Showing Skills Across the Nation

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Showing Skills Across the Nation

Members of Skills USA

Members of Skills USA

Anndee Jelinek

Members of Skills USA

Anndee Jelinek

Anndee Jelinek

Members of Skills USA

Anndee Jelinek

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On October 18 over twenty students loaded onto a bus and headed to Columbus, Nebraska for the 2018 Mid-America Conference. The Mid-America conference is a weekend long meeting for SkillsUSA advisors and students to learn and run through what they should being doing throughout the school year.
SkillsUSA is a program for all middle school, high school and college students that helps them prepare to enter the industrial workforce by providing them with job ready skills.
“SkillsUSA has not only given me skills for my future career path,” senior Dapree Mapp said. “But it also has given me connections to business.”
As Mid-America came closer, Ms. Wredt the SkillsUSA advisor at Benson, learned that OPS would not be able to fund the trip.
“It was very frustrating to find out the district couldn’t fund us because it (Mid-America) is important,” said Wredt. “That motivated me to go out and find someone to fund us.”
Ms. Wredt asked around and was able to get PVS to sponsor the trip, which made it possible for the students to go.
At the conference, the students and advisors were separated into different color chapters. Each color chapter had to elect officers, organize their committees, and conduct meetings.
The chapters went to tour local businesses where each of them had their own community service project.
The conference is open to all states across the country and has expanded to seven different states in the past year.
“Mid-America gave me the opportunity to meet new people,” senior Raymond Butler said. “We taught each other new things that we didn’t know, and we still keep in touch.”
This conference is important for new chapters and new advisors because it teaches what SkillsUSA is, and what a school’s chapter should be doing throughout the school year. It is important for the students and advisors to know the organization they are a part of and how it can prepare them to be job ready by the time they leave school.
Throughout the weekend the students were busy running their color chapter from seven in the morning until ten at night. However, Greg Starh, included activities like a dance and an ice cream social so everyone could relax and have some fun.
Starh is Nebraska’s state advisor for SkillsUSA. He runs the whole operation in the state and makes sure that everything for SkillsUSA runs smoothly.
There are many moving gears that help operate this organization to ensure the success for each student, advisor and chapter. The opportunities that SkillsUSA offers and provides are immensely helpful for students entering the workforce after school.
The students that attended the Mid-America conference got a taste of what their future will be like and plan to take the knowledge they gained from the conference back to Benson’s SkillsUSA chapter to improve the program.