2017-07-13 / Front Page

Isabelle Linkous was recognized by Mike Rowe at SkillsUSA event


Lincoln County High School student Isabelle Linkous competed in sheet metal at the Skills USA National Leadership and Skills Conference, and received the SkillsUSA Travel Scholarship. Linkous was also personally congratulated by with Dirty Jobs star Mike Rowe. Lincoln County High School student Isabelle Linkous competed in sheet metal at the Skills USA National Leadership and Skills Conference, and received the SkillsUSA Travel Scholarship. Linkous was also personally congratulated by with Dirty Jobs star Mike Rowe. Lincoln County High School stu­dent Isabelle Linkous was person­ally congratulated by Mike Rowe, executive producer and television host of multiple shows including Dirty Jobs, at . .the .SkillsUSAU.. Na­tional .

Leadership and Skills Confer­ence, held in Louisville, Kentucky, where she competed in the sheet metal competition.

Not only did Linkous have a suc­cessful run at nationals, but she was also awarded the SkillsUSA Travel Scholarship to cover competition costs.

“We are going to be the future workforce, and in that we are moti­vated, we are dedicated, and we are ready to improve our skills so that we can get out there and take over these jobs and really make the world a better place – a better working world,” Linkous commented at the conference.

Linkous took first place in the SkillsUSA sheet metal contest at the State Leadership Conference, garnering her the title of “State Winner,” back in April of this year, which advanced her to the national leadership competition in Lousville. She acted as a representative of LCHS’ Metalworking Chapter at the conference.

The SkillsUSA Travel Scholar­ship, sponsored by the mikerowe­WORKS Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation, and Koch In­dustries, Inc., provided travel ac­commodations to the 2017 National Leadership and Skills Conference, which were awarded to SkillsUSA members who placed first in their states’ SkillsUSA Championships and who were in need of financial assistance.

SkillsUSA is an educational program that promotes vocational careers for students across the country. It sets to .“improve..the .qual­ity of America’s skilled workforce through a structured program of citizenship, leadership, employ­ability, technical, and professional skills training. SkillsUSA enhances the lives and careers of students, instructors and industry representa­tives as they strive to be champions at work.”

“The skills gap is not only real, it’s a reflection of what we value,” Rowe, CEO of mikeroweWORKS Foundation, said. “To close the gap, we need to change the way the coun­try feels about work. My founda­tion supports SkillsUSA because it celebrates the kind of skills that are actually in demand. Through excel­lence and competition, SkillsUSA encourages real-world training, and in the process, lays the foundation for thousands of careers in skilled trades. SkillsUSA works.”

“By helping the SkillsUSA Travel Scholarship recipients overcome barriers to success, we hope these competitors can recognize the dig­nity of hard work and find fulfill­ment within the impressive work they do,” Brennan Brown, director of educational partnerships at the Charles Koch Foundation, said. “The Charles Koch Foundation appreciates and supports these students who continue to challenge the status quo by developing their unique talents and abilities that will one day move our society towards a greater future for all.”

SkillsUSA is a vital solution to the growing U.S. skills gap. This nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry ensures America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive.

Founded in 1965 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Educa­tion, the association serves more than 335,000 member students and instructors each year in middle schools, high schools and col­leges.

This diverse talent pipeline cov­ers 130 trade, technical, and skilled service occupations, the majority STEM-related. More than 600 cor­porations, trade associations, busi­nesses, and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA at the national level.

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, set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide needed recognition to its students. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and other work place credentials.

The mikeroweWORKS Founda­tion is a 501(c)(3) public charity that works hard to debunk myths about the skilled trades and help close the skills gap. As CEO, Rowe speaks regularly about the country’s dysfunctional relationship with work and challenges the persistent belief that a four-year degree is automatically the best path for the most people.

Through its scholarship programs, including the Work Ethic Scholar­ship Program and the SkillsUSA Travel Scholarships, the Founda­tion provides financial assistance to people getting trained for skilled jobs that are in demand. The Foun­dation has granted, or facilitated the granting of, nearly $5 million in education for trade schools across the country.

Charles G. Koch has supported research and educational programs focused on improving human well- being for more than 50 years. The Charles Koch Foundation supports more than 300 universities and col­leges across the country, supporting scholars and universities interested in advancing an understanding of the link between free societies and well-being.

The foundation also provides students resources to further their educational opportunities and career development.

Based in Wichita, Kansas, Koch Industries, Inc. is one of the largest private companies in America.

With a presence in about 60 coun­tries, Koch companies employ more than 120,000 people worldwide, with about 70,000 of those in the United States. From January 2009 to the present, Koch companies have earned more than 1,200 awards for safety, environmental excellence, community stewardship, innova­tion, and customer service.

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