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SkillsUSA Leadership Leads to D.C.

Leaders from the world's most powerful student organization (OK, we're biased) assemble in the world's most powerful city.

SkillsUSA’s 2006 Washington Leadership and Training Institute not only delivered intensive leadership training (hence, the name) to the hundreds of students and advisors who attended, but also the opportunity to meet influential government officials and policy-makers such as Al Frink, assistant secretary of commerce, and Dr. Troy Justesen, assistant secretary of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education.

Both men showed their commitment to SkillsUSA’s mission by offering students tips for planned visits to congressional representatives. The Texas delegation, accompanied by SkillsUSA Executive Director Tim Lawrence, bypassed Congress altogether, visiting the White House to discuss career and technical education with staff from the political and public affairs offices. For more on WLTI, visit:

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All our exes live in ...?

Since its founding in 1965, SkillsUSA has served more than 9 million members. And now, we’re out to find the ones that got away.

Alumni can be an incredible resource for local chapters, from serving as guest speakers to donating time and equipment to local contests. That’s why SkillsUSA is working with Thomson Delmar Learning to create a database of SkillsUSA alumni that can be shared with state associations.

In just a short time, more than 2,000 alumni members have joined the SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends Association. If you’d like to add your name, or if you know someone who would, go to for all sorts of alumni-related resources.

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Past members make news nationally

Former SkillsUSA national officer Missy McLamb, a professional photographer, recently appeared on NBC’s “Today” show to discuss the book Myself: Together Again. McLamb is responsible for the images in the inspirational book, which documents Debbie Horowitz’s delayed reconstruction surgery following a double mastectomy.

The photographer has owned her own business since 1996, one that’s grown each year. “In college, I was way ahead of the game because of SkillsUSA,” she said in a 2001 interview, “not just in my photography skills, but also my ability to deal with my professors.” McLamb still feels the same today, according to her mother: “Just recently, Missy and I were discussing how her experience in SkillsUSA is still paying off.” Visit: to learn more about the book and to see McLamb’s photography site.

An example of CTE success
From millions of viewers to millions of readers: Former national officer Noemi Castro appeared as part of a spread in the October issue of Reader’s Digest. “Give vocational training the respect it deserves,” the article proclaimed, using Castro’s story (which first appeared in the Fall 2003 issue of SkillsUSA Champions) to show how career and technical education helps students grow. Download the full article at

What could you possibly have in common with Hulk Hogan? How about an awesome pin that will be seen by thousands. SkillsUSA’s national conference pin design competition is open to all dues-paying members. The winning design will be produced in a limited quantity and distributed at the 2007 national conference. For rules, visit:

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Lowe's grant a record high for chapters

Deal or no deal: $500,000 from Lowe’s for SkillsUSA chapters, or ... Never mind, you had us at “$500,000.” Deal! Deal!

Creating a new benefit for selected local chapters, this contribution from Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation is the largest corporate donation SkillsUSA has ever received in a single year.

Lowe’s will focus on four main areas:

  • in-store educational and training opportunities

  • grants to support individual chapter growth

  • funds to implement innovative community service projects

  • in-kind materials donations for national competitions

Readers of this issue of SkillsUSA Champions, sent only to members joining by Nov. 15, are among the first to be told about these local grant opportunities. Details will be available soon on a special Web page at:

To be considered, chapters will need to apply. The criteria will be posted on the Web page, but be sure to note that Lowe’s is looking for creativity. So, if your chapter is interested in a grant, whether for expanding chapter effectiveness or for a community service project, now is a good time to start thinking about innovative ways to show why you deserve one.

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SkillsUSA Champions | Winter 2007 | Volume 41, No. 2
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