On March 23, 2012, a little rain did not keep 50 Calhoun High School SkillsUSA students from participating in Home Depot's Extreme Dorm Renovation. SkillsUSA students worked with employees from the Northwest Georgia District of Home Depot at the Georgia School for the Deaf. These students added to their community service hours by helping renovate different areas around the dorms. “It was a great learning and service project for the kids. Some were even taken out of their comfort zone in the tasks that they completed,” said Greta Hughes, SkillsUSA Advisor and CHS Graphic Design teacher. Some students painted picture frames so student artwork could be displayed, while other students cleaned windows and blinds. The SkillsUSA students also pressure washed the buildings and concrete sidewalks, planted trees and flowers, built planters, and put together picnic tables. “I love construction and landscaping projects, and knowing that the students come back to a better environment make me it enjoy it even more,” said Grant Quist, CHS Junior and SkillsUSA Vice President. Christina Cumbey, CHS Senior and SkillsUSA Co-President stated, “It was not an easy job and required lots of teamwork, but our hard work paid off and I enjoyed helping out.” Even though students were drenched in rain, they continued to work constantly to finish the job! “The students worked hard and did not complain about the weather conditions,” commented Dale Hales, SkillsUSA Advisor and CHS Construction teacher. Mr. Hales was, “impressed with several of our young ladies that were willing to get dirty in order to get the job done.” Their hard work and determination is greatly appreciated by the Georgia School for the Deaf.
On February 1, 2012, SkillsUSA Georgia held its 2nd Annual SkillsUSA Day at the Capitol. The event brought close to 300 advisors and students together at the State Capitol to advocate for SkillsUSA and Career, Technical and Agricultural Education. Participants were from the Academy of Richmond County, Appling County High School, Butler High School, Centennial High School, Cross Creek High School, Cross Keys High School, Hephzibah High School, Hiram High School, Lamar County High School, Lucy Laney High School, Putnam County High School, Taylor County High School, Ware County High School and Washington County High School. The day began with students and advisors meeting with Representative Randy Nix from LaGrange, Georgia. Representative Nix complimented the group on their professionalism and their ability to meet the needs of employers. He also challenged the group to invite local employers and legislators into their schools so that that they too could witness first-hand the skill level and professionalism of students. Matthew Gambill, Executive Director for the Georgia Association of Career and Technical Education also took time out of his busy schedule to address the students and advisors. Mr. Gambill shared with the group the importance of advocating for Career and Technical Education and SkillsUSA to their local legislators. Legislators enjoy hearing the personal stories of students describing why Career, Technical and Agricultural Education classes and SkillsUSA is important to them.
During the day students enjoyed a variety of activities that included meeting with their legislators, viewing the session from the gallery area, serving as pages, touring the Capitol, and meeting with State Representative Randy Nix and Governor Nathan Deal. The entire delegation met with the Governor on the steps of the rotunda for a SkillsUSA group picture. Quincy Rapp from Washington County High School and State Vice President Brian Bradley accepted the SkillsUSA Champions at Work Proclamation from the Governor.
Throughout the day, you could see students in red blazers stopping to shake hands with legislators. Each of these moments offered an opportunity for a student or teacher to talk about the importance of Career and Technical Education in our high schools and the success that comes from being a member of SkillsUSA. Please make plans to join us next year for SkillsUSA Day at the Capitol!