November 1st, 2011
I am extremely proud of every student on the SkillsUSA WorldTeam. The team represented SkillsUSA and the United States of America very well in London. If you haven’t had a chance to look at the WorldTeam coverage, the link is: www.skillsusa.org/compete/worldteamphotos.shtml.
I want to extend a special thank you to Lowe’s as the anchor sponsor for the SkillsUSA WorldTeam and to all of the other businesses and unions that supported our competitors. And, a big thank you goes to board president Russ Hoffbauer from State Farm and secretary and chair of the Youth Development Foundation Committee, Greg Rintala from Snap-on Industrial, for their participation with the WorldTeam. It was great having them in London and participating in the team recognition dinner and several other WorldSkills activities.
I do have a nice addition to the CBS story. Board member, Joe Pietrantonio from Air Products, emailed me on October 13, that the young welder interviewed at the beginning of the segment is not only an Air Products employee, he’s also a SkillsUSA alumnus. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the segment, it’s archived at: www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7384501n&tag=contentMain;contentBody
October 31st, 2011
On September 30, we took advantage of the fact that we had our impressive WorldTeam in town and conducted a series of meetings in Washington, D.C. each meeting was an exchange of information and – for SkillsUSA – an opportunity to talk about the importance of career and technical education both as learning that works and an important avenue to developing America’s skilled workforce.
Our first meeting was at 9 a.m. with Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House Conference Center. After introductions, Aneesh began his remarks by asking: “Who are the innovators here? All of your hands should go up.” His point was that the American economy is counting on people – particularly young people – from all backgrounds and all occupations to discover new and cost-effective ways to provide new products and services.
Several congressional offices were represented at a meeting hosted by the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus held at the Cannon House Office Building at 10 a.m. Here the discussion was largely about the team and the preparations team members had undergone (several mentioned the need to compete using metric measurement, different processes and different materials) and more detail about the WorldSkills Competition itself.
Following lunch at the Rayburn cafeteria, the team met at 1 p.m. with Sharon Miller, director, Division of Academic and Technical Education, U.S. Department of Education and additional staff. The lively conversation was again about the team and their contests and differences between how other nations prepare their teams – often training them for years – as opposed to how the U.S. team is prepared.
The last formal meeting of the day was at the Hart Senate Office Building from 2-2:45 p.m. with Thomas Showalter, research assistant for Senator Harkin (D-IA), chair of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Showalter was clearly impressed by the team members, what they have learned through CTE and where it has taken them in further education and in their careers. He told the students that aspects of CTE are being added to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and he wrote subsequently: “It’s meetings like this one with the team that remind me what our jobs on the Hill are supposed to be about.” SkillsUSA followed up with all of the people visited and updated the congressional offices on the team’s progress.
October 10th, 2011
The SkillsUSA WorldTeam represented our nation well. I’m extremely proud of each and every one of them. They brought home five international awards:
- Bradley Clink received a Silver medal for Welding
- Laina Call received a Medallion for Excellence in Ladies/Men’s Hairdressing
- Daniel Lehmkuhl received a Medallion for Excellence in Automobile Technology
- Rachel Koppelman received a Medallion for Excellence in Cooking.
Bradley Clink also joined all countries’ highest scoring students on stage to receive a gold medal for Best of Nation.
The rigor and challenges of WorldSkills 2011 will be a great memory and a building ground for WorldSkills 2013, to be held in Leipzig, Germany. SkillsUSA is very appreciative of everyone who made the London experience possible for our students.
Special thanks to the many parents who attended to show support, to each of our experts, our staff, team leader Mark Claypool and official delegate Ada Kranenberg. And a big thank you to Mr. Don Hatton, our retiring USA technical delegate who completed 27 years of service to SkillsUSA and WorldSkills as of the close of World Skills London 2011. I’m very appreciative of the entire team representing the United States of America in London.
October 7th, 2011
The SkillsUSA WorldTeam is finishing their third day of competition. The third day is usually the toughest as it begins the second half of very challenging and rigorous competitions. Our team is amazing and I am so proud of how they have represented SkillsUSA and the United States of America.
There are tough assignments benchmarked to international standards and our students are also encountering some equipment not usually seen in the USA. But each student is taking the challenge head on and performing well. Tomorrow will wrap up the final day and awards will be presented on Sunday evening.
Also today, National Treasurer Emad Madha and National Region I Vice President Elena Melekos made an excellent presentation to world leaders at the Global Skills Marketplace. They shared the SkillsUSA model of student leadership and also presented information on social networking. They were excellent.
If you’re an American, there’s a lot to be proud of in London today! Seeing our students’ technical and leadership skills demonstrated on this world stage reminds me of the importance of what we all do to fulfill the SkillsUSA mission: to help its members become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.
October 4th, 2011
We are excited that we now have a total of 93 members of the USA delegation attending the WorldSkills Competition in London. This is the largest contingent of USA participants in many years.
We will have a SkillsUSA WorldTeam Rally outside the main entrance of the O2 Arena, one hour prior to the opening ceremony. Our four national student officers will be holding a big American flag and we are asking all our USA visitors to gather with the students at the flag. We have purchased small American flags and “thunder sticks” (noise makers) for all USA participants. We will be handing them out at the rally and we will try to all go into the arena together with a little noise and USA fanfare. We expect some big noise when our World Team is introduced on stage during the Parade of Nations!
September 1st, 2011
I always worry a little bit when talking about future news coverage because I know how quickly news can change. Nevertheless, it appears SkillsUSA WorldTeam will be getting coverage in the Labor Day Weekend edition of Parade Magazine. We’re being told there will also be more extensive coverage in September in Parade Magazine Online. Parade is the largest circulation magazine in the country with 70 million readers of the print edition and 40 million online. This will be a nice splash for the delegations going to Capitol Hill in September and for the WorldTeam before they’re off to London on September 30.
The 2011 WorldTeam