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SkillsUSA Earns Top-Level Attention

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona made it a priority to attend SkillsUSA’s 2022 National Leadership & Skills Conference in Atlanta. In the exclusive interview below, he explains why.
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Photo by Lloyd Wolf

SkillsUSA’s 2022 National Leadership & Skills Conference (NLSC) featured a wide variety of VIP guests from industry, education and government. They came to the NLSC because they understand just how important SkillsUSA and career and technical education in general are to the future of American industry and our economy. They also understand how organizations like SkillsUSA can shape not just a career, but a life.

One of those VIPs was U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

Cardona arrived in Atlanta on Tuesday afternoon, as he was scheduled to speak at the Opening Session that night. Before his speech, however, he took some time to tour the floors where the SkillsUSA Championships career competitions were being prepared. He also met with a group of automotive technology students (Cardona was an automotive student himself in high school) and sat down with former SkillsUSA National Officer Dianna Serrano for the interview below. In it, the Secretary speaks about his impressions of SkillsUSA and the students he met at the conference, the future of career and technical education and more.

“How do we build a better education system than the one we had before the pandemic?” Cardona asked the crowd during his Opening Session speech. “President Biden and I believe that career and technical education and career and technical student organizations like SkillsUSA are important parts of the solution.”

The declaration of support made SkillsUSA’s annual theme, unveiled just a few days later, that much more appropriate: “SkillsUSA: Our Time is Now.”

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