SkillsUSA is an organization that recognizes students in the country for their career technical skills formed by instructors and the work industry providing scholarships, employment opportunities and other benefits. These include the following classes:
- TV Production
- Culinary Arts
At competitions, representatives of companies come to be judges and evaluate students’ work and three are awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals. They start in the second week of February every year and continue through June. Students are chosen to participate for SkillsUSA in December and begin preparing until the end of January. The competition starts locally, with students representing their schools at district level. The winning students go from district-level competitions to state level competitions representing the district they come from, competing against other winners in the state. From there, each state-level winning competitor is transferred to compete at national level representing the state. During these events, representatives and other workers in the industries award students based on their knowledge and pace on doing work.
At the Arlington Career Center, Wilmer Castro, instructor of Auto Collision repair, states, “SkillsUSA is a great opportunity for students to enroll themselves with their career technical skills for recognition and advantages when applying for a job.” Castro also describes that during sign-ups, he looks at every student’s work evaluating if they would be a good candidate for SkillsUSA. In the Auto Collision Repair branch of SkillsUSA, it focuses on welding, car painting, and more, so Castro evaluates student’s work based on those skills.
Mr. Tom O’day, a TV Production instructor, states, “Well, SkillsUSA is somewhere you can show your skills that you have learned in the CTE class you are enrolled in to judges, and not just them but representatives who look into students’ abilities and provide internships or other opportunities for whoever they see is capable of doing the job.” In his class, O’day evaluates students by having them work on video editing, studio control, camera utilization, directory, and student roles in front of the camera, in which he considers the best performing for each category.
One of the Culinary Arts students, Nataly Castro says, “In SkillsUSA you show the abilities acquired in your CTE class; in my case, I was chosen because I’ve done a good job in cooking and my teacher awarded me for my progress. When I go to compete, I will be cooking a dish, which will be judged by critics that will determine [my] score.” Experiences like these are found among many students in other CTE classes around the school. These exciting experiences push students to further challenge themselves within their CTE classes and possibly gain an internship or job.
Participating in SkillsUSA brings pride to the school since Arlington Career Center is being represented at the competitions and even more when students are awarded within the top three places. The best of luck is wished for all those participating and competing.
Want to enroll in SkillsUSA? Find out if your CTE class is one of the participating classes and talk with your teacher.