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SkillsUSA National Conference
Moving to Louisville in 2015

Contact: Tom Holdsworth, SkillsUSA

Champions at Work

Leesburg, Va., January 16, 2008 – SkillsUSA, a national organization of career and technical education students, instructors and business partners announced today that it will move its National Leadership and Skills Conference to Louisville, Ky., for six years beginning in 2015. The organization has grown into one of the largest student groups in the country. Its annual conference and SkillsUSA Championships has been held in Kansas City since 1994. Since then, registration has grown from 6,458 to more than 8,841. It is estimated over 14,000 people attended the conference in 2007 and as many as 18,000 will participate in 2015. The SkillsUSA national conference – then called the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA) – was held in Louisville from 1982 – 1984 and from 1991 – 1993.

“Our national conference and SkillsUSA Championships is the nation’s biggest and best showcase for career and technical education students and the skilled workforce it prepares. We have an obligation to our members and sponsors to keep it growing,” said Tim Lawrence, executive director of SkillsUSA. “We look forward to being back in Louisville. As we plan for our continued growth, we know we will need larger convention facilities and over 6,000 hotel rooms nearby. Louisville meets those needs. And, the support of local education, business and industry is very important so we look forward to renewing old friendships and making some new ones,” Lawrence said. “SkillsUSA will use the next several years to begin transitioning to the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville.”

“Louisville won a competitive bid process, which attracted five other cities along the way all vying to become the next home to the SkillsUSA Championships,” said Shelly Coates, associate director for conference management services. “We have made this agreement seven years out to be sure the dates and space are there for SkillsUSA when we need them.”

More than 14,500 people—including students, teachers and business partners—are expected to participate in the weeklong event in 2008 and projected registration in 2015 is over 12,000. Participation could exceed 18,000. The SkillsUSA Championships currently occupies a space equivalent to 18 acres and could expand to 22.4 acres when the conference arrives in Louisville in 2015.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. The organization serves more than 285,000 students and instructors annually, with 15,000 school chapters in 54 state and territorial associations. More than 15,600 instructors and administrators are professional members of SkillsUSA.