By Tabitha Barr
Opinion Page Editor
Skills USA is an organization that started in 1965 to help students better prepare them for their future jobs.
Hutchinson Community college partners with Business and Industry to further the options students can pick from. Through meetings, meeting new people, and competitions, students can gain knowledge and learn what they want to do in their future.
There are more than 100 areas that students can compete in, giving a chance to any student who wants to participate. Their goal is to grant students the opportunity of new knowledge to become “world-class workers, leaders and responsible American Citizens.”
Students who join will get hands-on experience in an area they want to pursue. There are meetings with the whole team, or just a one-on-one meetings with John Pendergrass, who is the sponsor for Hutchinson Community College. These meetings consist giving the students their plan for the year to get them ready for the competition.
This school year’s competition is in April at surrounding Hutchinson areas, mainly the college campus.
During this, students will compete in what area they have chosen, whether that be culinary arts, welding and more. At competition, competitors show up, are given a name tag, locate the designated area based on what the competitor came prepared for, then take a written test to see what they know.
Afterwards, the student will then have to prove they know the material and can do it as well in hands on work.
“It’s not just a written test that you walk away from, you do the written test, and then you go out . . . and perform the task,” Pendergrass said.
The main reason this is important is because at these competitions, a student is most likely being judged by those who can hire them.
These people oversee students who are working hard and proving they can learn and become well knowledgeable in a field they would like to pursue. This is not only just a competition, but a chance to find a job.
If any student would like to join, the team is still open for recruits.
“It’s an ongoing thing,” Pendergrass said.
A student does not have to attend every meeting, but they do need to be a member. These meetings are good for information purposes.
Elections for positions will be held in the next coming months for students who want coordinate and help out the team. The membership does cost a one-time $7 payment before December.
Any student can join the Skills USA team, and it is not limited to certain majors. If a student has the drive to learn more about a specific field, they can do so through this club.
If a student would like to join, contact John Pendergrass to to become a Skills USA team member at firstname.lastname@example.org or (620)694-2443.