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It’s Spring State Conference Season

If SkillsUSA is all about the students – and a good deal of it is – then there’s almost no better time to see and hear them than going to state spring conferences. Each conference is different, but they’re all fun. I’ll be attending nine this year, so I’ll be having lots of fun.

On March 23 – 25, I was in San Antonio for the SkillsUSA Texas College/Postsecondary Conference. The keynote speaker was U.S. Representative Francisco Canseco, and he spoke highly and favorably of the Perkins Act and SkillsUSA and he stressed the importance of skilled workers to rebuilding the nation’s economy. Richard Chappel of Snap-on Industrial was the industry conference chairman, and I spoke to the group as well. Texas has a strong group of state officers and 375 great students attended. Congratulations to Stacy Scott, state association director, and to Larry Haefling and Dr. Federico Zaragoza.

On March 26, I went to the West Virginia State Leadership and Skills Conference in Martinsburg. The keynote speaker there was Larry Faircloth, owner and president of a realty company, but also a candidate for governor. He talked about creating jobs in West Virginia and how he sees SkillsUSA and CTE as parts of the answer. I was there for the second day of competition and spoke to the teachers and during the awards ceremony. It was great to spend time with Paul Lovett, the energetic new state association director, and with corporate member, Rick Gillman.

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