The NACC chapter of SkillsUSA visited Louisville, Ky., June 20-24, 2016, for the 52nd annual National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC), a showcase of career and technical education students. More than 16,000 people — including students, teachers and business partners — participated in the weeklong event.
Event activities included SkillsUSA University which is a program of educational seminars and SkillsUSA TECHSPO featuring SkillsUSA sponsors and vendors in both indoor and outdoor exhibits. Official Opening and Closing Ceremonies were held to induct incoming officers and announce contest winners. Kayleen McCabe, a licensed contractor, 2009 Stud Finder winner and TV Host for five seasons of DIY Network's “Rescue Renovation”, provided the keynote speech at the event encouraging students to not let what others think of them deter them from pursuing their goals.
The SkillsUSA Championships were held on Wednesday and Thursday. More than 6,000 outstanding career and technical education students –– all state contest winners –– competed hands-on in 100 different trade, technical and leadership fields. Students worked against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations such as electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts. Contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations, and test competencies are set by industry. Leadership contestants demonstrated skills including extemporaneous speaking and conducting meetings by parliamentary procedure. The week capped off with the Awards Ceremony, Friday evening at KEC’s Freedom Hall.
NACC contest results, certificates and awards included:
Opening & Closing Ceremonies – Gold
Team members: Hannah Blansit, Maria Hidrogo, Jesse Matthews, Eric McGaha-Potter, Sarah Merciers, Ollie Vaughn and Kyleigh Wright
Advisor: Julise Clement & Regina Gilliland
Drafting & Design Technology – Silver
Competitor: Hunter Furgerson
Advisor: Kelly Black
Cosmetology – 4th Place Finish
Competitor: Isaiah Cuzzort
Advisor: Regina Gilliland
Mobile Robotics – 4th Place Finish
Team members: James Wisner and Kyle Woods
Advisor: Tim Barksdale
Several NACC competitors were also awarded Skill Point Certificates in their respective contests. These certificates recognize outstanding achievements of contestants in addition to those who earn gold, silver and bronze medallions in the SkillsUSA Championships. The same industry leaders who defined the competencies for the Championships determined a “cut score” that indicates excellence for students entering technical fields or leadership. Most cut scores range between 70 and 80 percent, and contestants who reach that level earn a Skill Point certificate. Each certificate lists the competency areas tested in the contest and carries the logos or the names of the organizations and companies that planned and managed this year’s competitions. Students can use their certificates in an employment portfolio and as indicators of proficiency.
The NACC Chapter was also recognized and honored as one of the top 24 Models of Excellence. The MOE program is sponsored by Lowes and recognizes the exceptional integration and application of personal, workplace and technical skills for SkillsUSA chapter activities. This is one of the highest awards bestowed on chapters by SkillsUSA. The chapter was represented by Kendra Osmer, Kayla Wilborn and Kira Ziegler who participated in resume and interview workshops as part of TAG Tuesday, presented the chapter’s CTE advocacy events to a panel of judges, enjoyed a MOE reception dinner at the Kentucky Derby Museum and were recognized on the main stage during the awards ceremony.
“My favorite part of the trip was definitely the reception dinner at the derby and being honored with our fellow Models of Excellence recipients,” said Kendra Osmer. “I enjoyed having that opportunity to socialize with people who strive to make a difference and put their plans for success into action.”
SkillsUSA advisors Kelly Black, Julise Clement, Regina Gilliland, Tim Barksdale and Hugo DeAngelis attended the conference and represented NACC and the State of Alabama at various Skills University workshops and seminars on topics including new industry trends and technology, career paths, safety programs, SkillsUSA chapter support and more.
SkillsUSA is an applied method of instruction for preparing America’s high performance workers in public career and technical programs. It provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development. It builds and reinforces self-confidence, work attitudes and communications skills. It emphasizes total quality at work including high ethical standards, superior work skills, life-long education, and pride in the dignity of work. SkillsUSA also promotes understanding of the free-enterprise system and involvement in community service.
SkillsUSA helps students discover and grow their career passions. As a nationwide partnership of students, instructors and industry working together, SkillsUSA works to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It helps every student excel. The organization emphasizes respect for the dignity of work, ethics, workmanship, scholarship and safety. For more information, go to http://www.skillsusa.org, visit the NACC website to learn more about the career technical programs www.nacc.edu or contact Kelly Black at firstname.lastname@example.org for details about the NACC Chapter of SkillsUSA.