Executive Director Tim Lawrence has known SkillsUSA as a student member, instructor, industry partner and state director. Got a question? He can help.
Q: I understand that nationally, our organizations official name became SkillsUSA on Sept. 1. How does that affect my chapter at home?
Tim: In 1965, our founders envisioned the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America as a way to enhance students leadership, employability, technical and academic skills.
Entering our 40th year as an organization, we look back with pride on this history. Over 8.5 million former members have worked hard each day to design, build, repair, maintain and serve our nation while supporting their families and communities. As VICA, the organization lifted up these champions at work and helped hundreds of thousands of teachers provide a quality local chapter experience.
This will not change. As we move into the future as SkillsUSA, our heritage will always be a part of who we are, and we will continue to provide the programs and services to help every student excel.
In our experience, SkillsUSAVICA was confusing to future members and the news media, in part because it sounded like a combination of two organizations. In SkillsUSA, our members have a single name, and in the new national slogan, SkillsUSA: Champions at Work, a clear message to describe what we do.
Were asking all our state associations to change their names to reflect that we are all members of one organization. There are ways your chapter can help promote a strong image, too, starting with the suggestions in the "Toolbox" section. We encourage you to use either the SkillsUSA logo alone or the slogan mark on all your materials.
With some items, you dont need to drop the VICA. All existing official attire, such as blazers and work clothing, will continue to be honored as official and appropriate for meetings and competitions. See www.skillsusa.org/namefaqs.html for details.
As we move forward, Im reminded of a a letter sent to me by one of our founders, Lowell Burkett, whos now 92 years old.
I believe what Mr. Burkett had to say illustrates how far weve come in 40 years:
I hope we will all share Mr. Burketts outlook and fulfill his vision as Champions at Work. Welcome to a new year!
Got questions about SkillsUSA or other topics? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to SkillsUSA / P.O. Box 3000 / Leesburg, VA 20177. Put “Ask Tim” in the subject line or mail address.
SkillsUSA Champions | Fall 2004 | Volume 39, No. 1