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Lack of participation leaves student group without officers

By: Shaya Rogers, Staff Reporter

Lack of student involvement has left many officer posi­tions available, said SkillsUSA Historian Abran Salazar.

Students within the technical trades program decide the outcome of the elec­tions, but not many know about the orga­nization, which gives students the opportu­nity to further pre­pare and win competi­tions in various trades programs, he said.

“We really didn’t have a lot of students that had applied, there was only one at the beginning so we had to really push it that day,” he said.

SkillsUSA is a campus organization that prepares students in various trade pro­grams for success in their career.

Enrolling in a trade program at CNM auto­matically places stu­dents into SkillsUSA, but putting in the time to either become an officer or become a strong competitor is what gives a student real credibility, he said.

“Skills just comes in and offers opportu­nity to pick out those dedicated skilled stu­dents from each pro­gram,” he said.

Being an active member of SkillUSA gives students the opportunity to win awards, receive certif­icates and strengthen resumes, he said.

“Your classmates will be applying for the same jobs when you finish your trade or degree and the employer will see all the extra hard work you are willing to put in and say, ‘that’s the guy I want to hire,’” he said.

Salazar said SkillsUSA prepares students for their pro­fessional and personal life by building con­fidence and teaching leadership skills.

“The small per­centage of time that is needed is nothing compared to the rest of your life and the outcome,” he said.

Skills USA Reporter Solomon Hill-Burke said he tries to spread the word about SkillsUSA and wants students to understand the bene­fits so they will realize what a great opportu­nity it is for them.

“With the elections, we were constantly trying to convince people to run saying, ‘You know, it’s really not that hard and it’s a lot of fun. It looks great on your resume and you’ll really enjoy it,’” he said.

SkillsUSA gives stu­dents a chance to com­pete at a local, state and national level within their trades, he said.

“All those company owners that are judging the competition are going to see you and remem­ber your name. If you take third or fourth place, you’re pretty much guar­anteed a job in this state,” he said.

Holding an officer position gives students the chance to experience all that the national com­petition has to offer even if they aren’t competing, he said.

“A certain amount of the officers go to the national competition in the summer as voting delegates to vote for the national officers. Even if you don’t win competi­tions to get to the national competition, you can still go,” he said.

Being an officer gives students an outside per­spective to the competi­tions and inspires their abilities as leaders, he said.

“Really what the SkillsUSA officer team does is organize the events and make sure everyone has enough information and that they know what they have to do to com­pete, make sure all of the teachers and advisors have the resources they need to hold these com­petitions and to promote a pro-active mentality in the technical program,” he said.

Students should know that becoming active in SkillsUSA will help them be successful leaders in their various trades, he said.

“It really doesn’t take that much time and it only benefits you. You really have nothing to lose. You have everything to gain in terms of your field and making money and get­ting a job,” he said.

Being an officer has given Hill-Burke the con­fidence and life skills to meet new people and to get involved in many dif­ferent ways, he said.

“It’s a great place to meet people and I know I’m having a lot more fun on campus just because I’m involved in it. Other than that I would just be coming to class and going home,” he said.

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