SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. We help each student excel. A nonprofit national education association, SkillsUSA serves middle-school, high-school and college/postsecondary students preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations.
Mission Statement: SkillsUSA empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. We improve the quality of our nation’s future skilled workforce through the development of SkillsUSA Framework skills that include personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. Our vision is to produce the most highly skilled workforce in the world, providing every member the opportunity for career success.
SkillsUSA serves more than 331,000 students and instructors annually. This includes 19,019 instructors who join as professional members. Including alumni, SkillsUSA membership totals over 393,000. SkillsUSA has served nearly 14 million annual members cumulatively since 1965 and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor as a successful model of employer-driven workforce development.
By The Numbers
- 53 state and territorial associations
- Nearly 14 million annual members total since 1965
- 650 national partners –– businesses, trade associations and unions
- More than 17,000 classrooms conducting SkillsUSA training nationwide
- Thousands of community service activities each year
- 1/4 of U.S. occupational areas covered by SkillsUSA curriculum –– that’s 130 job categories
Student Research Foundation: “The SkillsUSA Advantage”
A 2023 report from the Student Research Foundation shows that SkillsUSA members consistently outperform their peers not enrolled in a career and technical student organization (CTSO) in seven essential areas:
- Earning a license or certification related to their field of study
- Meeting potential employers
- Being excited about their chosen career
- Gaining work experience as a student
- Understanding the work environment
- Being excited about school
- Connecting school to the real world
Among the 27,000 high school students surveyed, this “SkillsUSA Advantage” holds true regardless of gender, race/ethnicity or socioeconomic status. SkillsUSA students also reported greater access to expanded opportunities and dramatically improved career-readiness skills.
Full SkillsUSA Advantage Report
In 1965, 200 students, teachers and administrators held a conference at a hotel in Nashville, Tenn. In founding the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, their goal was to establish a nationwide organization to represent trade and industrial education and to serve student needs.
Now, SkillsUSA changes lives every day. Students discover and grow their career passions and appreciate their own self-worth through the work and dedication of instructors, administrators, association directors, industry partners and alumni.
We continue to reach toward the founders’ vision, but –– bottom line –– our core purpose is the same: to help instructors reach and engage their students so their students will succeed.
SkillsUSA is privileged to serve students, schools, colleges and industry, and the most inspiring instructors and administrators in American education.
Five Big Things Made Possible by SkillsUSA
Nationwide Network of students and instructors in a common bond with industry. We’ve grown from 26 state and territorial associations to 53 and served nearly 14 million annual members total since 1965. More than 650 businesses, corporations, trade associations and labor unions are partners at the national level alone, with thousands more supporting at state and local levels.
Employability and Leadership Training with award-winning curricula, such as the Professional Development Program (now SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Experiences), in support of our Program of Work. Our training, conducted in more than 17,489 classroom sections, provides applied instruction –– and opportunities for CTE students to lead as officers and serve as chapter members.
Civically Engaged chapters conduct thousands of community service activities every year, using their occupational and leadership skills to benefit their neighbors, hometowns and the nation. CTE students gain public respect and understanding as a result. As important, they experience the exhilaration of helping others as they become Champions at Work.
Skilled Workforce. We are addressing both the skills gap and skilled worker shortages through programs such as the SkillsUSA Championships and industry-driven SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Assessments. We serve 130 occupational titles that represent one-quarter of the jobs offered by our nation’s economy. Our work is very much about America’s future.
Representing CTE. From local school boards to governors and statehouses and all the way to Washington, D.C., SkillsUSA continues to send a long line of red blazers to talk with policymakers, legislators and the news media about the purpose of career education and how important it is to students and employers. Our students are the “face” of CTE.