Illinois Brings Home Medals from NLSC

A delegation of 227 SkillsUSA Illinois student members, advisors, and staff traveled to Louisville, Kentucky to participate in SkillsUSA’s 55th National Leadership and Skills Conference June 24-28, 2019. This was the largest NLSC in history, with more than 19,000 individuals coming together to support career and technical education. During the week, more than 8,600 outstanding career and technical education students – all state contest winners competed hands-on in 106 different trade, technical and leadership fields. SkillsUSA Illinois students were awarded 18 medals (eight gold, six silver, and four bronze). Illinois had 53 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.

SkillsUSA Illinois 2019 National Medalists

Gold – Gavin Becherer, Connor Barnard, & Connor Braasch
Automated Manufacturing Technology (College)
Southwestern Illinois College – Belleville, IL

Gold – Carly Bohm
Criminal Justice (High School)
Livingston Area Career Center – Pontiac, IL

Gold – Jade Milloy-Cobb
Graphic Communications (College)
Illinois Central College – East Peoria, IL

Gold – Samantha Killen
Graphics Imaging-Sublimation (College)
Illinois Central College – East Peoria, IL

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

Gold – Joey Gemini
Technical Drafting (High School)
York Community High School – Elmhurst, IL

Silver – Daniel Arechiga, Adriana Watson, & Jonathan Naughton
Engineering Technology Design (High School)
Lockport Township High School East – Lockport, IL

Silver – Andrew Merrill
Information Technology Services (High School)
Lake County Tech Campus – Grayslake, IL

Silver – Osiel Hernandez
Restaurant Service (High School)
Kishwaukee Educational Consortium – Malta, IL

Silver – Ethan Ficek
Technical Computer Applications (High School)
Bloomington Area Career Center – Bloomington, IL

Bronze – Gabriel Hernandez & Hannah Voorhees
Interactive Application & Video Game Development (High School)
Lake County Tech Campus – Grayslake, IL

Bronze – Chris Landi
Maintenance Light Repair – Automotive (High School)
Career Center of Southern Illinois – Red Bud, IL

Bronze – Mason Mulcahy
Advertising Design (High School)
Grundy Area Vocational Center – Morris, IL

State Officers Earn New Certification

SkillsUSA Illinois State Officer Team with Toyota USA Foundation manager Michael Medalla, SkillsUSA Executive Director Tim Lawrence, and SkillsUSA Illinois Executive Director Eric Hill at the Leverage Award luncheon held on June 24, 2019.

Back row (left to right): Eric Hill, Mark Franklin, Sarah Welander, Hadley McKenzie

Front row (left to right): Tim Lawrence, Gerry Glunz, Ohm Vyas, Kyia Johnson, Michael Medalla

The SkillsUSA Illinois State Officer Team were part of 300 SkillsUSA state officers from 40 states who completed Leverage training at the 55th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference held in Louisville, Ky. and were among the first students in the nation to earn the new Leverage Certification. About 300 students received the honor June 24 at the Leverage Awards luncheon, presented by Toyota USA Foundation manager Michael Medalla and SkillsUSA executive director Tim Lawrence.

Training for the elected state officers included three days of leadership workshops focused on the SkillsUSA Framework essential elements of leadership, decision making, communication and job-specific skills. “SkillsUSA’s Leverage program is an innovation in training for CTE students that not only benefits the individual elected state officers who participate, but also their local chapters and state associations,” explains executive director Tim Lawrence. “This intense training fosters a much greater awareness and deeper engagement in our program and helps prepare these students for their leadership roles in the coming school year. Leverage strengthens SkillsUSA one student at a time and supports our goal of excellence in each program and partnership. Every student who completed Leverage this year gained new skills, increased knowledge and a developed a deeper passion for SkillsUSA.”

Students Achieve Excellence at NLSC

Using a unique collaboration between employers and educators that simultaneously improves instructional programming, the SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Assessments evaluates and documents the entry-level technical proficiency of students. It helps teachers and advisors engage with the system to enhance instruction in classrooms and labs across the nation. This includes the SkillsUSA Skill Points Certificates.

Individuals achieving an industry-defined cut score can earn a Skill Point Certificate through the online system. Skill Point Certificates, however, are awarded only to SkillsUSA member students who reach or exceed a threshold score in a national championships contest. The Skill Point Certificate represents the pinnacle of achievement in demonstrating proficiency and workplace readiness in the student’s occupational specialty. Each Skill Point Certificate carries the logos and names of the organizations industry leaders who defined the competencies.

At the National Leadership and Skills Conference, 50 SkillsUSA Illinois members were awarded Skill Point Certificates based on their performance in the SkillsUSA Championships, proving these students are career ready for their industry.


Bloomington Area Career Center

  • Ethan Ficek (Technical Computer Application)
  • Hadley Mckenzie (T-Shirt Design)

Capital Area Career Center

  • Chelsea Hollinshead (Welding Sculpture)

Career Center of Southern Illinois

  • Isaiah Franke (Welding)

College of Lake County

  • Diego Morales (Automotive Refinishing Technology)
  • Erik Rodriguez (Collision Repair Technology)

Hampshire High School

  • Marcos Perez (Culinary Arts)

Heartland Community College

  • Breanne Penn (T-Shirt Design)

Illinois Central College

  • Samantha Killen (Graphics Imaging Sublimation)
  • Jade Milloy-Cobb (Graphic Communications)
  • James Sullivan (Screen Printing Technology)
  • Aaron Wilder (Information Technology Services)

Kishwaukee Educational Consortium

  • Osiel Hernandez (Restaurant Service)
  • Zachary Rissman (Firefighting)


     Lake County Tech Campus

    • Holly Cervantes (Health Occupations Professions)
    • Gabriel Hernandez (Interactive Application & Video Game Creation)
    • Christyan Leon Ventura (Automotive Refinishing Technology)
    • Andrew Merrill (Information Technology Services)
    • Angelica Tanta (Cosmetology)
    • Hannah Voorhees (Interactive Application & Video Game Creation)

    Livingston Area Career Center

    • Carty Bohm (Criminal Justice)
    • Cameron Kilgore (Internetworking)

    Lockport Township High School East

    • Daniel Arechiga (Engineering Technology Design)
    • Jonathan Naughton (Engineering Technology Design)
    • Adriana Watson (Engineering Technology Design)

    Mount Vernon High School Area Career Center

    • Justus Younger (Sheet Metal)

    Neuqua Valley High School

    • Emily Liu (Extemporaneous Speaking)

    Oswego High School

    • Kyle Kelty (Cabinetmaking)

    Pekin Community High School

    • Peyton Allen (Graphics Imaging-Sublimation)
    • Olivia Driskell (Basic Health Care Skills)


          Peotone Junior High School

          • Connor McCleverty (Robotics Urban Search and Rescue)
          • Colin McCleverty (Job Skill Demonstration OPEN)
          • Reganne Price (Robotics Urban Search and Rescue)

           Saint Charles East High School

          • Katrina Hammond (Customer Service)
          • Vijay Krishnan (Entrepreneurship)
          • Brenna Paul (Entrepreneurship)
          • Matthew Stathopoulos (Entrepreneurship)
          • Caleb Wright (Entrepreneurship)

          Southwestern Illinois College

          • Connor Barnard (Automated Manufacturing Technology)
          • Gavin Becherer (Automated Manufacturing Technology)
          • Connor Braasch (Automated Manufacturing Technology)
          • Jonathan Lunk (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration)

          Technology Center of DuPage

          • Blythe Finn (Cosmetology)
          • Julia Gron (Nail Care)

          Waubonsee Community College

          • Jake Linden (Firefighting)

          Waubonsie Valley High School

          • Emily Garcia (Principles of Engineering & Technology)
          • Sidart Selvathurai (Medical Math)
          • Kevin Ellis (Computer Programming)

          York Community High School

          • Joey Gemini (Technical Drafting)
          • Jeff Wasco (Screen Printing Technology)

          Another Year of Growth for SkillsUSA Illinois

          SkillsUSA Illinois Executive Director Eric Hill presented with the 2018-19 Largest High School Membership by Percentage Increase Growth Award by SkillsUSA Nation High School Vice President Kaylee Corvin and SkillsUSA State Directors Association Chairperson Darren Gibson.

          SkillsUSA Illinois was again honored for continued membership growth. On June 24, 2019, Executive Director Eric Hill was presented with the 2018-19 Largest High School Membership by Percentage Increase Growth Award. SkillsUSA Illinois was also recognized for increases in both High School and College/Postsecondary membership during the 2018-19 year. SkillsUSA Illinois is looking forward to a year of continued growth next year!

          This was a fantastic year of growth for SkillsUSA Illinois, Inc. Adding over 15 new chapter charters, SkillsUSA Illinois was able to double their membership during the 2018-19 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. 

          SkillsUSA Illinois Advisor Development Conference 2019

          The SkillsUSA Illinois Advisor Development Conference (ADC) is held at the beginning of each school year to provide an opportunity for advisors from around the state to come together and become empowered with the tools they need to develop, manage and advise a SkillsUSA chapter in their school.

          Topics covered this year include the SkillsUSA curricular resources, chapter management, SkillsUSA Illinois Championships updates, and more. ADC 2019 will be held Friday, September 13, 2019 at the UTI Lisle Campus – Lisle, IL. Look for an email with more information later this month.

          Start Planning for 2019-20

          SkillsUSA Illinois is excited to kick-off the 2019-20 year. Key dates for the 2019-20 school year can be found at the schedule below.

          2019 – 2020 Calendars

          Start planning for your chapter to kick off right by reviewing information on the SkillsUSA Chapter Excellence Program. The Chapter Excellence Program (CEP) is the single best way to build a successful SkillsUSA chapter! As a chapter’s yearly action plan, the program of work is at the heart of student learning and employability development. By using the Framework as a guide, chapters have a blueprint for creating relevant activities that encourage participation and foster an understanding of student learning attained during each activity. Learn more at

          Questions? We’re here to help, email