Illinois Excels at NLSC 2018

A delegation of 210 students, advisors, and staff traveled to Louisville, Kentucky to participate in SkillsUSA’s 54th National Leadership and Skills Conference June 26-30, 2018. This was the largest NLSC in history, with more than 18,000 individuals coming together to support career and technical education.
SkillsUSA was joined by a special guest, United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Secretary DeVos met with Models of Excellence chapters Wednesday evening and then toured the entire conference, seeing every competition SkillsUSA has to offer on Thursday. Take a look at the short video below of Secretary DeVos speaking about her impression of SkillsUSA and the students she met during her visit.

During the week, more than 8,200 outstanding career and technical education students – all state contest winners competed hands-on in 102 different trade, technical and leadership fields. SkillsUSA Illinois students were awarded 13 medals (three gold, eight silver, and two bronze). Illinois had 56 competitors finish in the top ten of their contests. Below is a full listing of Illinois medalists as well as a short week in review video.

Gold – Cooper Blakeney 
Diesel Equipment Technology (College)
Illinois Central College – East Peoria, IL

Gold – Tate Hetherington 
Internetworking (High School)
Livingston Area Career Center – Pontiac, IL

Gold – Zane Wilson
CNC Technician (College)
Southwestern Illinois College – Belleville, IL

Silver – Team of Dan Altman, Connor Braasch, & Joshua Yates
Automated Manufacturing Technology (College)
Southwestern Illinois College – Belleville, IL

Silver – Joey Gemini
Technical Drafting (High School)
York Community High School

Silver – Justin Gierich 
Early Childhood Education (High School)
Livingston Area Career Center – Pontiac, IL

Silver – Samantha Killen 
Graphics Imaging¬ Sublimation (College)
Illinois Central College – East Peoria, IL

Silver – Jonathan Lunk 
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (High School)
High School Waterloo High School – Waterloo, IL

Silver – James Sullivan 
Screen Printing Technology (College)
Illinois Central College – East Peoria, IL

Bronze – Team of Colin Gamagami & Jaden Potete
Interactive Application & Video Game Creation (High School)
Wilco Area Career Center – Romeoville, IL

Two Illinois Students will Represent United States at WorldSkills

Two SkillsUSA Illinois members have won the opportunity to compete on the world stage representing the United States at WorldSkills 2019. REBEKAH HAGBERG of Bloomington, IL will represent the United States in Hair Dressing and DYLAN WERTZ of Lisle, IL will represent the United States in Car Painting during the biennial WorldSkills Competition in Kazan, Russia. Hagberg and Wertz will compete as members of the SkillsUSA WorldTeam. The 45th international event will be held August 22-27, 2019.

Every two years, hundreds of young people from more than 77 countries and regions compete in the prestigious WorldSkills Competition. Member countries include: Japan, England, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Australia, Thailand, Argentina and many others. There are 20 members on the SkillsUSA WorldTeam. Other occupational areas in which the United States plans to compete include Autobody Repair, Automotive Service, Aircraft Maintenance, Bakery, Bricklaying, Cabinetmaking, Car Painting, CNC Milling, CNC Turning, Cooking, Graphic Design, Hairdressing, Heavy Vehicle Maintenance, Mechanical Engineering (CAD), Mechatronics, Plumbing, Print Media, Restaurant Service, and Web Design.

Congratulations to Rebekah and Dylan!

Award Winning Growth in Illinois

This was a fantastic year of growth for SkillsUSA Illinois, Inc. Adding over 15 new chapter charters, SkillsUSA Illinois was able to triple their membership during the 2017-18 school year. This was mostly due to schools seeing the value and integrating SkillsUSA’s Career Essentials: Experiences curriculum – the solution to producing career-ready graduates who are prepared to face the 21st-century demands of employers.

With this growth, SkillsUSA Illinois earned two national-level awards. On June 26, 2018, SkillsUSA Illinois Executive Director Eric Hill was presented with the 2017-18 Largest High School Membership by Percentage Increase Growth Award and the 2017-18 Largest Overall Membership by Percentage Increase Growth Award. SkillsUSA Illinois is looking forward to a year of continued growth next year!