The annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference is the largest and most diverse showcase of skill training in the nation. More than 6,000 students, including many Tulsa Tech students, competed in hands-on skills and leadership events during this year’s national conference, in Leesburg, Virginia. Dante Williams, a culinary student at Tulsa Tech, was elected as National President of the College/Post-secondary Division of SkillsUSA, during the conference, by fellow student national officers.
As President, Williams will serve as a student leader, spokesperson, and ambassador for the organization, in addition to participating in national membership and industry tours during the 2015-2016 school year. The newly elected officer looks forward to speaking on behalf of SkillsUSA at various events, before students, instructors, and representatives of business and industry.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to serve as a national officer,” Williams said. “I enjoy speaking to other students, motivating them to succeed, and I believe it is very important to demonstrate the value of leadership, regardless of each student’s individual career path.”
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry professionals working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. This career and technical student organization improves the quality of America’s skilled workforce through a structured program of citizenship, leadership, employability, technical and professional skills training. SkillsUSA serves more than 300,000 high school, college and post-secondary students and instructors each year. The group also has the active support of more than 600 corporations, trade associations, business and labor unions, and includes over 11 million former members since its founding in 1965.
Williams, an Owasso high school graduate, credits Richard Stewart, Tulsa Tech’s Criminal Justice Instructor, and avid SkillsUSA sponsor, for his initial involvement in the student organization.
“At that time in my life, I didn’t believe I could really make an impact on anyone, or grow beyond who I was,” Williams said.” “Mr. Stewart saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself, he pushed me to become involved in something larger than just myself, and explore my leadership capabilities.”
To run for a national office, members must be nominated by their school, local training program, and state leaders. Nominees must also participate in the Professional Development Program, a curriculum that focuses on professionalism and advancement, from school to work. Candidates must have proven speaking ability and pass a knowledge test, before beginning the campaign process involving more than 460 student delegates representing the 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Tim Lawrence, Executive Director for SkillsUSA, feels the determination demonstrated by Williams will benefit the organization.
“Dante’s passion for hard work and education makes him a great leader for our student members,” Lawrence said. “I really look forward to working with him this year.”
SkillsUSA programs teach leadership, citizenship and character development to complement technical skill training. The organization emphasizes respect for the dignity of work, ethics, workmanship, scholarship and safety. Tulsa Tech is proud to be home to the National President of this amazing group, and we wish Dante the best for the upcoming school year!
To find out more about SkillsUSA, visit skillsusa.org. If you’re currently looking for quality business and industry training, exciting classes for high school students, or wish to explore a life-changing career, Tulsa Tech invites you to visit today. For more information, please call 918-828-5000 or visit us online at tulsatech.edu.