SkillsUSA sets fundraiser goal


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Excel TECC teacher Ron Suchy has promoted the SkillsUSA fundraiser on Twitter.

Danielle Prilepskiy, Staff Writer

SkillsUSA is an organization that includes students enrolled in six ExcelTECC programs. Students in SkillsUSA recently hosted a fundraiser to gain enough money to compete in their upcoming competitions.

SkillsUSA adviser Ron Suchy thinks SkillsUSA strengthens the students’ skills both academically, as well as mentally. He said, “We help them build workplace skills and strong technical and academic skills. We have a lot of leadership, team building, and competitive opportunities.”

Suchy believes the fundraiser was an important part of SkillsUSA that is not looked upon enough. He said, “In order to fund these competitions, ExcelTECC uses a fundraiser called SNAP!raise. I learned about them at a football game in Pittsburgh, and they sounded like a good idea.”

Suchy used SNAP!raise last year to fund the regional and state competitions. He said, “But [we only used it] for a handpicked group of 45 or so students. This year, we’re opening up the fundraiser to the entire club; we have at present about 200 or more students.”

SkillsUSA’s budget is around $20,000 a year, which includes the programming, regional, state, and national competitions. Suchy said, “We just completed the SNAP fundraiser which generated a little over $10,000 and put us on a good foot before competitions start.”

According to Suchy, competing in the SkillsUSA competition is exciting. “We’re one of the biggest competitions in Ohio – 11 districts, 26 communities. It gives our students an opportunity to not just sit in a classroom, but engage and participate in hands-on activities working towards something with somebody that they never would have the opportunity to work with if they weren’t in ExcelTECC,” Suchy said.

Senior Emma Burkey is a part of SkillsUSA and has competed before, as well as having knowledge on the SNAP! fundraiser. She said, “Last year I competed in a competitions called Career Pathways Showcase under the category of Industrial Engineering where me and two others presented an engineering project we worked on in CADD, explaining the process it took to make and design our project as well as business connections and how the project benefited the community.”

This year, Burkey is working on a project with a teammate named Jillian. She said, “[We’re] competing in Additive Manufacturing where we’re given a problem and through 3D printing and other forms of manufacturing, we are to solve the problem and present our design process in front of judges. The fundraiser gives us these opportunities, [and] I know part of our fundraiser is the SNAP! fundraiser, but we also leave it open to anyone else who wants to help out.”

SkillsUSA has already raised approximately half of their $20,000 goal. Regional competitions start on February 25 at Lorain County, and state championships go through April 24-26 in Columbus.