Students from Chesterfield-area high school and college technical education programs won the nation’s highest awards at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. Industry leaders representing over 600 businesses, corporations, trade associations and unions recognized the students for their demonstrated excellence in 99 hands-on occupational and leadership contests, such as robotics, criminal justice, aviation maintenance and public speaking. All contests are designed, run and judged by industry using industry standards.
Top student winners received gold, silver and bronze medallions. Many also received prizes such as tools of their trade and/or scholarships to further their careers and education. The SkillsUSA Championships is for high school and college-level students who are members of SkillsUSA.
In addition, high scorers in the contests received Skill Point Certificates. The Skill Point Certificate was awarded in 86 occupational and leadership areas to students who achieved a high score defined by industry. The SkillsUSA Championships have been a premier event since 1967. The Skill Point Certificates were introduced in 2009 as a component of the SkillsUSA Work Force Ready System.
The following student from the area is a Skill Point Certificate recipient:
Lyndon Wright, from Chester and a student at Chesterfield Tech Center, Chesterfield, was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Plumbing.
“Over 6,000 students from every state in the nation came to compete in the SkillsUSA Championships this week,” said SkillsUSA Executive Director Tim Lawrence. “This is the SkillsUSA partnership at its best. Students, instructors and industry representatives are working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce and every student excels. These students prove that career and technical education expands opportunities.”
According to the U.S. Department of Education, students who take three or more career and technical education (CTE) programs in high school are more likely to attend college and stay there to graduate. In fact, 79 percent of CTE concentrators enrolled in postsecondary education within two years of high school graduation. And, students in CTE programs have a higher-than-average high school graduation rate. Research has shown the average high school graduation rate for students concentrating in CTE programs is 90 percent compared to an average national freshman graduation rate of 80 percent.
Industry support of the SkillsUSA Championships is valued at over $36 million in donated time, equipment, cash and material. All contests are run and judged by industry experts using industry standards for employment. Contests assess hands-on, employability and academic skills. Over 1,700 industry judges and technical committee members participated this year.