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Members of the WHS SkillsUSA chapter trekked to Grand Island on Sept. 22 for the 2014 Fall Leadership Conference.

WHS SkillsUSA students attend 2014 Fall Leadership Conference

Annual event in Grand Island draws record attendance

The Wahoo High School SkillsUSA chapter sent 19 students to the 2014 Fall Leadership Conference in Grand Island on Sept 22. 

The conference was held at the Career Pathways Institute, a technical school located within the Grand Island Public School system. This was the largest fall conference ever for Nebraska, with an attendance of 500 students. 

The day began with a presentation from the state officers of SkillsUSA. They introduced the first speaker, Grand Island Chamber of Commerce President Cindy Johnson. Johnson welcomed the students to Grand Island and to the Career Pathways Institute, which was a joint effort of local businesses, Central Community College, Grand Island Public Schools, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Grand Island Area Economic Development Corporation. 

Local businesses donated over $1 million to create the technical high school which offers students a chance to take a half day of advanced technical classes, in addition to the regular high school courses offered locally at their school. 

Johnson said "We need each and every one of you," referring to Grand Island's 3.2% unemployment rate and the growth of employment opportunities in Nebraska as well.

After Johnson's presentation, Eric Knoll from the Nebraska Department of Education spoke about the opportunities in the teaching profession, and technical classes at the high school level. Knoll spoke about the 30-40 teachers each year that retire, and how the people at the conference could be great replacements to keep the career and technical programs alive and well across the state.

Students were assigned to morning or afternoon leadership sessions. If they were not in leadership sessions, they were on tour of area businesses. The leadership sessions were run by the state officer team, and highlighted the many benefits of SkillsUSA, but also used interactive activities to teach teamwork, listening skills, and ways to improve students’ employability once they graduate. 

Students toured around Grand Island to Chief Building, Global Industries, St. Francis Medical Center, the Platte Coal Power Generating Station, Standard Iron, Hornaday, Nova-Tech, Truss-Craft and Case IH. 

The day was a huge success and showed the incredible opportunities that are out there for people in the technical trades.

It was a great start to the year for the Wahoo SkillsUSA Chapter!

Links:

SkillsUSA Nebraska: http://www.skillsusanebraska.org

SkillsUSA National Office: http://www.skillsusa.org

Career Pathways Institute: http://www.careerpathwaysinstitute.org  

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WHS SkillsUSA students attend 2014 Fall Leadership Conference

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