The numbers are in and conference registration was the highest in SkillsUSA history with 10,146 registrants. I’m not going to go through all of the figures here, but I’m interested to see confirmed something I suspected on site: there was a 32 percent increase in the number of female contestants this year and a 34 percent increase in females attending conference overall. Given the traditional demographics of this organization and our instructional program areas, that’s an interesting shift. I also saw a lot of television coverage. It turns out I was right there too. The media report for the greater-Kansas City area this year shows 80 TV, radio, online and print stories about conference and the coverage, isn’t finished yet.
I believe the conference went very well. I’ve received lots of compliments. The state association directors appeared to be happy and so were the partners. That’s the way I like it because if they’re happy, then the students must have been served.
If you want a glimpse of the effect the national conference can have on a newcomer — who’s interested in business and STEM education — take a ride with Julie Kantor at the Huffington Post at: www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-kantor/dirty-job-america-embrace_b_3516922.html. She’s a believer.