To our SkillsUSA schools, teachers and other stakeholders,
As you might imagine, we are navigating uncharted territory in regard to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Many large scale, high profile events have already been cancelled or rescheduled. Across the state and nation, both secondary schools and post-secondary schools have either limited travel and/or closed for an extended period. With the recommended guidance of the SkillsUSA National Board Chair, Jen Worth, SkillsUSA South Carolina Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to cancel our 2020 state championship conference. While a variety of factors influenced this decision, be assured that the health and safety of our student members and other stakeholders is always our primary concern.
I recently met with several board members and held a virtual board meeting. Tonight, the majority of the board voted to cancel the conference. Over the coming days and weeks, we will conduct a multitude of conversations and meetings to determine how we move forward related to this. To give you some understanding behind our decisions, SkillsUSA Georgia (10,000+ members) put a halt to their conference that had just gotten underway this morning. They actually had many participants already onsite when they received the word. I just received notification this evening that Nebraska has cancelled their conference as well. This afternoon the National Board Chair of SkillsUSA communicated to state directors their recommendation to not hold any events for the next 30 days. We will have many limitations regarding Technical Chairs, venues and other stakeholders’ participation to deliberate, as we consider other options.
We realize the disappointment this will cause for so many of our dedicated students and teachers who worked hard throughout the year to get to this event. However, we also know that the same dedication and work ethic – as well as so many other positive traits that can be learned through SkillsUSA involvement – will help all of us weather this temporary storm and emerge stronger when this crisis inevitably clears.
Please give us some time to develop our plans as we look toward the future. We will soon be looking at options regarding State Officer Elections, Advisor of the Year interviews, etc., but we must deal with the immediate cancellation issue first. Expect communications regarding this as soon as we can develop the plan. We would like to request that you kindly let us work on these solutions without interruptions over the coming week and we will communicate our plans as we move forward.
Please remain connected with us on our state’s website (skillsusasc.org) for more updates as they emerge and as we develop more specific plans to help offset the negative effects of this unprecedented occurrence.
Thank you for everything you do and for your continued support of SkillsUSA.
SkillsUSA South Carolina State Office