By Dave Milliken, National SkillsUSA Board Member
Utah Skilled and Technical Sciences specialist, Utah State Office of Education
Utah SkillsUSA members joined their peers from across the country at the 2015 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) June 20-26, 2015, in Louisville, Kentucky. At the conference, 182 secondary (104) and postsecondary (78) Utah SkillsUSA student members competed in 77 of 100 skill competitions. Forty-seven of these students were medalists, with 24 receiving a gold medal, 12 receiving a silver medal, and 11 receiving a bronze medal. From architectural drafting to automotive refinishing technology to carpentry to welding fabrication, Utah SkillsUSA student members competed against their peers with a high level of skill, unmatched determination, and focused concentration.
For the first time in SkillsUSA history middle/junior high school students attended the NLSC and competed in one contest, the team engineering challenge. Although each middle/junior high student was young in age they competed with brave determination beyond their years, as high school and college SkillsUSA student members cheered them on.
In his keynote speech, Nick Pinchuk, Chairman and CEO of Snap-on Incorporated, told SkillsUSA members, “You are respected and connected and educated and motivated and dedicated and prepared and skilled! You are going to ensure the future of America. I have confidence in it and so should you.”
SkillsUSA Championships: By the Numbers
> 36 million dollars in total in-kind industry contributions (donated time, equipment, or materials)
> 1.2 million square feet (equivalent to the area of more than 20 football fields) of contest space
> 76,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibits, including 122 companies and institutions
> 60,000 volunteer hours
> 6,106 competitors
> 1,125 medals presented (gold, silver, and bronze)
> 1,000 judges
> 650 technical committee members
> 600+ conference participants participated in the community service project sponsored by GOJO
> 340 National Education Team/volunteer conference management staff
> 175 recognition awards
> 150 Courtesy Corps volunteers
> 112 individuals and 12 teams received the President’s Volunteer Service Award
> 100 hands-on and leadership contests
> 75 $1,000 scholarships awarded to competitors for travel to the conference, sponsored by the mikeroweWORKS Foundation
SkillsUSA members celebrated their talents and also celebrated the impact SkillsUSA has had on their personal lives, making each member a Champion at Work. In 1965, the founders of SkillsUSA and approximately 200 students and teachers held a conference in Nashville, Tennessee. They set in motion events and aspirations that are very real today. Five decades later, SkillsUSA has become an unstoppable nationwide network of students and instructors who share a common bond with industry.
Utah SkillsUSA: By the Numbers
Congratulations to the Utah SkillsUSA secondary and postsecondary student members who competed in 29 different contests at the 2015 SkillsUSA NLSC. More than 120 Utah advisors, administrators, parents, and family members observed Utah SkillsUSA members compete.
Secondary SkillsUSA Student Members
6 national medalists
> 4 bronze medalists
> 1 silver medalists
> 1 gold medalists
Congratulations to the high school student members who came close to standing on the medals podium. Six students earned a fourth place finish and two earned a fifth place finish in their respective contests.
Postsecondary SkillsUSA Student Members
41 national medalists
> 23 gold medalists
> 11 silver medalists
> 7 bronze medalists
Utah Valley University earned more medals than most of the states competing; and Southern Utah University, Salt Lake Community College, and several of the Utah College of Applied Technology Colleges dominated in many of the competitions.
Congratulations to the postsecondary student members who came close to standing on the medals podium. Ten students earned a fourth place finish and ten students earned a fifth place finish in their respective contests.
Utah ranked fifth in receiving the most medals of any one state, moving up from seventh last year. HERE is the list of contest results.