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TeamUSA’s Champions Up Against the World

TeamUSA heads for Japan: from left, Chance Pollo (Welding), David Moreno (Plumbing), Elisa Graybill (Hairdressing), Doug Lavin (Refrigeration), Phil Lord (Autobody Repair), Chance Hendrix (Car Painting)

Many SkillsUSA members know how difficult it is to make it to the national level of competitions, so imagine what it takes to compete at the international level. That’s what the six elite champions comprising TeamUSA did at the 39th WorldSkills Competition in Japan.

Held every two years, the WSC features more than 850 student competitors from 45 countries, competing in 47 key skills and technologies.

TeamUSA fell short of major medals, but two members — Chance Pollo (competing in Welding) and Elisa Graybill (Hairdressing) — each earned a medallion for excellence, awarded for scoring over 500 points out of 600 total. Pollo also received the “Best in Nation” award for the highest contest score among U.S. contestants.

For a day-by-day recap and photos of this unique event, visit: www.skillsusa.org/compete/teamusa.shtml.

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Take Five? Add Five Instead

You’ve seen the movie “300”? SkillsUSA’s version would be “300,000,” the membership number the organization is aiming for.

To help get those members, SkillsUSA has announced the 2008 Champions Campaign. Sponsored by Jig-A-World (makers of the all-around lubricant Jig-A-Loo), the campaign asks instructors to complete a pledge card declaring their intent to add five new members this year. Instructors who meet the goal will receive a special lapel pin and certificate; they’ll also be entered into a random prize drawing. For more, visit: www.skillsusa.org/educators/championscampaign.shtml.

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WLTI Makes Advocacy Personal

SkillsUSA high school officers Jeremy Montoya (president) and Shelby Adsero (secretary) lay the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns during WLTI.

Advocacy is a year-round effort for SkillsUSA members. (Is it a part of your chapter’s program of work?) But for five focused days every year, that effort kicks into overdrive at the Washington Leadership Training Institute in the nation’s capital.

The 2007 WLTI boasted 251 registrants from 25 states. Along with intensive leadership training, students attending the five-day event toured the Smithsonian Institution and area monuments, visited Arlington National Cemetery (where they were granted the honor of laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns), toured SkillsUSA’s national center, listened to guest speakers from the heart of government, and more.

But the highlight of the conference came when all 25 state delegations made personal visits to their congressional representatives on Capitol Hill, bringing their individual SkillsUSA success stories with them and securing continued support for programs that affect the future of technical education. For more information and photos of this amazing week, visit: www.skillsusa.org/events/wlti.shtml.

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Lowe’s Offers Record Grant

A $1 million grant from Lowe’s is the largest in SkillsUSA history. Visit www.skillsusa.org/educators/lowes.shtml to see how your chapter can benefit.

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SkillsUSA Champions | Winter 2008 | Volume 42, No. 2
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