Soon athletes from around the world will join together to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Like the athletes who have trained hard to compete in the Olympic Games, SkillsUSA members from Utah and across the nation have worked diligently throughout the year, to hone their skills, to compete against their peers. SkillsUSA members advanced from local competitions, to regional competitions, to state competitions, and finally to the national SkillsUSA competition where they competed for gold, silver, and bronze medals.
On June 23-28, 2012 over 15,000 SkillsUSA student members, advisors and industry representatives gathered in Kansas City, Missouri to participate in the 48th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. Approximately 5,600 secondary and postsecondary students competed in 94 skills and leadership contests. Of the 5,600 students, 220 Utah students competed in 72 of the 94 competitive events. Of the 900 medals awarded, Utah students received 55 medals—24 gold medals, 22 silver medals, and 9 bronze medals. Utah ranked second in receiving the most medals of any one state. Fabulous! “Each student competed with dignity, pride, and represented the state of Utah extremely well,” said Dave Milliken, National SkillsUSA Board Member and Skilled and Technical Sciences Education Specialist at the Utah State Office of Education. In addition to competing in a variety of events, SkillsUSA members learned to value their skills, participated in team building activities, reunited with members from across the U.S., and gave service back to the community.
Photography gold medal winner, Jocelyn Jones of Desert Hills High School said, “Preparation is generally one thing for me, practice. Without practice, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I have taken a lot of my time to practice for this competition, which ultimately has only helped me to grow as a photographer and a person.”
SkillsUSA provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development. It builds and reinforces self-confidence, work attitudes and communication skills. It emphasizes total quality at work: high ethical standards, superior work skills, lifelong education, and pride in the dignity of work. SkillsUSA, in conjunction with Career and Technical Education, works to train and prepare students for America’s skilled workforce.
Brenda Dann-Messier, OVAE Assistant Secretary, was one of the featured speakers at the event. She said, “I was truly humbled and inspired by the. . .students who competed in 94 skills competitions. . . I walked away filled with hope for our nation’s future workforce and prosperity.”
Watch “The SkillsUSA Week in Review.”
Over 10.5 million people have become members of SkillsUSA since its founding. Utah has over 13,000 SkillsUSA members in 74 chapters. Learn more about SkillsUSA at http://www.skillsusa.org/ and http://skillsusa-utah.org/.