ROCKINGHAM — A Richmond Senior High School student received a Skill Point certificate in screenprinting technology at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Mo.
Sheantae Woodard of Hamlet joined students from high school and college technical education programs across the country for the conference, which recognized those who demonstrated excellence in 99 hands-on occupational and leadership contests such as robotics, criminal justice, aviation maintenance and public speaking.
All contests are designed, run and judged by industry professionals using industry standards. Top student winners received gold, silver and bronze medallions. Many also received prizes such as tools of their trade and/or scholarships to further their careers and education. The SkillsUSA Championships are for high school and college-level students who are members of SkillsUSA.
High scorers in the contests — including Woodard — received Skill Point certificates. The certificate was awarded in 86 occupational and leadership areas to students who achieved a high score defined by industry leaders. The SkillsUSA Championships have been held since 1967, and the certificates were introduced in 2009 as a component of the SkillsUSA Work Force Ready System.
“Over 6,000 students from every state in the nation came to compete in the SkillsUSA Championships this week,” SkillsUSA Executive Director Tim Lawrence said in a release. “This is the SkillsUSA partnership at its best. Students, instructors and industry representatives are working together to ensure America has a skilled work force and every student excels. These students prove that career and technical education expands opportunities.”
According to the U.S. Department of Education, students who take three or more career and technical education programs in high school are more likely to attend college and stay there to graduate. In fact, 79 percent of CTE concentrators enrolled in postsecondary education within two years of high school graduation.
Research has shown the average high school graduation rate for students concentrating in CTE programs is 90 percent compared to an average national freshman graduation rate of 80 percent.
The SkillsUSA Work Force Ready System was developed as an extension of the SkillsUSA mission and supported by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The system recognizes students for excellence in occupational training; it assesses and documents the entry-level technical proficiency and cumulative experiences of candidates.