SkillsUSA Names Top Three “Models of Excellence” Chapters
Winners Honored for SkillsUSA Framework Application in Chapter Programming
Leesburg, Va. — SkillsUSA announced its top three chapters for the 2022 Models of Excellence (MOE) program during the awards session at the National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) in Atlanta, on Friday, June 24. The three winners were selected from a talented field of 24 finalists from around the nation, each representing the intentional application of the SkillsUSA Framework, which outlines the personal, workplace and technical skills demanded by industry. Winners for 2022 were Douglas High School of Arizona (personal); Lynn Vocational Technical Institute of Massachusetts (workplace); and Putnam Career and Technical Center of West Virginia (technical).
Models of Excellence (MOE) represents the top tier of the SkillsUSA Chapter Excellence Program (CEP). This program, in its eighth year, recognizes achievement as it relates to the successful integration of the SkillsUSA Framework in a chapter’s program of work, including community service and leadership activities. By using the Framework as a guide, chapters create relevant programming based on high-demand employability skills within the personal, workplace and technical skills areas. These industry-identified employability skills such as decision making, teamwork, integrity, work ethic, communication, responsibility, health and safety, and several others define the chapter’s approach in order to influence student understanding and enable measurable outcomes at the local level.
According to Chelle Travis, executive director of SkillsUSA, “The SkillsUSA Framework is at the core of our organization’s mission because it merges a thoughtful approach to learning with practical, hands-on experience. Our MOE chapters have done an exemplary job of actuating high-demand skills while positively impacting the lives of others. Students from quality chapters represent future community leaders, which is vital to SkillsUSA’s goal of supplying the skills pipeline with a talented, prepared and highly capable workforce. We applaud these members for their initiative and thank their advisors for their dedication.”
To be selected as 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. All finalists had to give a presentation followed by a Q&A session to a panel of judges representing various facets of business and industry. Following is a summary of how the winning chapters integrated Framework application during an activity.
Students at Douglas High School exhibited their grasp of the framework skill of responsibility by participating in a local Trunk or Treat event. Members were in charge of decorating the trunk, dressing in costume, collecting candy and staffing shifts during a five-hour timeframe. The event was a huge success with 86 percent of chapter members participating and more than 15,000 pieces of candy handed out to children. Not only did students take great care in organizing trunk decorations and collecting candy donations, but they shared their enthusiasm with trick-or-treaters during the afternoon and evening of the event. This gave every participating student an appreciation for taking personal responsibility in order to serve their community. It also created an awareness of the importance of community involvement and being a positive role model for children.
Lynn Vocational Technical Institute topped the workplace skills component for the chapter’s social and emotional learning spaces (SELS) initiative, which supplied 50 SELS to 50 elementary classrooms. Focusing on the framework element of planning, organization and management, the chapter created SEL stations that included a bookshelf, area rug, and “calm down kits” filled with social and emotional learning toys and gadgets to help deescalate emotions. Planning started with grant-writing to secure project funding from Lowe’s. Once funding was received, members demonstrated organization and management as they addressed timelines, procured materials, collected calm down kit items, and coordinated with school principals and teacher participants. Carpentry students built bookshelves for teachers to creatively design and paint on-site with SkillsUSA members. In a matter of weeks, the chapter successfully delivered the much-appreciated SELS to classrooms.
Technical Skills Grounded in Academics
SkillsUSA members from Putnam Career & Technical Center focused on the framework skill of safety and health to create a “Holiday Cooking Hazards” public service announcement (PSA) to educate peers. Members applied best practices within their restaurant management and fire/EMT programs to create an informative PSA centered on preventing fires and potential injuries while also outlining industry safety standards when using equipment such as a turkey fryer. Demonstrations were carefully planned and securely performed under the supervision of local fire departments. Students exhibited proper use of cooking equipment, ensured observers were at a safe distance, and selected students to perform demos based on rubric-graded skill sets. The chapter published its PSA on social media prior to Thanksgiving, earning 56,000 views in one week.
For more information about the Chapter Excellence Program, visit www.skillsusa.org/programs/chapter-excellence-program.
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 credentialing process, they can 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 more than 14 million members since 1965. For more information: www.skillsusa.org.