This year I am quite honored to be attending the SKILLS USA National Championships as not only a VIP guest (mrW tradesmen), but as one of the NARI judges for the “Team Works” event. For many (including me originally) one of the first questions asked is – what in the world is SKILLS USA? The quickest explanation I got was – do you remember VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America) back when you were in High School? Sure they used to run the auto mechanics, body shop, etc… competitions. Well VICA is now SKILLS and it has grown exponentially.
From the Official Fact Sheet
Membership: More than 300,000 students and advisors join SkillsUSA annually, organized into more than 17,000 sections and 54 state and territorial associations. Combining alumni and lifetime membership, the total number impacted is more than 320,000. SkillsUSA has served more than 10.5 million members.
Mission: SkillsUSA is an applied method of instruction for preparing America’s high performance workers in public career and technical programs. It provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development. It builds and reinforces self-confidence, work attitudes and communications skills. It emphasizes total quality at work—high ethical standards, superior work skills, life-long education, and pride in the dignity of work. SkillsUSA also promotes understanding of the free-enterprise system and involvement in community service.
Partners: In 2011, more than 16,600 teachers and school administrators served as professional SkillsUSA members and advisors. More than 1,100 business, industry 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.
Programs: SkillsUSA programs include local, state and national competitions in which students demonstrate occupational and leadership skills. At the annual national-level SkillsUSA Championships, over 5,500 students compete in 94 occupational and leadership skill areas. ()
SkillsUSA programs also help to establish industry standards for job skill training in the lab and classroom, and promote community service. SkillsUSA is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and is cited as a “successful model of employer-driven youth development training program” by the U.S. Department of Labor. (More Info)
I have to admit, I was floored (ok & lost) by how large this conference was. I have yet to have ever attended one that was so large & packed (I have yet to attend the International Builders Show which I have heard is pretty close). When I got a chance to snap this very poor picture, I was just glad to find a semi-quite space.
Located between the registration & the convention center – Go Army
After I finished registering I decided to go see if I could remember where I parked… this is part of 13th street which is fully closed off.
Besides having great tools who could resist taking a picture of the car?
Besides needing to have the proper tools (see Snap On above & above – unfortunately the Milwaukee Tools picture didn’t come out) you will of course need the proper clothes – Carhartt out in force.
The Team Works Competition – unfortunately do to extenuating circumstances, I missed the 11 AM presentation portion of the judging, but here some of the contestants are doing their “Site Review and Tool Training” and getting ready for the next two days of competition.
Hmm, no one sent me any pictures of the dinner (phone was getting charged) – the shame… I would love to say – while I am sorry you could not attend Mike – thank you for not only the great dinner, but most importantly bringing all of us “Tradesmen” together (the vision, the site, the cause). For more on this – check out Day 4
Hopefully the competitors remember they need their rest as the competitions start tommorow around 8AM for many of them.