Ask Tim

To Be a Champion

Executive Director Tim Lawrence has known SkillsUSA as a student member, instructor, industry partner and state director. Got a question? He can help.

Welcome to the first issue of our new magazine, SkillsUSA Champions. You might be flipping through the pages and wondering, Wow, what is this? It’s different than anything SkillsUSA or — if you’ve been involved as long as I have — even VICA in its early days has produced before.

It sure is. This magazine is for everyone who believes in SkillsUSA and what it does. We’ve listened to our students and teachers, the employers and organizations who support us … practically everyone SkillsUSA touches. Last year, we surveyed our members about getting a magazine, and 85 percent backed the idea, sight unseen. And when meeting with our sponsors from industry, I’d often hear how they wanted to read about what our members are doing. This is for all of you.

We picked the name “Champions” because that’s what it’s all about: people like you. By participating in SkillsUSA, you are a Champion in your own right — for your school, community, nation and the future of America’s skilled work force. We’re seeking stories about your efforts and about the successes of our members, past and present. And yes, our championships program is a part of the mix, too.

Our goal is to capture the SkillsUSA experience in a way that’s as fun and relevant as what our chapters are doing. Paired with our Web site, this is a dynamic resource connecting all our members. Every issue, I’ll do my best to connect with you through this column. If you’ve got questions about what we’re doing here at headquarters, or how to meet program challenges, or something you think we haven’t even considered, this is the place to write. E-mail me at or send a letter. Put “Ask Tim” in the subject line or on your envelope to speed it along.

To get us started, here’s a question I know is on many members’ minds …

Q: Is it true that national membership dues are going up in the fall?

Tim: Yes, student dues will be $7.50, and professional dues, $13. We’re concerned about the effect on our members. We don’t want to lose anybody! But inflation keeps creeping up, and with us serving more than 260,000 people, this makes a big difference in the cost. For students, the increase is 50 cents. For professional members, it’s $3 — the first increase in 14 years. With the additional dues revenue, we will be providing new and improved services (like this magazine) for you.

Watch for more training resources for advisors, more support for your state associations and more opportunities to connect to our vast network of national partners. Our ultimate goal is to add value to your membership in SkillsUSA. End of story

Got questions about SkillsUSA or other topics? E-mail or send a letter to SkillsUSA / P.O. Box 3000 / Leesburg, VA 20177. Put “Ask Tim” in the subject line or mail address.

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SkillsUSA Champions | Summer 2002 | Volume 36, No. 4
Copyright ©2002 SkillsUSA. All rights reserved.