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Utah Students Honored at National SkillsUSA Championships for Skilled Work Force

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 over 1,100 businesses, corporations, trade associations and unions recognized the students for their demonstrated excellence in 96 hands-on occupational and leadership contests, such as robotics, criminal justice, aviation maintenance and public speaking. All contests are designed, run and judged by industry using industry standards.

Top student winners received gold, silver and bronze medallions. Many also received prizes such as tools of their trade 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 fourth year, high scorers in the contests received Skill Point Certificates. The Skill Point Certificate was awarded in 90 occupational and leadership areas to students who achieved a high score defined by industry. The SkillsUSA Championships have been a premier event since 1967. The Skill Point Certificates were introduced three years ago as a component of the SkillsUSA Work Force Ready System.

The following are winners (and Skill Point Certificate recipients) from this area: Team A (consisting of Sheraya Barajas, Kelton Wells), from College of Eastern Utah (Price), was awarded the College/Postsecondar Gold medal in Audio/Radio Production. Team E (consisting of Chad Cloward, Shawn Devereaux, Taylor Behling), from College of Eastern Utah (Price), was awarded the College/Postsecondar Silver medal in Welding Fabrication.

"More than 5,600 students from every state in the nation came to compete in the SkillsUSA Championships," 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, recent 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, 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 over $35 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 1,600 industry judges and technical committee members participated this year.

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 America has a skilled work force. SkillsUSA serves more than 300,000 students and instructors annually and has served more than 10 million members since its founding in 1965. The organization has more than 17,000 sections and 54 state and territorial associations.




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