HAVERHILL — Superintendent Maureen Lynch announced that Whittier Tech senior Jaidyn Craig recently attended the SkillsUSA Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI).
Craig, a senior from Haverhill studying Medical Assisting, attended the Institute in Washington, D.C. from Sept. 17-21. The Institute provided students an opportunity to grow their professionalism, communication and leadership skills.
Craig was invited to attend following his election as the SkillsUSA Massachusetts President for the 2022-2023 school year.
During the trip, students visited Congress and had the opportunity to meet with elected officials, including Associate Deputy Secretary of Labor Nikki McKinney.
Students talked to elected officials and staff members about their education paths and career technical education training programs, the value of CTE, and the benefits of SkillsUSA. They discussed the importance of career readiness skills in the modern workplace and how SkillsUSA develops these skills in students of all ages and backgrounds.
The overall goal of the meeting was to begin brainstorming ways for SkillsUSA Massachusetts to partner with the Department of Labor for workforce development and to close the skills gap. Students and staff plan to meet at a later date to continue brainstorming and to finalize the plans.
“My favorite part of WLTI was meeting with Associate Deputy Secretary of Labor McKinney. It was really cool to advocate for CTE,” Craig said. “The goal of CTE is to help close the skills gap. I am excited to share what I learned at WLTI with my chapter members here at Whittier and the members of the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators in October.”
Students also took an electric car tour, visited the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, toured the Naval Museum, toured the Capitol, participated in a CTE rally at the Capitol and more.
During the trip, Craig was awarded the SkillsUSA Statesman Award. He received this honor for demonstrating SkillsUSA knowledge and civic awareness, along with an understanding of the SkillsUSA Framework and articulating his personal CTE experience.
“Jaidyn returned from his WLTI training completely energized to share everything he has learned with our local chapter,” SkillsUSA Chapter Advisor and Allied Health Instructor Jane Moskevitz said. “Jaidyn is a true servant leader — he always has an attitude of inclusivity when involved in the planning of our chapter’s program of work and is a real embodiment of all things SkillsUSA.”
SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of education and industry founded in 1965 to strengthen our nation’s skilled workforce. Driven by employer demand, SkillsUSA helps students develop necessary personal and workplace skills along with technical skills grounded in academics. This SkillsUSA Framework empowers every student to succeed at work and in life while helping to close the skills gap in which millions of positions go unfilled.
Through SkillsUSA’s championships program and curricula, employers have long ensured schools are teaching relevant technical skills, and with SkillsUSA’s new credentialing process, they can now assess how ready potential employees are for the job. SkillsUSA has more than 366,000 annual paid members nationwide in high schools, colleges, and middle schools, covering over 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, and is recognized by the U.S. departments of Education and Labor as integral to career and technical education. With the addition of its alumni, membership last year was 427,432. The nonprofit has served nearly 14 million members since 1965.