ST. GEORGE — A student majoring in radio and audio production at Dixie State University with aspirations to work for National Public Radio was recently elected to serve as her division’s treasurer for a 335,000-member nonprofit promoting skills development in fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
Madison Whitney was elected treasurer of the college/postsecondary division of SkillsUSA through a formal elections process during the 53rd annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.
As treasurer, Whitney will serve as a student leader, spokesperson and ambassador for the organization. She will speak before students, instructors and representatives of business and industry. She will also represent the national organization at various events.
“The National Officer Team works as a team, and many of us get the chance to spearhead different responsibilities,” Whitney told St. George News in an interview. “We host and teach at an advocacy and leadership conference called the Washington Leadership Training Institute in Washington, D.C.”
To run for a national office, SkillsUSA members must follow the election process for their local training program, school and state. Once they make it to the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, candidates must then pass a knowledge test, interview for candidacy and campaign to student delegates representing the 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“Madison is a strong advocate for SkillsUSA and doesn’t hesitate to emphasize how the organization builds productive, responsible workers and world class citizens,” Tim Lawrence, executive director of SkillsUSA, said in a news release issued by the organization. “She believes in the power that SkillsUSA brings to every one of the organization’s members, advisors and industry partners.”
SkillsUSA bills itself as a solution to the growing U.S. skills gap and partners with students, instructors and industry with the goal of ensuring that the country has a skilled, competitive workforce. The organization covers 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, the majority STEM-related.
SkillsUSA programs are integrated into career and technical education through a framework of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. Local, state and national championships, designed and judged by industry, are held regularly to provide recognition of students and their skillsets. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and other workplace credentials.
“I have seen the development of myself and so many others to become their best selves,” Whitney said. “Our SkillsUSA framework develops personal, workplace, and technical skills in students to make them job ready, day one.”
Whitney is currently attending classes at DSU and is two semesters away from earning her associate’s degree.
“Once I receive my associate’s at DSU, I’ll be transferring to Utah Valley University for a bachelor’s degree relating to broadcast journalism and audio production,” Whitney said. “My dream is to work at NPR eventually.”
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