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Summer Breezes Bring Success - and Change - to SkillsUSA

In late June, 29 students will represent CNM in Kansas City, Mo., at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. The students, gold medal winners in the New Mexico state SkillsUSA competition, will demonstrate their skills and compete for national recognition, as well as enjoying opportunities to participate in numerous other events.

Sep 07, 2016

June 2011

Skills USA - Kansas City
In late June, 29 students will represent CNM in Kansas City, Mo., at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. The students, gold medal winners in the New Mexico state SkillsUSA competition, will demonstrate their skills and compete for national recognition, as well as enjoying opportunities to participate in numerous other events.

Possibilities include tours of the Harley-Davidson factory and downtown Kansas City, a visit to a water theme park, outdoor demonstrations hosted by DEWALT, Lowe's and other sponsors, a TECHSPO and career fair and a Kansas City Royals baseball game on SkillsUSA Night at Kauffman Stadium. Participants are also eligible to enter a raffle for the top prize of a Harley 2011 Dyna® Super Glide® cycle, custom painted by Justin Barnes, featured artist on Discovery Channel's American Chopper.

In addition to the student competitors, CNM will be sending eight SkillsUSA advisors. School of Applied Technologies instructor Alain Archuleta and SkillsUSA director Sharon Gordon, also members of the New Mexico SkillsUSA Board of Directors, will attend organizational meetings that take place at the conference, which occupies four floors of the Kemper Arena complex. Industry sponsors from the Albuquerque area with a presence at the conference include Matheson Tri-Gas, MEGA Corp. and Miller Bonded Mechanical.

Last year in Kansas City, seven CNM students earned gold, silver or bronze medals at the national event, which drew 5,000 student competitors.

On the home front, major changes are taking place. With the disbanding of the Center for Community Programs and Partnerships as part of the Budget Reduction Plan, SkillsUSA, Service Learning and Phi Theta Kappa are moving from Student Services to Academic Affairs. Sharon Gordon will continue as director.

"We're hoping to grow the programs, with more faculty presence in leadership as well as classroom involvement," she said. "We also intend to reach more students; historically, Applied Technologies has been a stronghold, but there are competitions for programs in the schools of Business & Information Technology and Health, Wellness & Public Safety, with new events in development. All students are eligible to compete in the leadership categories, where CNM has done very well."

On the specialized skill side, one huge change is coming; Alain Archuleta, a mainstay in the CNM SkillsUSA and Service Learning communities, is retiring after many years of active involvement. Fortunately, many other active faculty members are ready to pick up the torch and continue CNM's award-winning heritage in these programs that benefit students and the community in many ways.