SkillsUSA Holds Dedication for Champions Circle

Published: October 15, 2019
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Pavilion Built by Volunteers from Education and Industry  

Leesburg, Va. — A new outdoor pavilion called the “Champions Circle” was dedicated Sept. 21 at SkillsUSA’s 90-acre headquarters campus. It was built through a collaboration of volunteer efforts: more than 80 SkillsUSA advisors and students from four schools who donated their labor, and industry partners who contributed over $100,000 in materials, equipment and labor.

The concept for the “Champions Circle” came from SkillsUSA Oklahoma director Darren Gibson. Oklahoma state officer Matthew Thomas, a student from Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater, drew the original plans using computer aided drafting (CAD). The final architectural drawings were prepared by SkillsUSA member and two-time SkillsUSA Championships winner Jennifer Sprow from Stafford County, Va., whose teacher was Robert Jett.

SkillsUSA is grateful to the volunteers who took time from their classrooms or businesses to assist with the construction, and for the industry support that provided the materials,” said SkillsUSA executive director Tim Lawrence. “SkillsUSA now has an outside pavilion that our students and teachers will enjoy for decades to come.”

Over 500 students, teachers and industry partners attended the dedication ceremony, where a permanent plaque was unveiled in honor of Lawrence, who is retiring after 19 years as executive director. Jennifer Worth, president of the SkillsUSA board of directors, wrote the inscription: “This Champions Circle commemorates Mr. Tim Lawrence in recognition for his exceptional vision and unrelenting service for over 50 years. His legacy will live on as an example to us all, from his time as a VICA welding student to serving as SkillsUSA’s executive director.”

SkillsUSA thanked the Heavy Construction Contractors Association and its member companies who contributed materials, equipment and labor: Alban CAT, The Anderson Co., BB&T Bank, Bobcat of Northern Virginia, Concrete Pipe and Precast, FAM Construction LLC, Ferguson Waterworks Inc., Finley Asphalt and Concrete Inc., William A. Hazel Inc., William B. Hopke Co., Kauffman Group Inc., Kelvic Construction Co. Inc., Lane Construction Corp., Luck Stone Corp., McGee Civil Construction LLC, Shirley Contracting Co. LLC, Sunbelt Rentals Inc., Superior Paving Corp., Terracon Consultants Inc., Total Development Solutions LLC, Virginia Paving, Water Works Inc. and WG Construction. The association expressed special appreciation to Nitterhouse for serving as the onsite instructional construction supervisor. See the full list of contributors here:

SkillsUSA is based near the village of Lucketts, Va., and has a fulltime staff of 35. The association serves nearly 400,000 paid members annually. SkillsUSA is one of the largest individual membership organizations in America for students enrolled in career and technical education programs at public middle schools, high schools and colleges. It was originally founded as the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA).

Watch a time-lapse video of the Champions Circle construction below:

About SkillsUSA

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 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 365,000 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:

SkillsUSA Contacts

Jane A. DeShong Short, Senior Manager Public Relations/Communications Phone: 703-737-0612

Karen Kitzel, Associate Director Communications Phone: 703-737-0607

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Media Contacts

For more information about SkillsUSA, contact:

Jane A. DeShong Short

Senior Manager, Public Relations/Communications

Karen Kitzel

Associate Director, Communications

Helpful Links

SkillsUSA Advocacy Site

The SkillsUSA Advocacy Site is a free service for SkillsUSA members to reach the news media or contact policymakers with your message.

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