BRADENTON - For the 10th straight year, Manatee Technical Institute students won more medals than any other school in the nation at the 49th Annual SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City, including 18 national championships. To put that feat in perspective, there are about 10,000 school districts and 4,000 tech centers, colleges and universities in the U.S.; some have one or two national champions from career and technical student organization competitions. MTI had 61 national champions in SkillsUSA alone, bringing home 7 gold, 11 silver and 4 bronze medals.
“MTI aims to produce graduates who are able to earn national industry-recognized credentials,” explained MTI director Mary Cantrell, PhD. “When they win against students from other schools and states, it’s a good indication that MTI is doing a lot right.”
The SkillsUSA Championships are a showcase for the best career and technical education students in the nation. Students had to have won first in the state to qualify. Only 2 percent of SkillsUSA members make it to nationals.
Students work against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupational areas like business management and technology, engineering technology/design, firefighting, nail care, and web design.
Many of the students who compete, see the SkillsUSA Championships as the Olympics of career and technical education. Overall, Florida students won the most medals of all the states in the 2013 Championships. MTI students alone won 22 percent of them.
SkillsUSA is partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. The philosophy of the Championships is to reward students for excellence, to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance and to keep training relevant to employers' needs.
The SkillsUSA Championships began in 1967. Students from every state and Puerto Rico compete in skill, technical and leadership fields. Judges and contest organizers from labor and management make the national contests possible. Contest competencies are set by industry.
A complete list of winners is available at www.skillsusa.org/compete/results.shtml
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