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Oklahoma CareerTech Students Lead National SkillsUSA

Cody McPherson, Drummond, and Fallon Elliott, Durant, were elected to serve on 2009-2010 SkillsUSA National Officer Teams. In addition, Oklahoma CareerTech’s SkillsUSA received national recognition on membership increases.

McPherson, a Welding student from Autry Technology Center in Enid, will serve on the postsecondary officer team and Elliott, a Durant High School student in the Cosmetology program at Kiamichi Technology Center-Atoka, will serve on the secondary officer team.

Both were elected at the 45th Annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Championship held June 22-26 in Kansas City, MO where 319 Oklahoma CareerTech SkillsUSA students and teachers attended the conference.

cody mcpherson sm Fallon sm

Cody McPherson Fallon Elliott

"National officer team members are responsible for duties such as planning and conducting leadership workshops and assisting with leadership and state conferences across the nation,” according to Oklahoma SkillsUSA Advisor Janet Feken. “The officer team also plans and presides over the National Leadership and Skills Championship and works to increase membership across the nation.”

This year, Oklahoma competitors brought home a total of 42 medals, the fourth highest of all states.

“Only Florida, Massachusetts and Utah had more medals,” Feken said. “We received 7 gold, 13 silver and 22 bronze medals.”

In addition, SkillsUSA National Director Tim Lawrence presented Oklahoma with a plaque for the largest increase in the nation in alumni membership during the past year. Oklahoma SkillsUSA also received a plaque for exceeding last year's postsecondary membership with an additional 150 members.

SkillsUSA and its affiliated program, Trade and Industry Education, are integral components in the CareerTech system. This national student organization focuses on ensuring a skilled work force in America. The organization represents 130 different occupational areas through its instruction. More than 12,000 students on Oklahoma high school and technology center campuses are members of SkillsUSA.

On a national level, SkillsUSA has more than 300,000 members and nearly 15,000 chapters in 54 state and territorial associations. The organization has involved more than 9.3 million members since its inception in 1965.

"SkillsUSA's motto is Preparing for Leadership in the World of Work,” said Phil Berkenbile, CareerTech state director. “Through SkillsUSA activities and contests, students develop strong leadership skills, communication skills, self-confidence, and pride in their work."

“Students involved with our occupational education courses and student organizations are better prepared for future employment,” Berkenbile said. “They have a smoother transition from school to career because of the skills and leadership activities provided through CareerTech training.”

SkillsUSA is one of seven CareerTech student organizations affiliated with CareerTech occupational divisions. The other six include FFA and Agricultural Education, BPA and Business and Information Technology Education, HOSA and Health Careers Education, DECA and Marketing Education, TSA and Technology Engineering and FCCLA and Family and Consumer Sciences Education.

For more information about Oklahoma CareerTech Education visit www.okcareertech.org. For more about Oklahoma SkillsUSA, contact Janet Feken at 405-743-5143 or visit www.okcareertech.org/ti/SkillsUSA.htm.

Written by: Ann Houston

Publish Date: July 2, 2009

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