This article is from Tiger Newspaper’s September 2015 issue
By Cole Cahill
The SkillsUSA Entrepreneur team from South Pasadena took 5th place at the SkillsUSA National Conference in Louisville, Kentucky last June. The team claimed first in both the regional and statewide conferences in order to compete at the national level against representatives from 20 states.
“This was our first time ever going to nationals, so we didn’t really know what was expected of us. SkillsUSA is more toned down compared to Virtual Business,” sophomore Alex Fonseca said.
The group, made up of seniors Ryoung Kim and Noelle Cho, junior Jake McCurdy, and Fonseca, presented their compost company called Orbis. The business plan for Orbis was originally conceived by the JV Virtual Business team, and was modified to compete in the Entrepreneurship event in SkillsUSA, which hosts other vocational competitions including such as masonry, carpentry and photography.
“We made some changes on [our Virtual Business] financial statements and we also incorporated a detailed process of composting in the SkillsUSA presentation,” Kim said. “The competition was focused more on the company’s future finances. The company was still selling the same products and was offering the same services.”
Next year’s team, which will likely recruit students from the Introduction to Virtual Business class, looks forward to this year’s competition where they will develop a new business idea. The team hopes to place higher than they did last June. The company and competitors are yet to be decided and there are no formal prerequisites.
“[The program] is another way of expanding what you’re learning, another place you can be eligible for scholarships, and a great opportunity to make lots of contacts,” SkillsUSA advisor Ms. Matson-Fennell said.
The team’s first competition takes place in January at LA Trade Tech. The state conference will be in San Diego in March.