Students from technical education programs in high schools and colleges in Fayette and surrounding areas won the nation’s highest awards at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.
Industry leaders representing more than 600 businesses, corporations, trade associations and unions recognized the students for demonstrating excellence in 100 hands-on occupational and leadership competitions, such as robotics, criminal justice, aviation maintenance and public speaking. All competitions 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 or scholarships to further their careers and education. The SkillsUSA Championships is for high-school and college-level students who are members of the 360,000-member SkillsUSA organization.
In addition, Skill Point Certificates were awarded in 86 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 in 2009 as a component of the SkillsUSA Work Force Ready System.
The following students are Skill Point Certificate recipients from this area:
* Kristofer Davis, from Fayetteville and a student at Sandy Creek High School, was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Mobile Electronics Installation.
* Autumn Blanding, from Riverdale and a student at Riverdale High School, was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Cosmetology.
* Turner Johnson, from Douglasville and a student at Chapel Hill High School, was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Commercial Baking.
“More than 6,000 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 industry representatives are working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce and every student excels. These students prove that career and technical education expands opportunities.”
According to the U.S. Department of Education, students who take three or more career and technical education (CTE) programs in high school are more likely to attend college and stay there to graduate. In fact, 79 percent of CTE concentrators enrolled in postsecondary education within two years of high school graduation. And, students in CTE programs have a higher-than-average high school graduation rate. Research has shown the average high school graduation rate for students concentrating in CTE programs is 90 percent, compared to an average national freshman graduation rate of 80 percent.
Industry support of the SkillsUSA Championships is valued at over $36 million in donated time, equipment, cash and material. All competitions are run and judged by industry experts using industry standards for employment. These contests assess hands-on, employability and academic skills. More than 1,700 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 also 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.