Ask Tim

Building a Beneficial Relationship With Change

Sixty students and advisors from Ohio watched Obama's inauguration live at SkillsUSA's headquarters near Washington. The group was visiting for a weeklong training institute.

President Barack Obama’s transition team recently solicited opinions from SkillsUSA and other student organizations on the future of career and technical education (CTE) and ways to encourage youth to get involved in service.

In a subsequent conference call between SkillsUSA and Obama’s team, ideas were shared about how SkillsUSA members might lead efforts in social networking, service and even a White House youth conference. SkillsUSA Executive Director Tim Lawrence also led a recent webcast for SkillsUSA members, during which opportunities with the Obama administration were discussed.

So far, it’s been a great start for what is hoped to be a great relationship. “I’m optimistic that the new administration is listening and that they will look at CTE and integral programs like SkillsUSA as a priority,” Lawrence says.

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A Victory Lap After All

As part of its “Watch with Peyton and Win!” campaign, official sponsor Jig-A-Loo promised to send two SkillsUSA members to our national conference for free — if rising NASCAR star Peyton Sellers was victorious at the Toyota All-Star Showdown.

Unfortunately, Sellers was knocked from first place with one lap to go, but Jig-A-Loo still decided to award the trips, in honor of his inspired performance. Sellers says he was moved by California members who cheered him on (see Page 18), and “Jig-A-Loo shares the same passion as our race team with regards to SkillsUSA.” For details and photos, visit:

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Yes, You Can Serve Others and Yourself

SkillsUSA has once again teamed up with the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) to promote outstanding student achievement within technical education. The results of this union are four $1,000 scholarships (two college/postsecondary and two high school). The scholarships will be awarded at the 2009 national conference, and the deadline for entries is March 1. For more information, visit:

Let’s See Your Service
Are you proud of your chapter’s community service efforts? Then show us, and possibly all 300,000-plus SkillsUSA members!

SkillsUSA is asking chapters to work with their local TV-production training programs to shoot and submit video of their service projects. We’re looking for high-quality footage for possible use in an upcoming national video project.

Each video must be around two minutes in length and submitted in Beta, Beta SP, MiniDV, DVD or MiniDVD format. For more information, email Danielle Rinker at Entries must be postmarked by March 15.

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Flying the Highest for the Lowest

Attending national conference? Get huge airfare discounts from Midwest Airlines. For details, visit:

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A Whole New 'WorldTeam' Takes Shape

The highest level of competition for SkillsUSA students doesn’t always end with the Awards Ceremony at national conference. Every two years, there’s a chance to be proclaimed not just the best in the nation, but the entire world, at the WorldSkills Competition (WSC).

The 2009 event will take place Sept. 1-7 in Calgary, Alberta. The new SkillsUSA WorldTeam is still coming together, but at press time, the team consists of the following in these competitions:

  • Kinzie Doll of Missouri in IT/PC Networking
  • Jack Frederick of Kansas, Automobile Technology
  • Craig Growney of New Jersey, Cooking
  • Ben Janke of Wisconsin, Car Painting
  • Scott Raymond of Massachusetts, Autobody Repair
  • Josef Schwarzer of Michigan, CNC Turning
  • Kyle Wegman of Pennsylvania, Cabinetmaking

More team members will be named soon, with the goal of making this the largest team the United States has ever assembled for the WSC.

The SkillsUSA WorldTeam will compete against more than 1,000 competitors from 50 other countries during the event. According to Jack Dusseldorp, president of WorldSkills International, “WorldSkills Calgary will be a celebration for skills success and a clarion call to countries everywhere to engage their young people in skilled futures.”

Between now and September, a major promotional campaign will be waged to raise awareness of SkillsUSA WorldTeam’s efforts. Watch this space and stay tuned to for more information as it develops.

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SkillsUSA Champions | Spring 2009 | Volume 43, No. 3
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