 54 state and territorial associations.