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SLSC Highlights

I continue to hear from state association directors regarding excellent state leadership and skills conferences and most are experiencing record participation. Here are a few highlights: state director Janet Conner in Texas reported over 6,000 registered for the Texas high school SLSC and Board President James King reported the largest Tennessee SLSC in history.

State Director Mike Cowles provided these statistics about the Ohio SLSC: 93 competitive events; 90+ schools both high school and college/postsecondary; 2,600 competitors; 400 instructors and administrators; 338,000 sq. ft. wall-to-wall under one roof; $8 million of industry, education and government in-kind and financial support; 400+ volunteers representing education, business and industry, state and federal government and military; and, 51 state officer candidates and six national officer candidates. To see a video from the Ohio competition, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEDJmMWWWDA&feature=youtu.be

In addition to the great conferences happening across the nation, it’s important to note that our state association directors sometime face great challenges. North Dakota’s SLSC was hit by a massive snow storm and had to be cancelled and the Michigan SLSC was hit with flooding that forced several changes in facilities and interruption of several chapters’ lodging plans. A big thank you to SkillsUSA North Dakota director Clark Molter and SkillsUSA Michigan director Tammy Brown for their dedication and perseverance during these difficult challenges. They are an inspiration to us all as they held their heads high in the face of change and created alternatives for our students and teachers.

And finally, state director Karen Ward in Massachusetts held her SLSC at the end of April. This association has faced a lot during the Boston Marathon tragedy and instituted new security procedures for the conference. In speaking with her, I was impressed with the SLSC theme set by the state association back in March: “SkillsUSA Strong.” Incredibly, this theme directly aligns with the theme that the City of Boston embraced: “Boston Strong.” The SkillsUSA Strong theme appeared on the SLSC conference literature and on the opening and awards ceremonies stage.

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