SkillsUSA Rhode Island Fall Leadership Conference

Mark your calendars today! The annual fall leadership conference is scheduled for Friday, November 6th. This year we will be at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick. Registration is open and you can email your student names to 

The conference is completely run by your state officer team. Attendees will have an opportunity to earn their Statesman Award, the highest leadership award we give to students. Representatives from business and industry will also be invited to attend and interact with our members. The day will start with registration at 8:45 am and conclude no later than 1:15 pm. A box lunch will be provided to all attendees. Registration is $15 for members and $25 for non-members. Sign up today.

Want to Make an Impact? Wear Red!

There was a sea of red at this year’s Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI). A total of 432 students and advisors from 27 states and Puerto Rico attended the annual WLTI for advocacy training. The showcase activity of the institute was on Tuesday, Sept. 22, when participants wore their well-known red SkillsUSA blazers to the U.S. Capitol and had the opportunity to meet with many of their elected legislators. Photos appeared across social media to document the special day.

The conference began Saturday night with a welcome dinner at the Hilton Washington Dulles featuring former SkillsUSA member Dr. Annette Parker, president of Minnesota’s South Central College. She is a strong voice for CTE at the national level. On Sunday, students and advisors toured Washington, D.C., and visited the SkillsUSA National Leadership Center for dinner, outdoor games and a scavenger hunt.


Monday was dedicated to training sessions on congressional visits, how a bill becomes a law, enhanced communication skills, sharing your story, and ways to use all this information after returning home. Keynote speaker at lunch was SkillsUSA board member Jennifer Worth of the American Association of Community Colleges. She did an excellent job of bringing a message the students could relate to: how to be “not only a survivor but a thriver” in the technical workforce.


Tuesday, it was time to put these new skills in action. Nine busloads of students and advisors started the day by visiting the Pentagon Memorial to lay a wreath in remembrance of those lost on Sept. 11, 2001. Then the State Officers met with Senators Reed and Whitehouse and Mr. Sam Morgante from Congressman Langevin’s office. Later in the day, two more wreath-laying events took place at Arlington National Cemetery: at the Tomb of the Unknowns, and at the John F. Kennedy gravesite. The week ended with students completing their National Statesman Award requirements, enjoying a closing celebration dance Tuesday evening and an awards breakfast on Wednesday before heading home. For WLTI photos or to download the group photo taken at the U.S. Capitol, go to:

SkillsUSA Rhode Island State Pin Contest Rules

The annual pin design contest has over one hundred entries each year.  The winning  pin designs will be used as part of the SkillsUSA Rhode Island Championships and at the National Skills and Leadership Conference in June of 2016. The contest is open to any SkillsUSA RI member. The design rules are simple, please follow them exactly to allow fairness in the judging of the designs.

1. All entries must be rendered in color (full or two color).

2. Preferably, entries will be created in a design software package such as Illustrator, Photoshop or other compatible software. Entries may also be hand-drawn, painted or rendered in colored pencils or markers.

3. Two versions of the design must appear on a single page 8.5”x11”.
–           Larger Version: 7” x 7” (No Larger)
–           Smaller Version: 1” x 1”

4. The SkillsUSA emblem or logo (or elements of either) cannot appear on the pin.

5. All copyright laws must be followed in the creation of the design.

6. Contestants must include a paragraph or two covering the following:
–           The design process.
–           Why he/she feels it represents their state.
–           What are its unique qualities?
–           Why would other students/advisors want to wear the pin?

7. The student who designs the pin selected as the “state pin” will be asked to go on to the          national conference to represent Rhode Island in the Pin Design Demonstration Contest.

8. Designs must highlight SkillsUSA Rhode Island’s 40th Anniversary.

8. The catagories are Judge Pin, Competitor Pin, and State Pin.

9. All designs must be turned into by October 31, 2015. Submissions must be emailed to the SkillsUSA RI State Director, Joshua Klemp, at  Submitted designs become the property of SkillsUSA Rhode Island. SkillsUSA RI reserves the right to manipulate any design. However, the original designer will get credit.

If you have any questions please contact the SkillsUSA Rhode Island office at 825-2316 or via email Thank you for your support!

2015-2016 State Officer Team


High School Officers




Karlisle Wilbur, Chariho
Advertising Design and Digital Printing


Vice President

Nicholas Guarino, East Providence
Graphic Communications


Alexis Tella, Cranston


Teagan Orlando, Woonsocket
Graphic Communications


Isabelle Pare, Warwick
Health Occupations


Kiara Creppin, Providence
Residential Construction


Post-Secondary / College Officers


Team Manager

Amanda Balch, New England Tech
Construction Management


National College/Post Secondary Secretary
Danielle O’Brien, Johnson & Wales
Counseling Psychology

Welcome Back from SkillsUSA RI!

Welcome back to another school year. Last school year was a great success for our association; in fact our best ever. Our membership hit an all time high with over 6,700 members, we had the largest state championships in our history, an appearance on The Rhode Show and our best ever showing at the National Leadership and Skills Conference with 20 of our students winning a medal and one student elected to the national officer team. Our successes are due to the support and enthusiasm from our educators and students. We just want to say THANK YOU!
As we enter into a new membership year we are looking to kick it up a couple of notches. Here are some areas we are focusing on for the 2015-2016 school year.

– Celebrating our association’s 40th Anniversary.
– Increasing our professional development opportunities and support for our educators.
– Adding new contests to the 2016 SkillsUSA Rhode Island Championships.
– Growing our middle school membership and adding a new state contest, the Team Engineering Challenge.
– Developing new business and industry partners and increase support for our state champions.
– And finally a new and exciting event called “Jump into STEM” (More details later).

We are an integral part of the CTE experience. SkillsUSA Rhode Island is here to support you and your efforts in the classroom.  Whether it is a guest speaker for your class, someone to serve on your advisory board or questions about a contest; please let us know if you need anything. Thank you for your support for our program.

Have a great school year!

SkillsUSA Theme for 2015-2016

The SkillsUSA competition theme for the 2015-16 year is

SkillsUSA: Champions at Work

Connecting You to Career Success

The topic to be addressed by contestants in the Chapter Display, Prepared Speech and Promotional Bulletin Board competitions is how our theme, SkillsUSA: Champions at Work, addresses the SkillsUSA national program of work in the area of professional development.

Within this topic, contestants might illustrate or discuss any of the following:

  • Why is ensuring career success for every member of SkillsUSA important to the economic health and stability of our nation?
  • Describe how the mission of SkillsUSA — to empower its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens — guarantees career success.
  • How has the vision of career success changed over the decades?
  • Describe the skills and attitudes that business and industry are demanding of students for career success.
  • What elements of SkillsUSA ensure that members experience career success?
  • How has the definition of career success changed for the current generation of students from their grandparents’ generation?
  • What does career success look like in the 21st century?
  • In the next 10 years, what skills are needed to fill the job-market skills gap, and how do SkillsUSA members ensure career success through their SkillsUSA involvement?
  • What are the connections that SkillsUSA has built to ensure career success for its members?
  • How has SkillsUSA adapted over the years to provide members with the skills needed for career success?
  • How has your involvement in SkillsUSA ensured that you will be connected to career success?
  • Career success involves much more than mere dollars; describe the elements of experiencing true career success.
  • Which SkillsUSA programs ensure that members are developing personalskills that are needed for career success? Program examples may include those that improve the following: integrity, self-motivation, work ethic, professionalism and responsibility.
  • Which SkillsUSA programs ensure that members are developing workplaceskills that are needed for career success? Program examples may include those that improve the following skills: communication, decision making, teamwork, cultural sensitivity and leadership.
  • Which SkillsUSA programs ensure that members are developing technicalskills that are needed for career success? Program examples may include those that improve the following skills: technical literacy, job-specific tasks, service to the community, ongoing professional development and an awareness of safety and health issues.

2015 SkillsUSA Champions

Cabinetmaking Nathan Bugbee
College  New England Institute of Tech
Bronze  Warwick, RI
Community Action Project Team B (consisting of Yanilette Cepeda, Katherine Suero)
High School  Providence Career & Technical Academy
Bronze  Providence, RI
Community Service Team E (consisting of Vanessa Montes De Oca, Alexandra Rodriguez)
High School  Providence Career & Technical Academy
Bronze  Providence, RI
Crime Scene Investigation Team O (consisting of Nicole Diaz, Shelby St. Clair, Brianna Randolph)
High School  Chariho Career Tech Center
Gold  Wood River Junction, RI
Crime Scene Investigation Team N (consisting of Stas Belch, Raven Staplins, Nicole Cioffi)
College  New England Institute of Tech
Bronze  Warwick, RI
Health Knowledge Bowl Team S (consisting of Erin Blake, Lizbeth Brea Polanco, Kobe Pereira, Erin Igoe)
High School  Cranston Career Tech Center
Gold  Cranston, RI
Health Occupations Professional Portfolio Samira L Dias
High School  W M Davies Junior Career Tech High School
Silver  Lincoln, RI
Nurse Assisting Celina Carreiro
High School  Warwick Career Tech Center
Silver  Warwick, RI
Robotics and Automation Technology Team AB (consisting of Daniel Rainone, Zachary Lachance)
High School  Cranston Career Tech Center
Silver  Cranston, RI
Technical Drafting Jason Valdes
High School  Warwick Career Tech Center
Silver  Warwick, RI


On June 3rd the 2014-2015 state officer team will complete their terms. SkillsUSA Rhode Island thanks them for their service over the past year. They have done an outstanding job representing our student and teacher members. We wish them the best of luck for the future. Here is what’s next for our student leaders.

From left to right front row:
Amanda Crowley will be attending Rhode Island College majoring in Elementary Education.
Celina Carreiro will be attending Quinnipiac University majoring in Nursing.
Nicole Bucci will be attending Quinnipiac University majoring in Nursing.
Christina Inthasane will be attending Johnson and Wales University majoring in Hospitality Management.
Danielle O’Brien will continue her studies in the fall at Johnson and Wales and she is running for National Office this summer in Louisville.
Amanda Balch will continue her studies in the fall at New England Tech and will be joining the SkillsUSA RI management team.

From left to right back row:
Devon Collins will be attending Johnson and Wales in the fall as an early enrollment student
Tyler Nettleton will be attending Champlain College majoring in Cyber Security and Networking
Orland Iglesias has been accepted into the AmeriCorps NCCC program. NCCC stands for the National Civilian Community Corps.

Not Pictured
Elena Melekos graduated from the Counseling Psychology program at Johnson and Wales. She begins her an internship this summer at a high school in New Jersey.
Rachel Tousignant completed the Running Start program at CCRI this year and will graduate from Coventry High School. Rachel plans on spending the summer backpacking through Europe before she starts the Nursing program at Florida Southern College.


Congratulations to Providence Career and Technical Academy!

This week I received news that the Providence Career and Technical Academy would be receiving two major awards from SkillsUSA. First, the SkillsUSA Chapter Excellence Program honors the very best chapters through Models ofExcellence awards. These chapters define excellence, and their best practices will serve as models for other chapters to emulate in strengthening their local programs.

As a Models of Excellence (MOE) winner, PCTA is among an elite group of the top 24 SkillsUSA chapters nationally. This distinct honor represents extraordinary efforts in applying the SkillsUSA framework for developing personal, workplace and technical skills.

As Models of Excellence recipients, PCTA representatives are cordially invited to attend the National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) in Louisville, Ky.,June 22-26 and are offered a $2,000 chapter grant. During NLSC, PCTA will be honored at a recognition dinner and on stage in front of the entire SkillsUSA delegation. They will have an opportunity to compete for top chapter honors during MOE interviews on Wednesday, June 24.

In addition to the Model of Excellence award, the “Ladies in Pink and Two in Blue” team representing our state in the Community Service and Community Action Project contests will be receiving the gold level President’s Volunteer Service Award. This award is issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation on behalf of the President of the United States to recognize the best in American spirit and to encourage all Americans to improve their communities through volunteer service, and civic participation.

Congratulations to chapter advisor Michael Zanfagna, cosmetology instructor Rashaan Gomes-McCreary and the team at PCTA for their impressive accomplishments and for serving as role models to other chapters.pvdaward1

SkillsUSA 50th Anniversary Celebration in Leesburg

Watch the celebration…