Friday, May 24, 2024

Plains students raising funds for Skills USA conference

| May 10, 2023 12:00 AM

Many students from Plains High School recently participated in the Montana Skills USA state competition. Skills USA is an organization that introduces high school and middle school students to training programs that include trade, technical, skilled service and health occupations.

It’s no secret that there is a shortage in the skilled labor market, especially post-pandemic. Skills USA is one program that exposes high school students to prospective careers that could help turn these trends around.

Skilled labor is so important that the Montana Office of Public Instruction recently allocated more than $2 million to hire 10 regional career coaches to work with local school districts and businesses throughout the state to aid students in identifying educational opportunities and developing skills needed to join the workforce.

The three of us – Piper, Izzy and Teirainy – took first place in the promotional bulletin board category at the state competition, which affords us the opportunity to compete at the National Leadership Conference in Atlanta in mid-June. We are in the midst of fundraising to attend that conference, which is the purpose of this letter.

We must raise $15,000 for airfare, lodging and travel-related expenses to attend the conference. The school is searching for available funds, but it is unclear as of yet how much they can provide. We are planning a raffle fundraiser as well as events at Plains Day on June 3, and will be applying to various education-oriented grant sources for support. We hope to also garner community support through donations.

If you, like us, value skilled labor and training programs to build our workforce, we hope you will consider supporting our endeavor to further our education and networking through the Skills USA national competition and leadership conference. Donations of any amount will help us meet our goal of attending the conference.

If you wish to donate, please send payment to Plains High School, PO Box 549 (physical address: 412 Rittenour St), Plains, MT 59859.

The school is a tax-exempt charitable organization 
(EIN 81-6000915). Please be sure to earmark the payment for the Skills USA National Competition. In the unlikely but very fortunate circumstance that excess funds are raised, they will reside within the Skills USA school account to support future competitors.

Should you have any questions, please reach out to our advisor, Mr. Kyle Mitchell, at 406-552-3435.

We sincerely appreciate your consideration and generosity and thank you for your support!

— Piper Bergstrom, Teirainy Bellinger and Izzy Crabb