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SkillsUSA 2012: First Day Reflections

Today was a quiet day on the competition floor for the collision repair, auto refinishing and auto service groups. Most of the day was spent on the written testing, and interview simulations that student competitors are graded on as part of the overall contest. Tomorrow, though, will see lots of hands-on as the various groups complete the required stations. For the collision repair technology contest, 72 students will face off in 4 different hands-on stations. The automotive refinishing group has a total of 69 student competitors, also competing on 4 different stations. Last, but not least, the automotive service group has a total of 88 high school and post secondary students competing, and face a daunting 16 required stations with only 20 minutes allowed per station. I can't wait to watch these young men and women in action!

This is the 48th year of the competition, which has grown from 54 students to over 5,600! The contest floor takes up the space of 16 football fields and the amount of materials, equipment and tools needed to make this event happen is mind boggling! It is a tribute to the dedication of our public school vocational instructors, their supportive school districts, and the active support of over 1100 private sector companies and organizations. And while this is the national level culmination of various local and state events, SkillsUSA is about a lot more than who wins and who losses. It is a teaching modality embraced by these teachers and students, focusing not only on learning the technical skills needed, but the people skills as well. Leadership, team work, and community service are all essential elements of the SkillsUSA way of doing things.

And it shows. These young men and women are on fire!

For more information on the SkillsUSA program, log on to SkillsUSA.org. And don't forget to support the efforts of your local school system by volunteering for their Industry Advisory committee or offering to speak to the class about your experiences in the workplace!

 

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