Brings 17 Years of Experience, Passion to Advance Mission
Leesburg, Va., August 14, 2019 — SkillsUSA, a leading career and technical student organization in America, has named Chelle Travis as its next executive director.
Travis brings 17 years of leadership experience in career and technical education to this role with a solid understanding and track record of implementing and elevating the mission and program of SkillsUSA. Travis has collaborated with business and industry, educators, legislators and other leaders to design curricula, develop programs and draft legislation, having served the Tennessee Board of Regents as assistant vice chancellor for the Colleges of Applied Technology and as SkillsUSA state director. Travis received an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in business from Middle Tennessee State University.
“Chelle Travis, as the fourth-ever leader of SkillsUSA, embodies the dynamic and progressive leadership to expand on the organization’s momentum as well as build on critical relationships with industry. Her history with the organization, capabilities as a systems leader, passion for the mission, and her vision for the future, all make her an excellent fit to lead us,” said Jen Worth, SkillsUSA board president.
“I’m humbled and honored to serve as the next executive director of SkillsUSA. I have a passion for the mission of our organization, and I am committed to building on SkillsUSA’s strong reputation to meet the needs of the future of work with the talents of our students, insights of our teachers, and requirements of our industry partners,” said Travis.
Travis will succeed Tim Lawrence, who has spearheaded SkillsUSA as the executive director for the past 19 years. “The board is immeasurably grateful for the service Tim provided over his career. His integrity, thoughtfulness and passion drove the organization to new heights,” said Worth. Lawrence says of Travis, “She is a proven leader in our space who strongly believes in the mission of our work, and cares deeply about students, teachers and partners. She is a champion for career and technical education and a highly skilled workforce.” Travis will take the helm of SkillsUSA in November 2019.
SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of education and industry founded in 1965 to strengthen our nation’s skilled workforce. Driven by employer demand, SkillsUSA helps students develop necessary personal and workplace skills along with technical skills grounded in academics. This SkillsUSA Framework empowers every student to succeed at work and in life, while helping to close the “skills gap” in which millions of positions go unfilled. Through SkillsUSA’s championships program and curricula, employers have long ensured schools are teaching relevant technical skills, and with SkillsUSA’s new credentialing process, they can now assess how ready potential employees are for the job. SkillsUSA has more than 360,000 annual members nationwide in high schools, colleges and middle schools, covering over 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, and is recognized by the U.S. departments of Education and Labor as integral to career and technical education. For more information: www.skillsusa.org.
Jane A. DeShong Short, Program Manager
Karen Kitzel, Associate Director