SkillsUSA Names Top Three Chapters in Models of Excellence Program
Winners Highlighted for Application of SkillsUSA Framework in Chapter Programming
Leesburg, Va. — SkillsUSA recently named its top three chapters in the 2021 Models of Excellence program. Chapters at the Center for Advanced Technical Studies in South Carolina, the Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education in Arizona and Forsyth Central High School in Georgia were recognized for their effective application of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics as the three components of the SkillsUSA Framework. The Center for Advanced Technical Studies was recognized for personal skills, the Valley Academy for workplace skills and Forsyth for technical skills.
The honors are part of SkillsUSA’s Chapter Excellence Program, in which success is measured by how well students apply essential workplace-readiness skills including personal responsibility, integrity, teamwork, work ethic and organization. The winning chapters were among 24 national finalists competing at the 2021 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference held virtually, June 14-24.
“The SkillsUSA Framework is at the core of learning for our organization. These chapters have done an exemplary job of using Framework skills to optimize learning while improving the lives of others,” said Chelle Travis, executive director of SkillsUSA. “Students from these chapters represent future community leaders, and we applaud these members for their initiative and thank their advisors for their dedication.”
To be selected as a Model of Excellence, each chapter had to achieve SkillsUSA Gold Chapter status through an application process. A committee then identified the top eight chapters nationally for each SkillsUSA Framework component, resulting in 24 finalists. The SkillsUSA Framework defines specific characteristics within each skill area — personal, workplace and technical — to help ensure tangible benchmarks for student achievement. This intentional learning actualizes the SkillsUSA mission of empowering members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.
Students at the Center for Advanced Technical Studies (S.C.) shined in the personal skills category by lifting others up with meaningful action through their virtual toy drive and “Pack-a-Smile” activity. The activity was threefold in its approach, serving families at the Ronald McDonald House, the Prisma Health Children’s Hospital and hospital workers in Columbia, S.C. The Framework skill of Responsibility was essential as students had to demonstrate commitment and dependability in following through in fulfilling their given tasks. Their efforts led to 85 community service hours, with 36 members participating and 20 community members involved. Even better, they delivered smiles to a lot of grateful faces. The chapter advisor is Joe Chapman, who was also named the SkillsUSA 2020 Advisor of the Year.
The Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education (Ariz.) topped the workplace skills component for partnering with the Campe Verde Arena Association (CVAA) and building a structure for housing well system components, helping to protect the water supply for a community-based horse and livestock arena. Student members met with CVAA Board representatives to discuss design ideas and a timeline for project completion. Chapter officers assigned project committees to address various phases of construction and to oversee budgets, materials, and fabrication details. In addition, the chapter worked with industry training and credentialing organizations, for members to attain scissor lift operator certification. The Framework skills of Planning, Organizing and Management were central to student efforts, while they had to handle everything from structural design to materials procurement, while adhering to a set timeframe. The project was so successful that plans are underway for more projects with the CVAA. The chapter advisor is Travis Black.
Technical Skills Grounded in Academics
SkillsUSA members at Forsyth Central High School engaged technical skills as they promoted career and technical and SkillsUSA with showcase videos starring SkillsUSA members. The audio visual program created promotional videos for the automotive and cosmetology programs. Audio visual students developed a timeline for filming and editing each video, focusing on key skill sets within each technical area. Using Job Specific Skills was front and center in all aspects of this project, and they had a great time promoting programs while showcasing in-house talent. The chapter advisor is Ashley Mallalieu.
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 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. We have served nearly 13.8 million members since 1965. For more information: www.skillsusa.org.