Executive Council Visits State Capital

Picture of Executive Council Visits State Capital

Tennessee College of Applied Technology students elected to serve as SkillsUSA State Officers attended officer training on February 8-11, 2015, at the Tennessee Board of Regents’ System Office. While at training, the state officers and their advisors toured the State Capital Building, met with Representative Harry Brooks, attended Governor Haslam’s state-of-the-state address, and presented to the House Education committees.  During their legislative visits, students thanked legislators for their past support of lottery scholarship programs, equipment grants, and the system name change. The students shared the value of public career and technical education to their respective communities; the quality of their education and training; their occupational plans; and, the benefits of their participation in SkillsUSA. They explained that today's workplace requires people with leadership, teamwork and communication skills to participate in high-quality systems. SkillsUSA has been successful in developing these skills in students of all ages and backgrounds.  While the students shared important information with legislators, it is the knowledge that the students gain through this process that is perhaps the most valuable part the experience.

According to Kevin Howard, State SkillsUSA Report and TCAT Crump Student,
“ Visiting our state capitol was a stimulating educational experience! It allowed me to see first-hand the legislative process of our government. Personally, I do not think my classmates fully understand how the system operates. I was honored that our State Officer Team had the opportunity to sit and talk with Representative Brooks and personally thank him for his continued support of higher education; most importantly his support of the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology. I am grateful he allowed us witness the committee session and present ties and scarfs to other Representatives. This experience has allowed me to better understand the importance of building rapport with our State Representatives for it is their vote needed to fund technical education. “

Katie King, State SkillsUSA President and TCAT Newbern student, said, “ As a former education major and someone who is still an advocate for issues regarding education, the highlight of my Capitol trip was getting to speak to Representative Brooks and the education committees regarding not only the needs our institutions have and how they would potentially benefit from future legislation, but how our system has already benefitted from the support of our state legislature. If it weren't for SkillsUSA, I wouldn't have the opportunity to speak before legislators about these issues so close to my heart and I'm so grateful that I can not only learn more about current legislation, but serve as an advocate for CTE as well. This experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I didn't expect from SkillsUSA, but I am so thankful for every moment!”

SkillsUSA is a national organization serving more than 300,000 high school and college students and professional members who are enrolled in training programs in technical, skilled, and service occupations, including health occupations.  It has the active support of over 1,500 corporations, trade associations, businesses, and labor unions at the national level. Student membership in SkillsUSA offers leadership, citizenship and character development programs and activities to complement skill training. Its programs help students prepare to go to work and on to further education. SkillsUSA emphasizes respect or the dignity of work, high standards in trade ethics, workmanship, scholarship and safety. It promotes understanding of the free enterprise system and encourages the development of patriotism through democratic practices in local chapters.