Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
LUCASVILLE — Two students from the Scioto County Career Technical Center (SciotoTech) were elected officers during a SkillsUSA conference in Columbus last fall and participated in a week-long training program in Washington D.C. to prepare them as presenters for the opening and closing ceremonies during the SkillsUSA regional competition in Scioto County next month.
“SkillsUSA teaches us how to be better leaders, be better people, be better students, and excel in everything we do,” said SciotoTech senior John Williams.
According to its website (skillsusa.org), SkillsUSA is a national non-profit partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It was formerly known as the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America.
“It gives you a lot of leadership opportunities,” said SciotoTech senior Michael Carver. “In SkillsUSA you also get to go out and meet with hundreds of people that you’ve never met before. If you’re shy or anything, it helps you break out of that.”
Williams and Carver attended a conference in Columbus in November, where they campaigned and were elected regional officers. As part of their formal responsibilities, the two students will present the opening and closing ceremonies during the Ohio SkillsUSA south central regional competition in Scioto County next month. The competition will take place at SciotoTech in Lucasville on March 2 and the awards ceremony will follow at Valley High School.
About 800 students from the region are expected to attend, competing in programs such as automotive refinishing technology, carpentry, computer maintenance technology, cosmetology, crime scene investigation, extemporaneous speaking, job interview, medical math, nail care with nail care model, technical drafting, welding, and more.
To get ready for their big presentation, Williams and Carver attended a training program in Washington D.C. last month.
“We had to sit through a lot of meetings. It wasn’t just like going to D.C. for free and goof off all week. We had a lot of responsibility to do,” Carver said. “We had a checklist that we was given at the beginning of the week, and we had to go through that checklist to get our ROTI (Regional Officer Training Institute) pins. We had about 20 things that we had to do. We also had to sit through a lot of leadership conferences. A lot of employability-type seminars.”
Both students admitted they had no idea how much hard work was going to be involved.
“I didn’t think we was going to have to sit through so many seminars, but it really paid off in the end,” Williams said. “They taught me how to speak better in front of people, and a lot of leadership abilities that I brought back with me.”
And it wasn’t all work, Carver promised. The students did get to see the Museum of National History, a tour of national monuments, and visit the SkillsUSA national headquarters.
“The most important part of that D.C. trip for me was, when Michael and I hopped on that bus we got on that bus with 51 strangers. A week later when we got back off, we got off that bus with 51 friends,” Williams said. “What that organization taught us, how to befriend people and how to be better leaders, I’ll never forget that as long as I live.”
Principal Kyle Copley said students like John Williams and Michael Carver are why SciotoTech is successful, and participating in the SkillsUSA program will continue to serve them throughout their lives.
“SkillsUSA and the CTC out here, it’s a great place. The CTC alone, coming out here you don’t know anybody. You might know the people at your home school, but here you’ve got people from Portsmouth, West, New Boston, you’ve got people from all around Scioto County. You meet a lot of people and have a lot of friends out here. It’s just a great experience. I really advise anybody to come out if they’re serious about getting a good job,” Carver said.
For more information about SkillsUSA visit them online at www.skillsusa.org or Ohio SkillsUSA at www.ohioskillsusa.org, and the Scioto County Career Technical Center online at www.sciototech.org.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org.