Nov 08, 2017

Columbia State Hosts SkillsUSA Kickoff Event

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - Nov. 7, 2017) - - - Columbia State Community College recently hosted a kickoff event in partnership with SkillsUSA Tennessee to showcase the new student organization on campus. Columbia State is one of 13 community colleges adding a SkillsUSA chapter for students this fall.

"We are glad to expand these programs to the community colleges so more students can enter the workforce fully prepared," said Boyd Hestand, Tennessee Board of Regents SkillsUSA assistant state director. "SkillsUSA showcases student skills and success in a unique way that gets them excited about higher education."

At the event, SkillsUSA instructors and students highlighted the framework of the program. Several Columbia State faculty and staff attended a workshop where they learned more about the organization and how to integrate it into the classroom and the college overall.

"Columbia State is excited about becoming a member of SkillsUSA and the extracurricular benefits this program will offer our students," said Dr. Dearl Lampley, Columbia State dean of the Science, Technology and Mathematics Division. "The first competition on our campus will be the Outstanding Technical Student of the Year on Nov. 13. Students will give a speech on the benefits of technical education and take part in a panel interview as a part of soft skills building."

Columbia State students will be able to enhance their studies with the SkillsUSA career-readiness program, which includes classroom-based activities, community activities and a structured competition program at the local, state and national levels.

"I compete in welding competitions," said Paul Pierce, Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Pulaski student and SkillsUSA chapter leader. "SkillsUSA provides great opportunities that will look good on resumes."

The TCAT students explained that joining SkillsUSA is easy because the school funds the membership costs for students and that it is a great way to earn scholarships and get involved to develop leadership skills.

Jeremy Mitchell, TCAT - Pulaski SkillsUSA president, said that he has had the opportunity to network with several people in the industry.

He continued, "It opens up doors and you get out what you put into it. You learn a lot of things that will help you in a real-world work environment."

SkillsUSA is a vital solution to the growing U.S. skills gap. This nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry ensures America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. SkillsUSA was founded in 1965 in Tennessee and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, the association serves more than 335,000 member students and instructors each year in middle schools, high schools and colleges. This diverse talent pipeline covers 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, the majority STEM-related. More than 600 corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA at the national level. SkillsUSA programs are integrated into career and technical education through a framework of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. Local, state and national championships, designed and judged by industry, set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide needed recognition to its students. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and other workplace credentials. For more information go to:

TCAT Pulaski Skills USA Officers
Photo Caption: (Pictured, left to right):
Sam Brown and Paul Pierce, Tennessee College of Applied Technology students and local SkillsUSA Chapter Leaders.

Columbia State students talk SkillsUSA and eat pizza.
Photo Caption:
Columbia State students talk to SkillsUSA Representatives and enjoy pizza.

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