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About

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 (including health) 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 372,655 students and instructors annually. This includes 20,598 instructors who join as professional members. Including alumni, SkillsUSA membership totals over 434,000. SkillsUSA has served 13.6 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
  • 13.6 million annual members total since 1965
  • 650 national partners –– businesses, trade associations and unions
  • More than 19,000 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
Our Impact

Our Impact

FireworksIn 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

FirstConferenceNationwide Network of students and instructors in a common bond with industry. We’ve grown from 26 state and territorial associations to 53 and served over 14 million annual members total since 1965. More than 600 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 19,000 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.

Overview of SkillsUSA

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 (including health) occupations. 

Mission:

SkillsUSA empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. SkillsUSA improves the quality of our nation’s future skilled workforce through the development of Framework skills that include personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics.

Vision:

SkillsUSA produces the most highly skilled workforce in the world, providing every member the opportunity for career success.

Membership:

More than 372,000 students and advisors join SkillsUSA each year, organized within more than 19,000 local classrooms at 4,658 schools in 53 state and territorial associations. In 2019-20, 20,598 teachers served as professional members and SkillsUSA advisors. Combining alumni membership, the total number reached last year was 434,141. SkillsUSA has served 13.6 million members since its founding in 1965.

Partners:

More than 650 business, industry and labor organizations actively support SkillsUSA at the national level through financial aid, in-kind contributions, and involvement of their people in SkillsUSA activities. Many more work directly with state associations and local chapters. Commitment by industry to the annual national SkillsUSA Championships is valued at more than $36 million.

Programs:

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SkillsUSA offers local, state and national opportunities for students can to learn and practice personal, workplace and technical skills. These three components comprise the SkillsUSA Framework, a blueprint for career readiness. Local chapters conduct a full program of work and many students also attend a district or state conference. At the SkillsUSA Championships, more than 6,500 students compete in more than 100 occupational and leadership skill areas each June. These national technical competitions help establish industry standards for job skill training and entry-level workers. SkillsUSA is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a successful model of employer-driven youth development training.

Resources:

SkillsUSA offers many resources for educators and students. The SkillsUSA Career Essentials prepares students with career-ready skills so they are productive and promotable. Centered around the SkillsUSA Framework, the suite helps students develop personal, workplace and technical skills that allow them stand out in the skilled labor marketplace. The Chapter Excellence Program honors chapter achievement centered on intentional project-based work that is led by students. The SkillsUSA Championships competitive events program is offered at local, state and national levels with competencies and embedded academics that align with the needs of industry. Student2Student Mentoring gives high school students opportunity to mentor younger students around career exploration. CareerSafe is a 10-hour online OSHA safety-training program that provides students with a workplace credential. The SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards is the official competition guide, with a full list of competencies as well as embedded academic skills.

For more information:
Jane DeShong Short, Senior Manager, Public Relations
703-737-0612

Karen Kitzel, Associate Director, Communications
703-737-0607