Ask Tim

Your Personal Power

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

Q: The recent elections clearly showed the difference a few votes can make. What effect do I have as an individual member of SkillsUSA?

Tim: Our organization’s strength lies in the fact that many individuals are collectively pushing us to higher levels. In this issue of SkillsUSA Champions, you’ll read about former members gaining national attention in Reader’s Digest and on the “Today” show, and about a onetime competitor who now leads his company’s engineering division. These stories — all about the “power of one” — illustrate how individuals make a positive difference.

Speaking of power, the first news item in this issue is about how more than 200 SkillsUSA members demonstrated their personal power through visits to Congress. These visits helped pass federal legislation to support career and technical education all across America. By joining our talents, ideas and actions together with other individuals, we can all have a huge impact nationwide, even globally.

You’ll also read about how Lowe’s will offer SkillsUSA chapters cash grants to improve their program of work and conduct innovative community service projects. This major national corporation recognizes the power of the local chapter and the good work of each student and teacher. While providing the largest single corporate contribution in our history, Lowe’s is supporting chapters at the local level, where it benefits members the most.

Because of your individual achievements, more people are learning about SkillsUSA. In May through September, we received nearly 2,500 news clippings with a total circulation of 110 million — over one-third of the U.S. population and a 73 percent jump over the previous year. Just as importantly, the quality and depth of coverage improved as well.

The buzz is building about SkillsUSA. Compared to this time last year, membership trends are looking great, and our alumni association is growing. We’re experiencing this momentum because the education community, government and industry recognize that you and your skills will take our nation to a new level of achievement. To quote the U.S. assistant secretary of education, who spoke recently to SkillsUSA students at our Washington Leadership Training Institute, “the world has waited for your arrival.” I agree with him. Because of each of you and your outstanding efforts, I know the best days for SkillsUSA are yet to come. 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 | Winter 2007 | Volume 41, No. 2
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