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Archive for the ‘Skilled and Technical Sciences Education’ Category

Justin Lawson: Future Carpenter

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Justin Lawson
Occupational Goal: Carpenter

“The CTE classes I have taken and are currently taking have prepared me well for the road ahead. I know a lot more about my future and what I can do to improve it by being in those classes. It’s something I don’t regret at all, and I encourage all high school students to take some kind of CTE class, whether it is carpentry or clothing.

“The construction field is somewhere I feel like I belong. I can hold my own in English and do well in math, but I can really flourish in Carpentry. I love the satisfaction I get after I look at what I just built. It makes me feel accomplished. Once I’m done with my schooling, becoming a construction worker is my next step, to fine tune my skills and polish up my knowledge of construction. After I have gotten to the point where I think I can start working on my own, and have the right equipment, I hope to break away from a company and start working as a private contractor.” —Justin Lawson, Viewmont High School

UtahCTE.org congratulates Justin on the CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award he received to Salt Lake Community College. Justin was one of 95 students honored at the CTE Scholarships and Tuition Awards banquet on Wednesday, May 2, 2012.

Riverton High School Team Wins Ford/AAA Auto Skills Competition!

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

UPDATE: Riverton High duo makes school history in auto competition, The Salt Lake Tribune, August 2, 2012

On June 10-12, Jordan Kearns and Chandler Adkins competed in the national Ford/AAA Auto Skills Competition at the Ford Motor Company Headquarters in Dearborn Michigan. Jordan and Chandler competed against teams from all 50 states as they raced against the clock to diagnose and repair purposefully placed “bugs” in their assigned vehicle. Jordan and Chandler worked flawlessly as a team to repair the digital, mechanical, and electrical bugs. Their skill and perseverance lead them to a fourth place finish!

“Fourth place is the highest Utah has ever placed in the national Ford/AAA Automotive Competition,” said Dave Milliken, Skilled and Technical Education Specialist at the Utah State Office of Education. “This is a wonderful achievement and Jordan and Chandler should be very proud of their accomplishment. Jordan and Chandler represented Riverton High School and the state of Utah extremely well,” said Milliken.

Related articles:
Utah students take fourth in national auto repair competition, Salt Lake Tribune, June 15, 2012.
High school students compete in Ford/AAA auto skills contest in front of Glass House, Press & Guide, Dearborn, MI, June 14, 2012.

On Thursday, April 26, 2012, ten high school teams from across the state gathered together at the Salt Lake Community College Miller Campus to compete in the 19th Annual Ford/AAA Auto Skills Competition.

The Ford/AAA Auto Skills competition is a national competition for high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing a career as an automotive service technician. Two-person teams, who received the highest score, are selected to advance to the state finals after taking an online exam.

At the state finals each team is tested on their ability to trouble-shoot, correctly diagnose, and repair an intentionally bugged vehicle. This hands-on competition not only tests the students’ automotive knowledge and problem solving skills, but also tests their ability to work under pressure as they race against the clock to complete the assigned task.

The following teams competed for a spot at the national Ford/AAA competition:

1st Place – Riverton High School
Teacher: Jay Hales
Student Team: Jordan Kearns and Chandler Adkins

2nd Place – Southwest ATC
Teachers: Wade Esplin and Bob Butler
Student Team: Sam Tanner and Josh Clark

3rd Place – Hunter High School
: Matt Proctor
Student Team: Kevin R De Young and Jordan L Huffman

4th Place – Woods Cross High School
Teacher: Evan Kirk
Student Team: Sam Snyder and Gerardo Flores

5th Place – Clearfield High School
: Ed Schirner
Student Team: Chris D Bingham and Travis M Ellis

6th Place – Northridge High School
Teacher: Ken Bunce
Student Team: Adam Brady and Tye Brookshire

7th Place – Layton High School
Teacher: Corey Spencer
Student Team: Aaron C Hirschi and Cody J Cook

8th Place – Fremont High School
Teacher: Arne Erisoty
Student Team: Kyler N Creager and Andrew K Wayment

9th Place – Provo High School
Teacher: Seth MeVea
Student Team: Tom Burton and Zack Smith

10th Place – Timpview High School
Teacher: Rich Lamb
Student Team: Chandler R Taylor and Brandon L Gray

Jordan Kearns and Chandler Adkins from Riverton High School worked in tandem as they checked for nine bugged parts in the 2012 Ford Fusion that they worked on for 90 minutes placing first in the competition.

Jordan Kearns and Chandler Adkins now advance to the national competition held June 10-12, 2012, at Ford Motor Company Headquarters, Dearborn, Michigan. The grand prize at the national competition is a job shadow with Trevor Bayne, NASCAR’s Wood Brothers Racing.

“This was a very exciting competition this year for the Ford/AAA Auto Skills Competition. [The competition] puts students to the test in finding and replacing parts that have been bugged. There were ten teams from [high schools] throughout the state who qualified to participate in the hands-on competition. We had 24 high schools with 362 students who competed in the written exam. From there, the top two student’s scores on the written exam, from each high school, are compared and the top ten move on to the hands-on competition,” said Dave Milliken, Skilled and Technical Sciences Education Specialist at the Utah State Office of Education.

Related articles:
Riverton High students win auto skills competition, KSL.com, April 26, 2012
Two Riverton High students win automotive scholarships, The Salt Lake Tribune, April 26, 2012

Each year, over 10,000 students representing over 950 automotive technology programs throughout the U.S. compete in the Ford/AAA Auto Skills competition. Learn about the Career and Technical Education Automotive Service Technician Pathway at UtahCTE.org and talk to your school counselor about the available career opportunities in the automotive industry.

Jay Que Hales: Huntsman Award Recipient

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Congratulations to Jay Que Hales, Skilled and Technical Sciences Education Teacher and SkillsUSA advisor at Riverton High School, who received the Huntsman Award on April 26, 2012. Jay was one of 11 Utah educators who received this prestigious award.

Jon and Karen Huntsman established the Huntsman Awards in 1993 to recognize, inspire, and reward the best teachers, school administrators, and volunteers in Utah. “Every one of this year’s eleven award recipients stands for excellence. They all exemplify the commitment to teaching which we believe is common among Utah’s top educators. We are proud to recognize eleven of the best and celebrate their gifts of learning, time, and love they bestow upon our children. We are enormously proud of each of them and are grateful that they are willing to work so hard to guide students to recognize their strengths and to rise to their individual potential. We are delighted to honor these eleven who are eminently deserving of our appreciation,” said Jon and Karen Huntsman.

As an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician, Jay has used his automotive knowledge, training, skills, and abilities to inspire students to effectively compete in state competitions. His students have consistently won at the Weber State University Automotive Competition, the SkillsUSA Competition, and at the Ford/AAA Auto Skills Competition. Just last week, two of his students, Jordan Kearns and Chandler Adkins, took first place in the Ford/AAA Auto Skills Competition held at Salt Lake Community College. Both students now advance to the national competition to be held at Ford Motor Company Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan on June 10-12, 2012.

Jay’s dedication, drive, and enthusiasm has challenged and motivated his automotive students to work hard, to be responsible, and to develop a good work ethic as they competed in each competition and prepared for life after high school—college and career.

“This is a wonderful thing to happen to Jay. I’m so very excited for him. I have watched the hard work he has put in over the past several years and Jay is very deserving of this honor,” said Dave Milliken, Skilled and Technical Sciences Specialist at the Utah State Office of Education.

Jay is well deserving of the Huntsman Award and Utah is fortunate to have him as an educator inspiring students every day. Jay and the ten other award recipients will be honored at a banquet on Friday, May 11, 2012, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Related articles:
Deseret News

Meet a Construction Business Owner: David Godfrey

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012


Introducing… David S. Godfrey

A graduate of … Murray High School

Now working as … Business Owner/Operator

For … Godfrey Construction Co., LLC

Wood Shop was his favorite high school class because … it was an introduction to a field that evolved into his life’s work.

David’s first job – was fast food worker.

The worst job?  Fast food worker – but it wasn’t so much the work as it was the poor manager who supervised him. On the plus side, the experience taught him to step into the management void to help influence other employees to work better and smarter.

David reports his most significant training was … on the job. He worked part-time for an uncle who was the best example of how to have your own construction business, how to bid jobs, how to work hard to finish on time or early, how to be an influence for good on others you work with, and how to save and manage your money for the lean times that always exist in the construction industry.

A career highlight … “My name and reputation for excellent work have helped me survive while others in my business have gone bankrupt. It has been a true source of pride to know I managed a personal business that is sound and has created some beautiful homes and properties.”

Advice to students … Don’t waste time playing, socializing, and spending when you can be planning, saving, and learning what it will take to be successful in life.”

And more …

  • About what David learned from an otherwise negative work experience: I always said to myself if I had the opportunity to own my own business one day, I would do it better and not waste away the opportunity. I think back now about how even that negative example shaped my future success.”
  • In the construction business especially, it is necessary to manage well and save money in order to make it during the off season and economic downturns that are inevitable.

Meet a Fire Dept. Captain: Matthew Boulden

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012


Introducing… Matthew J. Boulden

A graduate of … Brighton High School

Now working as … An Fire Department Captain and Paramedic

For … Murray City.

American National Government was his favorite high school class because … he had a great teacher (thank you, Coach Chavis) who held students accountable for everything they did.

Mathew’s first job – was a Ranch Hand.

The worst job?  Runner for a law firm. What made it unpleasant was working with people who had high opinion of themselves for reasons not apparent to anyone else!

Advice to students … ”Be accountable for your actions, learn how to get along with others, and be willing to put in a hard day’s work without complaint … and – never settle for average!”

And more …

  • What Matthew finds most fulfilling about his job is that he has the chance of “working with dedicated people, willing to put their lives on the line in order to save a complete stranger.”

Meet a TV News Producer: Shelby Dobson

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012


Introducing… Shelby Dobson

A graduate of … Mountain Crest High School

Now working as … A TV News Producer

For … KSTU, Fox13, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Journalism was her favorite high school class because … it was like on-the-job training since – as editor in chief of the high school newspaper – she wrote news, entertainment, sports and opinion pieces.

Shelby’s first job – was an After School Student Aide at an elementary school.

The worst job? Even though Shelby had her share of low paid, entry jobs, she says the actual work she’s been assigned has never been all that bad.  (She understands some of this is luck, but it is also good to be able to choose jobs that you can do happily most of the time!)  

Advice to students … “take every opportunity you can to advance in your chosen field. For example, I completed a job shadow and an internship. Both were good experiences that helped me understand my field better.”

 And more

  • As the producer of the 5:00 p.m. newscast … “I select local, national and world stories for the newscast. I write several of those stories and I have an associate producer that also helps write for the show. I put the stories in the order they will air. During the show, I talk with reporters in the field, and communicate with anchors about any changes. I also time the show.”
  • Being involved in high school publications –newspaper, yearbook, etc. is “a good way to get started in any field in journalism.”
  • First, get a degree. Whether it’s a high school diploma, training certificate, or Associates or Bachelors, it will help you get a job in the future. Many students start a degree, but don’t finish it. It’s an investment, but it’s an investment worth making!



Wanted: Skilled Workers!

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Did you see the story about Career and Technical Education (CTE) on the CBS Evening News? Reporter Elaine Quijano visited with John McGlade, president and CEO of Air Products and last year’s SkillsUSA CEO Champion of the Year, about the role of career and technical education in preparing students to enter the world of work. John was selected because of his company’s commitment to SkillsUSA. This opportunity gave John a chance to share his passion and support for CTE and talk about the need for skilled workers. Watch the full CBS Evening News story here.

Nationwide, there is a great demand for skilled workers. “There is going to be more and more of those skilled jobs that are available, that are going to be paying and provide a sustaining career for years and years to come,” McGlade said.

Utah students can obtain the skills that are in demand, by so many industries, through participation in Career and Technical Education. SkillsUSA is the Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) for students in Skilled and Technical Sciences. SkillsUSA provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship, and character development. By following a CTE Pathway students can obtain industry certification and college credit while in high school.

“All the CTE courses I took in high school have prepared me to be a strategic thinker and hands-on  learner. CTE has prepared me to go straight from high school in to the welding industry.”

—Shyann Young
Graduate, Fremont High School



Advocate for CTE by leaving a comment about the story on the CBS Evening News.

SkillsUSA: Champions at Work!

Monday, September 26th, 2011

In June, over 5,700 students competed in the 48th Annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City. Of the 5,700 contestants 132 were Utah students. This conference showcased the best Career and Technical Education students in the nation, who first competed in their state and then advanced to the national competition.


The philosophy of the SkillsUSA Championships is to reward students for excellence, to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance, and to keep training relevant to employers’ needs.

From cabinetmaking to cosmetology to Web design to telecommunications, Utah students competed in approximately 75 competitions. Students participating in SkillsUSA were required to complete a series of challenges. Congratulations to the eleven SkillsUSA 2011 secondary winners and to the 33 SkillsUSA 2011 postsecondary winners. Each student competed with dignity and represented the state of Utah extremely well.

Secondary Winners:
Kaydee Walters
Tooele High School
Gold medal winner in cabinetmaking

“[CTE] classes, my participation and leadership in SkillsUSA, and all the classes I will be taking in college will help me to enter and succeed in cabinetmaking and architectural woodwork.” Kaydee Walters

McKinzie Madsen
Desert Hills High School
Gold medal winner in advertising design

Maya Pendleton, Alexander Millar, Karlie Boam
Ben Lomond High School
Silver medal winner for chapter display

Brooke Miller
Skyline High School
Silver medal winner in job interview

Katrina Warkentin and Eliza Brown
Canyons Technical Education Center
Silver medal in nail care

Collin Rogow
Canyons Technical Education Center
Silver medal in telecommunications cabling

Rico Montoya and Elli Petersen
Canyons Technical Education Center
Silver in Web design

Watch a recap of the events at the National Skills and Leadership Conference for SkillsUSA in Kansas City at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTt6AxUgOyE.

“As we start a new year with current and new participants, I hope that all of our student and professional members recognize the value of full participation in SkillsUSA. There is tremendous potential for professional development, leadership development, social activities, service activities and many opportunities for students to kick-start their current and future career efforts. Near the end of the year we will add the “icing on the cake” that comes from local, regional, state and national competitions, where our students prove that they can compete with the very best career professionals that our country has to offer.”
Richard Wittwer, SkillsUSA Utah State Director

Join the 13,000 Utah SkillsUSA  members and the 264,000 National SkillsUSA members to develop skills to be successful in your future career. Contact your school SkillsUSA advisor to learn more about SkillsUSA.

Like national SkillsUSA members on Facebook.
Follow national SkillsUSA members on Twitter.

Meet a Cabinetmaking Student

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
Kaydee Walters graduated in June from Tooele High School where she was a member of the track and field team and the SkillsUSA Vice President. As Vice President, Kaydee joined with the Tooele High School SkillsUSA chapter to collect over 800 lbs. of food for the local food bank. This service project was in conjunction with the SkillsUSA National Week of Service.



During her last two years of high school Kaydee participated in several SkillsUSA competitions. Last year, she was a member of the Quiz Bowl team who won first place at the state competition and then placed ninth at the national competition. In March, Kaydee participated in the state SkillsUSA cabinetmaking competition where she placed first. In June, she advanced to the SkillsUSA National Skills and Leadership Conference in Kansas City. In this competition students received a set of plans they have never seen before and were required to build the project within six hours. The students were given only enough materials to do it right the first time. Projects were scored on an accuracy of 1/32 inch. Kaydee performed with accuracy and precision. She was the gold medal winner in cabinetmaking surpassing 49 competitors—all of whom were male. Kaydee was the first female, ever, to win this competition.

Woodworking is Kaydee’s passion and has been for a long time. “Throughout my high school career I focused on the Cabinetmaking/Millwork CTE Pathway.” Michael Florence, Kaydee’s cabinetmaking instructor says, “Early on, Kaydee exhibited the potential to be a skilled woodworker. Kaydee designed and built her first personal woodworking project with very little help. The craftsmanship was not perfect, but the understanding and ability she displayed during its design and construction was outstanding.” Through hard work, perseverance and dedication Kaydee honed her skills and became a skilled craftsman. “I am very dedicated to my work. I am a hard worker. I am motivated, strong willed, and efficient. . . My CTE classes in high school prepared me in many ways. Such as teaching me the knowledge I needed to know about woodworking, learning about all the tools and machines and how to use them, and how to create and read plans.”

Kaydee completed the Cabinetmaking/Millwork Pathway and received the CTE Secondary Pathways Completer Recognition Award. She also received a CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award to Utah Valley University (UVU) where she will be studying Cabinetry and Architectural Woodworking to earn an associate degree. “Upon completing my degree I will find a job in a cabinetmaking and architectural woodworking business, like Fetzer Architectural Woodwork, or a similar company that produces high quality, custom made furniture and cabinetry. This will allow me to gain the experience I will need to obtain my ultimate goal of owning and operating my own custom woodworking business.”

“[CTE] classes, my participation and leadership in SkillsUSA, and all the classes I will be taking in college will help me to enter and succeed in cabinetmaking and architectural woodwork.”

UtahCTE.org congratulates Kaydee on her many accomplishments and wishes her all the best as she advances to college and career.

Build a Skill for Life

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Students interested in manufacturing tend to have a few traits in common: they are problem solvers, creative thinkers, good with computers, and meticulous about details. If these traits describe you then you should consider a career in manufacturing. In today’s knowledge-based workplace skilled workers are at a premium. Those who are successful have specialized skills, hands-on training, and problem-solving skills. In every manufacturing occupation a working knowledge of math is crucial. Students working in manufacturing will need to easily calculate mathematical problems using concepts learned from algebra, geometry, and trigonometry.

Through Career and Technical Education, Skilled and Technical Sciences Education (STS) has five Pathways in Precision Production Trades that lead to careers in manufacturing. By taking STS courses students can obtain industry certification and be ready to work in a manufacturing career shortly after high school.

Precision Production Trades
Cabinetmaking/Millwork Pathway
Drafting/CAD Pathway
Graphics/Printing Pathway
Machine Tool

Manufacturing in Utah:
> There are over 3,974 manufacturing firms in the state.
> 113,000 people are employed in the manufacturing industry.
> Payroll in the manufacturing industry totals over $1.3 million.
> The average monthly wage in the manufacturing industry is $3,962,
    which is 16.8 percent higher than the statewide average monthly wage.
> Manufacturing equals 8.9 percent of all state employment.
> Utah’s manufacturing industry is currently the 3rd largest industry
    in the state for total employment.
(Source: Utah Manufacturers Association and Utah Department of Workforce Services) 

Kaydee Walters

Jobs in manufacturing require workers who can interpret blueprints, program computerized machining, and solve problems quickly. Kaydee Walters, a recent graduate from Tooele High School, was the gold medal winner in cabinetmaking at the National Skills and Leadership Conference for SkillsUSA in Kansas City. She was the first female, ever, to win this competition. Through participation in CTE Kaydee learned and mastered the specialized skills that will lead her to a successful career in manufacturing. “My CTE classes in high school prepared me in many ways. Such as teaching me the knowledge I needed to know about woodworking, learning about all the tools and machines and how to use them, and how to create and read plans.”

Get started and build a skill for life!