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SkillsUSA WorldTeam Selection Process

SkillsUSA is a member of WorldSkills International headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands. This organization sponsors the biennial WorldSkills Competition (WSC).


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Participation in the WSC has provided a vehicle for comparing our career and technical students and methods of training with that of our major free-market competitors. The training technologies displayed at the WSC exemplify the ultimate standard in skilled workforce preparation. As such, they offer important lessons for technical instructors and for SkillsUSA’s corporate partners, whose productivity depends on employees with up-to-date skills. WSC results are one of the benchmarks by which a country’s global economic competitiveness is judged.

WorldSkills was founded in 1950 and currently has members from 48 countries, with efforts constantly being made to expand the membership. In 1973, President Richard M. Nixon recognized SkillsUSA (then known as VICA) as the official organization representing the United States. Only one organization may represent a country in the official delegation and certify that country’s international contestants.

SkillsUSA appoints one official delegate and one technical delegate to the governing body of the WorldSkills Organization, called the Member Assembly. A technical expert from the United States is appointed to each contest in which the United States competes and is responsible for working with technical experts from other countries to organize, conduct and judge that contest.

Team Selection Procedures and Criteria

  1. SkillsUSA will only compete in those WSC contests for which it has a well-qualified competitor, a well-qualified technical expert, adequate industry support for advanced training and general operating costs of the SkillsUSA WorldTeam contestant prior to the WSC.
  2. The SkillsUSA Foundation is responsible for obtaining financial support for SkillsUSA WorldTeam’s travel, lodging and other related costs, general operating costs and financial and in-kind support for advanced training of SkillsUSA WorldTeam competitors.
  3. WorldSkills contestants may not turn 23 years of age or older during the calendar year of the WSC. (Exceptions apply for the two-member Mechatronics team and Aviation Technology — contestants may be 25 years old.)
  4. Because the WSC is a biennial competition, students from two SkillsUSA Championships are considered. The number of competitors and selection procedure is determined by the technical experts and industry sponsors.
  5. Both high school and college/postsecondary contestants will be considered for an invitation to participate if they received the highest scores in relevant skills tests at previous SkillsUSA Championships and meet the age requirement. If these contestants are unable to attend, the next most qualified contestants are invited.*
  6. Invitations will be sent to eligible SkillsUSA Championships competitors who are selected by the national organization, and their instructors and state association directors will be notified.
  7. Only students continuing their education and/or currently working in the skill area of the international competition for which they are being considered will be eligible.
  8. Advanced training may require contestants to temporarily relocate. Contestants will not be expected to pay for their training or to relocate without adequate financial support.
  9. SkillsUSA WorldTeam members are required to attend all orientation and promotional meetings scheduled by the SkillsUSA national office prior to departure for the WSC.

Note: Competitors from the 2010 and 2011 SkillsUSA Championships will be considered for the 2013 WSC in Germany.

*All contestants are put in rank order with no regard to high school or college/postsecondary division, so a medalist does not automatically qualify for consideration of invitation to join SkillsUSA WorldTeam. The next step is to eliminate any high-scoring competitors who do not meet the age requirement. For example, a 1st-place postsecondary competitor with the highest score may be too old. We would then go to the next highest score which could be the 2nd-place postsecondary. If that student met the age requirement, he/she would be considered to compete in the WorldSkills Competitions. If for whatever reason, that student declined our invitation, we would continue with the next highest scoring, age eligible competitor until a selection is made.