Executive Director Tim Lawrence has known SkillsUSA as a student member, instructor, industry partner and state director. Got a question? He can help.
Q: What's the one word that best describes SkillsUSA's benefit to its students, teachers and partners?
Tim: If there is one word, it’s connections. Because SkillsUSA is a partnership of education and industry, it’s almost inevitable that if you’re actively involved, you will find ways to connect to those who can offer you unlimited opportunities.
This issue is all about making the right connections through SkillsUSA. One student’s technical skills connected her to a stranger; saving his life helped her prepare for the future. A young man connected with a great graphics instructor who challenged him to rise above his circumstances; that student is now with the U.S. Government Printing Office. And Nick Peterson, who connected to a college degree while becoming an international champion, now works at the corporate level in the welding industry.
All three students used competitions to enhance their skill levels. No matter your trade area or the level in which you compete, you can make a valuable connection through the SkillsUSA Championships. A good way for you to start preparing is to listen to the advice from the 15 technical experts featured in this issue. One of the most powerful connections that SkillsUSA offers is to the community. Stories of our local chapters’ hurricane relief efforts demonstrate the impact of service, as do the events during several state leadership conferences I’ve attended this fall. Using your skills to better yourself is commendable, but using them to support the needs of others is what makes each of you a true champion.
Partnerships are the lifeblood of SkillsUSA, with more than 1,100 business supporters nationally. We’re continuing to make connections on your behalf. We recently established an alliance with the federal government for the safety of young workers. Another agreement develops and promotes a workplace readiness credential for students, and several new key industry partnerships have been established. Annually, SkillsUSA’s partners donate more than $2 million in cash and over $30 million of gifts in kind, all for the students with whom they want to make a connection. They know the future of their companies and our country depends on people who are connected to education, industry and community.
I hope each of you will take advantage of the opportunity to make positive connections to support your future.
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 | Winter 2006 | Volume 40, No. 2