Having been involved with education and the SkillsUSA organization for most of his life, Mr. Tim Lawrence firmly believes that getting involved in technical education over 30 years ago set his course for a successful future. Mr. Lawrence began his experience with technical education as a welding student and VICA member in high school, competing in the West Virginia State Skill Olympics in 1969. He worked in both labor and management positions in the manufacturing industry for nine years while continuing his education, and received his teaching credentials from Virginia Tech and his degree in Administration and Training from James Madison University. He fulfilled one of his life dreams when he became a teacher and successful SkillsUSA advisor in Tazewell County, Virginia in 1978, a position he thoroughly enjoyed for nearly ten years. In 1983, Mr. Lawrence achieved another life goal when he was named the National Trade and Industrial Education Teacher of the Year by the American Vocational Association (now ACTE).
In 1987, he joined the Virginia Department of Education as a vocational student specialist and chief executive officer of the Virginia Association of SkillsUSA. During his nine years as Virginia’s director, Mr. Lawrence expanded the SkillsUSA program and added several unique state activities, making it one of the most active state associations in America and the fourth largest in membership nationally. He also served students, teachers and administrators in other youth initiatives with the National Safety Council’s Youth Division, Students Against Driving Drunk and numerous community service organizations. Mr. Lawrence also served SkillsUSA nationally as a team leader and director of the Washington Leadership Training Institute and held every leadership position with the SkillsUSA State Association Directors Association. As chairman of this association, he served as a member of the national SkillsUSA Board of Directors. He also served on the task forces that developed the SkillsUSA Professional Development Program and Total Quality Curriculum.
In 1996, Mr. Lawrence accepted the position of Director of Business and Industry Partnerships at the SkillsUSA national leadership headquarters in Leesburg, Virginia. In this position, he oversaw all partnership activities, including SkillsUSA’s Youth Development Foundation, the SkillsUSA Championships, the World Skills Competition, and National SkillsUSA Alumni. He served as a board of director’s member for several national organizations and was also involved as a member of the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council. In January, 2001, Mr. Lawrence became the Executive Director of SkillsUSA, one of our nation’s largest individual membership organizations. In this position, Mr. Lawrence feels he works for the students and teachers of America’s technical education system.