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Archive for the ‘Skilled and Technical Sciences Education’ Category

Jackee Mckahan: I had so much fun at my job shadow experience!

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Jackee Mckahan, a student at Copper Hills High School, recently participated in a job shadow at the Unified Police Department and tells about her experience.

My experience shadowing at the Unified Police Department was a stressful and interesting time. Friday was like everyone woke up and looked in the mirror and said, ‘I think I’m going to do something stupid and illegal today!’ The phones were ringing nonstop and everyone was just so busy. I learned that you have to have common sense to help someone when they call 911 or to report something stolen. How the system works is that dispatch receives calls in their queue and then they deal with each situation.

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to work in dispatch. At times the phones were dead, but other times [the phones were ringing] nonstop. They let me listen in on the phones and the radio. I had so much fun at my job shadow experience and I would love to do it again! It was such a positive experience in helping me choose my career. I won’t say that I want to be in dispatch, but it was amazing seeing what they do every day.”

Jacklyn encourages students thinking about participating in a job shadow “to get out of their comfort zone.” She says, “It’s was my favorite activity by far. It’s was a lot of fun; go out and network!”

Talk to your school counselor about participating in a job shadow and experience “real-life” work situations that will help you understand how classroom learning is applied in the world of work.

National Youth Safety Video Contest

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

On June 26, 2013, the winners of the 2013 National Youth Safety Video Contest were announced at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. Congratulations to the winners!

First Place: Clarke County High School in Berryville, Virginia
Watch video

Second Place: Berks Career and Technology Center  in St. Oley, Pennsylvania
Watch video

Third Place: Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne, New Jersey
Watch video

CareerSafe will announce submission information for the 2014 National Youth Safety Video Contest within the next few months. Stay tuned!


How does winning a $2,500 scholarship sound? What about winning $5,000 for your school classroom? It’s possible and all you need to do is to create a video highlighting the importance of youth safety in the workplace. “This is an opportunity for students to tap into their creativity to make a fun, dynamic, and most importantly, educational video that demonstrates safety in the workplace,” says Katie George, Deputy Program Manager of CareerSafe®, sponsor of the video contest.

Who: All Career and Technical Education (CTE) students in middle/junior high and high school.
What: National Youth Safety Video Contest.
Where: Winners will be announced June 26, 2013 at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.
When: Videos must be submitted and postmarked by Friday, March 1, 2013.
How: Work independently or as a team. (A team may be comprised of one to five members.)

Submission rules
> Video must be created by the entrant.
> Video must convey a message related to youth safety in the workplace.
> Videos may not have been previously submitted, distributed, aired, or have won any other award in any other competition.
> Upload video to YouTube and submit URL with entry form.
> Click HERE for submission package information and details.

> Must be a CTE student and a legal resident of the United States, age 13 years or older.
> Each entry must have a sponsor (e.g. teacher, mentor, advisor, or parent/guardian.)
> Limit one entry per team. (A team may be comprised of one to five members.)
> Read contest rules.

First Place:
$2,500 scholarship and $5,000 cash prize
Second Place:
$2,000 scholarship and $3,500 cash prize
Third Place:
$1,500 scholarship and $2,000 cash prize

For more information email the CareerSafe® contest team at contest@careersafeonline.com.

Good luck!

WANTED: Skilled Workers

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Manufacturing plants across the U.S. are finding it difficult to find qualified candidates who have the technical skills to fill approximately 600,000 positions. These positions range from machinists, to craft workers, to distributors, to technicians. It is estimated that over sixty percent of all manufacturers have a moderate to severe shortage of qualified workers. According to the Department of Labor, there are 3 million job openings in the U.S. today, with approximately 500,000 unfilled positions in the manufacturing sector alone.

Despite the high unemployment rate across the U.S. manufacturers struggle to fill positions. “Over the past five years, most manufacturers have redesigned and streamlined their production lines while implementing more process automation. In short, just as the industry is changing, the skills of the workers are changing as well,” says Emily DeRocco, president, The Manufacturing Institute. This change has increased the need for workers who have critical thinking skills and who have the skills and ability to problem solve.

The continually high number of job openings indicates that there is a shortage of workers without the necessary education, skills, and training needed to meet the demands of the manufacturing workforce. Within the next ten years the need for manufactures to fill job openings will continue to increase as people retire. However, manufacturers will not only need to replace those positions but will also need to fill positions based upon industry growth.

According to a report by Harry Smith, NBC journalist and news contributor on the program Rock Center with Brian Williams, many manufacturing jobs are currently leaving China and coming back to the United States. With Chinese wages rising and with shipping costs doubling China is not the bargain is used to be. Therefore, numerous manufacturing jobs are projected to move back to the U.S. Hal Sirkin, a senior partner at a Boston Consulting Group, projects that the shift from manufacturing in China back to the U.S. will have a major impact on employment. He projects that by the year 2015 there will be an additional two to three million jobs in the U. S. workforce.

Many people in the manufacturing industry say that the education system is not producing workers with the basic skills they need. However, early involvement in Career and Technical Education (CTE) will give those students interested in pursuing a career in manufacturing a competitive edge. Through participation in the building trades and the precision and production trades CTE Pathways, along with involvement in SkillsUSA, students will obtain the technical skills that will prepare them for a career in manufacturing.

Justin Lawson, a graduate of Viewmont High School says, “The CTE classes I have taken prepared me well for the road ahead. I know a lot more about my future and what I can do to improve it by [taking] 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 really flourish in carpentry. I love the satisfaction I get after I look at what I just built. It makes me feel accomplished.”

Kaydee Walters, a graduate from Tooele High School says, “[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.”

Students, talk to your school counselor to learn about participating in one of the building trades and/or precision and production trades CTE Pathways. The academic knowledge and technical skills you obtain through participation in one of these Pathways will prepare you for a successful career in the manufacturing industry.


WATCH the report on 60 Minutes that investigates the widening skills gap in manufacturing.

WATCH Harry Smith’s report about a furniture manufacturing factory in the small town of Lincolnton, North Carolina. Bruce Cochrane, the owner of Lincolnton Furniture, re-opened the factory after his family dismantled the business 20 years ago. His father, Theo “Red” Cochrane, always said, “It is not just about making fine furniture. It is about the good people that make the fine furniture!”

2012 SkillsUSA CEO Champion of the Year

Friday, October 12th, 2012

SkillsUSA has named Nicholas T. Pinchuk, Chairman and CEO of Snap-on Incorporated, as the 2012 SkillsUSA Champion of the Year. On September 18, Mr. Pinchuk was honored at the 2012 SkillsUSA Champion of the Year Award dinner in Washington, DC. Mr. Pinchuk is a strong advocate for Career and Technical Education. Throughout the years he has provided powerful leadership in the development of initiatives that connect industry and education. “All commerce, all industry, all businesses benefit from a robust American economy. Today, one of the most important things we can do to propel forward the American economy is to invest in Career and Technical Education,” says Pinchuk.

The Champion of the Year Award has been established by SkillsUSA to recognize the chief executives of corporations who have distinguished themselves over a period of years for outstanding achievements in corporate and community leadership, in high ethical standards, successful growth of their corporate team, and a commitment to integrating diversity in all areas of their corporate business to ensure and promote the ideals of a skilled workforce in America.

“SkillsUSA has gone beyond the technical capability and given [its members] life skills—how to speak to people, how to present, and how to work in teams,” says Pinchuk.

The mission of SkillsUSA is to help its members become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American Citizens. SkillsUSA programs help to establish industry standards for job skill training in the lab and classroom, and promote community service.

WATCH interview with Nicholas Pinchuk

Career and Technical Education Students Build a Home

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Congratulations to the Career and Technical Education students at the Canyons Technical Education Center (CTEC) who built a house that is featured in the 2012 Salt Lake Parade of Homes.

Q&A with Janet Goble: Career and Technical Education Director at Canyons School District

Question: How many students worked on building the house?
Answer: Forty students worked diligently throughout the past year to construct the house from the ground up.

Question: Would you explain the step-by-step process and involvement of students building the house from the ground up?
Once the hole for the footing and foundation was dug, students helped set the forms for the footings and foundation and checked measurements. They then installed the radon ventilation system. They also did the pre-plumbing for sewer lines. Students then poured the cement floor for the basement. Next came floor joints and building walls. Once the interior walls were done, roof trusses were installed. Students assisted in placing roof trusses and then blocked to secure the roof trusses. They also assisted in overlay roofing. Then an exterior wrap to seal the home was installed.

Question: What came next?
Answer: Rough plumbing, rough electrical, furnace system and central vacuum system were then installed. Students participated in the inspections from Sandy City for the rough work.

Question: What did the finish work include?
Answer: Finish work included: windows, insulation, dry wall and mudding/texturing walls. (The painting was subbed out to insure a uniform look.) Trim work, hanging doors, outlets, switches and installing light fixtures kept students busy. Other inside finish work included laying bathroom tile and placing fixtures (cabinets, toilets, showers, tubs). Students installed the hardwood floor and handrails. Salt Lake Community College cabinetry students partnered with our district to construct all the cabinets for the home.

Question: What came next?
Answer: Time for the final concrete work: driveway and patio. Students then installed the rock fireplace.

Question: How did students get the materials to build the home? Were materials donated by local businesses?
Answer: The district purchased the lot and then uses the proceeds from the previous year to purchase materials for the home. CCG Howells donated furnishings for the Parade of Homes to compliment the interior design. Wright Homes facilitated entrance into the Parade of Homes.

Question: Does CTEC build a house every year?
Answer: Yes. As part of our on-site construction curriculum, students build a house from the ground up during each school year.

Question: Who was the interior designer?
Answer: Riverton High School Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) students enrolled in the Interior Design 2 course. Each year students present their ideas for the interior design to a committee. The team that is selected works closely with the on-site construction students to bring their design plan to life. Their theme is followed throughout all rooms in the home.

Question: Who did the landscaping?
Answer: CTEC students enrolled in the Horticulture Science program landscaped the home. This included deciding placement of trees and shrubs in addition to installing a sprinkler system (including electrical components) and laying sod.

Question: How do students become involved in the home building project?
Answer: Through participation in the CTEC On-site Building Construction program. In this program students learn construction skills including framing, roofing, painting, finish carpentry and concrete finishing.

Question: The home is beautiful! Where is it located?
Answer: The home is located at 569 East Rose Bowl Court (9235 South) in the Cottage Subdivision.

The Salt Lake Parade of Homes began on August 3 and continues through August 18. For more information about the house the CTEC students built visit Salt Lake Parade of Homes.

If building a house, landscaping a yard, or designing the interior of a house interests you contact your school counselor about participating in one of the following CTE Career Pathwayscarpentry, electrician, HVAC, plumbing, horticulture science, or interior design.

Related stories
Recent graduate Kiefer Williams talks to KUTV’s Heidi Hatch and Cristina Flores about CTEC’s Project House http://www.kutv.com/news/features/guests/stories/vid_524.shtml.

SkillsUSA: Champions at Work!

Friday, July 20th, 2012

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/.


There Has Never Been a Better Time to Be Skilled!

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Employers in the U.S. and around the globe are looking for workers who are qualified to fill skilled positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 10 million new skilled workers will be needed by the year 2020. ManpowerGroup’s 2012 Talent Shortage Survey listed Skilled Trades, Mechanics, Machinists and Machine Operators positions among the top ten hardest jobs to fill. Career and Technical Education, in conjunction with SkillsUSA, prepares students for these hard to fill jobs, while in high school.

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 is an applied method of instruction for preparing America’s high performance workers in public career and technical programs. Wendy Venturini, SkillsUSA Alumnus and NASCAR Reporter, said, “I’ve covered racings greatest champions, but if I hadn’t joined another organization of champions in high school I might not have discovered my full potential. That organization is SkillsUSA.”

More than 1,100 corporations, trade associations, businesses, and labor sponsors actively support SkillsUSA at the national level through financial aid, in-kind contributions, and involvement of their people in SkillsUSA activities. Many more work directly with state associations and local chapters.

In 2010, SkillsUSA created the SkillsUSA CEO Champion of the Year Award to recognize the leadership of the chief executive of an organization doing exemplary work in the creation and support of America’s highly skilled workforce. John McGlade, Chairman, President, and CEO of Air Products and was named the SkillsUSA 2010 CEO Champion of the Year. McGlade is a former Career and Technical Education student and is a great advocate of CTE. “I can testify first hand to how CTE can help equip students with the skills and knowledge to succeed in their careers,” he said. In his acceptance speak at the SkillsUSA 2010 CEO Champions of the Year Award banquet McGlade said, “. . .this country must expand this program more. Business desperately needs a workforce of these students.”

McGlade recently wrote a blog for the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium Friends of CTE Blog Series. In his blog he emphasized the importance of CTE and the urgent need for skilled workers. He said, “There is a mismatch between the demand and supply of skilled workers. Work opportunities exist, but sometimes it is difficult to find people to fill those jobs. Air Products has openings, but we can’t always find people with the right skills in the right locations.  This situation contributes to the national unemployment rate of over 8 percent. . . I believe that CTE can be a source of competitive advantage for the United States, by rebuilding a skilled workforce better trained than ever to compete in the global marketplace.”

In November 2011, Jim Lentz, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., was the recipient of the SkillsUSA 2011 CEO Champion of the Year award. At the awards ceremony Lentz told SkillsUSA members “. . .Toyota supports a wide variety of worthwhile organizations and events throughout the country, but few are as dear to our hearts as SkillsUSA. Yes we have specific needs for technicians, but more important we understand that for America to have a thriving economy, and compete globally, we need to do a better job to educate the young people of today for the complex and connected jobs of the future. That’s why I’m so proud that Toyota has been a key supporter of SkillsUSA for over a quarter of a century. . .The work [SkillsUSA] does is incredibly important. You are truly a beacon of hope in America.”

Over 10.5 million people have become members of SkillsUSA since its founding. Utah has over 13,000 SkillsUSA members in 74 chapters. Together CTE and SkillsUSA are working to prepare students to develop the skills necessary to successfully compete in a global economy.

Nate Buchanan: Future Firefighter

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Nate Buchanan
Occupational Goal: Firefighter

Nate Buchanan has dreamed of being a firefighter since he was five years old. “The year was 1998; I was five years old when I received my first pair of firefighting bunkers. I had made up my mind when I got older that I was going to be a firefighter, and my goal hasn’t changed. I come from a strong background of firefighters in my family. I have an uncle, grandfather, great grandfather, great uncle, and many close friends that are firefighters. I have researched and made goals during high school to understand the area of firefighting and to plan out my education based upon my research. I have tried to take classes that would benefit my firefighting dreams. I can’t believe that back 13 years ago I had a little kid’s dream, and now is the time to implement my dreams with action such as continuing to meet my goals and plan for my career,” said Nate.

While planning his high school schedule, Nate made sure he took classes that correlated with his goals for a career as a firefighter (CTE Firefighting Pathway.) “My CTE courses in high school helped pave the way for me to get started on my [college] education after I graduate,” said Nate.

Nate has been involved with many service projects throughout high school. “This year I earned the rank of Eagle Scout. With my heart set on firefighting, I chose to do my [Eagle] project to benefit the Morgan City Fire Department. I organized a donation drive at local businesses to collect hygiene items for kits to provide to the Morgan City Fire Department. These kits contained 30 items that would benefit families if they are unable to return to their home due to fire, flood, power outage, or other natural disasters.”

To plan for his future, Nate has been shadowing the Morgan City Fire Chief and the Morgan City Fire Department. “Firefighting is in my blood. I love being on the scene with my grandfather and learning from him and my fellow firefighters. The pungent smell of smoke really gets me excited to get my career moving. When I was five I became an honorary member of my grandpa’s fire department. I have many friends that I admire, and take the knowledge they provide for me to heart. I have never wanted anything more in my life than to be a firefighter, and now it is truly within my grasp,” said Nate.

In May, Nate received a CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award to attend Utah Valley University (UVU). At UVU he plans to study firefighting and become certified as a firefighter. Nate plans to begin his career immediately after graduating from UVU.

There are over 1 million firefighters in the United States. In Utah, approximately 85 percent of firefighters are volunteers, and approximately 14 percent are career firefighters. Employment of firefighters is projected to grow 9 percent nationwide and 3.4 percent in Utah through the year 2020.

UtahCTE.org wishes Nate all the best as he prepares to become a firefighter. During the past few weeks, as fires broke out in Utah and surrounding states, we thank each firefighter who has battled each blaze. We appreciate the training, skill, expertise, and dedication of each firefighter who has worked under unimaginable conditions to protect the public. Thank you!

Colt Petersen: Future Welder and Business Owner

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Colt Petersen
Occupational Goal: Welder and Business Owner

Colt Petersen recently graduated from Delta High School where he completed the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Welding Pathway. He plans to continue his education and training at Bridgerland Applied Technology College (BATC) to obtain a welding certificate.

“As a young child I liked to help my father and grandfather repair things about the farms. One important piece of equipment that was used was a welder. By watching the two very different techniques used by these two men, I quickly realized that just because you have a welder doesn’t mean you can actually weld. I decided to follow my father’s lead and learn the proper techniques of welding in order to do the job right. . .[ in high school] I enrolled in a welding class. It was during this class that the desire to build things with metal was ignited and reinforced daily. I then added more classes that followed my future path,” said Colt.

Through participation in the CTE Welding Pathway, Colt took classes such as welding, advanced welding, auto tech, drafting, and machining. “All of these classes tied together to give me experience and a sound educational base to get those key components to one day run my own shop,” said Colt.

Kirk Willoughby, Precision Machining and Welding Instructor at Delta Technical Center, said “[Colt] has been an able student, willing to learn, and a positive influence in class. As with any other student, he has made normal mistakes, but has not been discouraged in falling short. He, in fact, recognizes these [mistakes] as opportunities to learn.”

To gain experience in the welding industry Colt obtained an apprenticeship at a local welding business. “I currently work as an apprentice at Z Machine and Welding where I use the skills that I have learned and continue to learn in real life situations,” said Colt. Brent Larsen, the owner of Z Machine and Welding has been impressed with Colt and his ability to learn the trade. “Colt is an excellent welder. I have been training him in the machine tool trades. He is learning to operate the lathe, vertical milling machine, and various grinders. He is a quick learner; he keeps his mind on task and asks relevant questions. He strives for understanding, not just rote memory. Working with a young man like Colt gives me hope for the future,” said Larsen.

After graduating from BATC, with a welding certificate, Colt plans to enroll in a machining program. “I believe that this training will provide the perfect starting blocks to then go into the industrial field. . . where I will refine the skills I learned while procuring capital to reach my end goal of having my own custom welding and fabrication shop,” said Colt.

More than 50 percent of products in the U.S. require welding. From farm equipment, to cars, to bridges, to computers, to cell phones, to medical devices, the skill, knowledge, and precision of a trained welder is crucial. Nationwide employment of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers is expected to grow 15 percent through the year 2020. (Sources: American Welding Society and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

UtahCTE.org congratulates Colt on his accomplishments and wishes him all the best as he continues to prepare for his chosen career.

Zach McArthur: Future Graphic Design Teacher

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Zach McArthur
Occupational Goal: Graphic Design Teacher

“I became aware of and interested in the field of graphic design during my junior year when I decided to enroll in a graphic design course at my school. The decision to take a graphic design course has made a huge impact on my life. This decision has given me direction and has clarified my goals and aspirations with regards to my education and my career choice in the graphic design industry.

“I am currently a member of SkillsUSA and recently competed at the regional competition for graphic design screen printing. I did well at that competition and was nominated to move on and compete at the state level. My involvement with SkillsUSA and the Kearns High School Yearbook Staff really made my senior year a memorable one; one that has been rewarding and exciting.

“My career goals are many. I would like to work in the field of graphic design and be an innovator and promoter of the industry. The promotion that I would like to do would be in the classroom. I would like to teach students at the high school level and get them excited about the opportunities and possibilities in the field of graphic design.

“The CTE courses I have taken in high school have prepared me for this path. My teachers, courses, and high school activities have introduced me to a field of study that I absolutely love and enjoy. It is also an area that I excel in. The courses I have taken have taught me that it will take hard work and dedication, along with the ability to change and keep up with the rapid expansion of technology, in order to be successful.

“I am excited for this next phase of my life and the opportunities that lie before me. I am grateful for organizations such as CTE, SkillsUSA, and for the programs and teachers at my high school, which have given me some direction and a foundation to continue on the pathway that I am on. Many people have told me to find something I enjoy and to pursue that dream. I believe I have found that something and that I am on the right path to achieving my dreams.” —Zach McArthur, Kearns High School

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

Left: Blair Carruth, Assistant Commissioner, Utah System of Higher Education
Middle: Zach McArthur
Right: Jared Haines, Vice President, Utah College of Applied Technology