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.