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Paris ISD – SkillsUSA

PHS student participates in Washington Leadership Training Institute

Paris High School senior and SkillsUSA District 5 officer Ceaira Gill recently attended the SkillsUSA Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI) in Washington D.C. WLTI is a five-day training facility for SkillsUSA state officers concentrating on advanced leadership and communication skills, learning about the democratic process, and sharing personal stories with legislative representatives. 506 students and instructors from 29 states attended the leadership conference.

Gill joined a delegation of Career and Technical Education (CTE) students and instructors from North East Texas. They met with Stephen Reynolds, aid for Senator John Cornyn. They paid respects at the Tomb of the Unknowns and the Pentagon 9-11 Memorial.

This year’s delegations discussed the value of their education; the importance of public career and technical education to their respective states; the quality of their teaching 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 managed to develop these skills in students of all ages and backgrounds.

SkillsUSA is an integral part of public CTE. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average high school graduation rate for students concentrating in CTE programs is 90.18% compared to an average national freshman graduation rate of 80%. CTE is also about jobs that are essential for the American economy and global competitiveness. Experts project 47 million job openings in the decade ending 2018. One-third will require an associate’s degree or certificate, and nearly all will require real-world skills that through CTE can be mastered.

SkillsUSA is a vital solution to the growing U.S. skills gap. This nonprofit partnership of students, instructors, and industry ensure America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. Founded in 1965 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, the association serves more than 300,000 member students and instructors each year in middle schools, high schools, and colleges. This diverse talent pipeline covers 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, the majority STEM-related. More than 600 corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA at the national level. They integrated the SkillsUSA programs into CTE through a framework of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. Local, state and national championships designed and judged by industry, set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide needed recognition to its students. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and other workplace credentials. For more information, go to