Welcome back to another school year. Last school year was a great success for our association, in fact, our best ever! Our membership hit an all time high with 7,474 members. This number includes members from middle school, high school, college, professionals and registered alumni. The SkillsUSA RI Championships had 950 registered competitors, which was also the largest in our history. We added the very successful “Jump into STEM” conference during the SkillsUSA RI Championships. Over 100 middle school students attended with their teachers, and 40 SkillsUSA members volunteered to facilitate 10 STEM related workshops. 8 students received medals at the national conference, and another 21 students placed in the top ten nationally. Finally, at the national conference, we celebrated the election of Amanda Crawley from Rhode Island College as the National College/Post Secondary Vice President.

Our successes are due to the support and enthusiasm from our educators and students. We want to say THANK YOU! As we enter into a new membership year, we are looking forward to continuing to develop our programs. Here are some goal areas of focus for the 2016-2017 school year.

  • Adding professional development opportunities for our educators.
  • Increasing support for our developing College/Post Secondary Chapters.
  • Adding new contests to the 2017 SkillsUSA Rhode Island Championships.
  • Growing our middle school membership and adding a new state contest, the Team Engineering Challenge.
  • Building connections between our middle school and high school chapters.
  • Developing new business and industry partners and increase support for our state champions.

SkillsUSA is an integral part of career and technical education (CTE). Teachers infuse the organization’s activities into their instructional programs, enabling students to gain real-world applications to their studies. By integrating SkillsUSA into the CTE program, all students develop the personal, workplace and technical skills that comprise the SkillsUSA Framework. For example, the Career Readiness Curriculum and the Professional Development Program are available through SkillsUSA to embed into your curriculum, offering students experiences that better prepare them for career success. Your classroom will come to life as students see the connection between what they are learning today and their futures. Just as your lab provides contextual teachable moments, your classroom can provide relevancy in developing leadership, communication, and teamwork skills that develop the whole student.

SkillsUSA Rhode Island is here to support you and your efforts in the classroom. Thank you for supporting our program. Have a great school year!

– Josh