SkillsUSA is committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment for its members and visitors to come together under the umbrella of Career and Technical Education.
We expect all members and participants to contribute to the spirit of inclusion and unity, and contribute actively toward maintaining a safe and welcoming environment.
Click on the headers below to explore each topic.
SkillsUSA has expectations for conduct, including representing yourselves and the organization to the best of your abilities. This is an impressive group of individuals, and we are confident that you will act with integrity and will treat one another respectfully.
SkillsUSA is committed to protecting the safety of participants and is continually evaluating how best to create a safe and inclusive environment conducive to learning and personal growth.
Prohibiting Acts of Bias, including Discrimination and Harassment
While participating at SkillsUSA events, no one should be treated negatively based upon one’s identification with certain groups (sometimes referred to as “protected classes” because they are groups that are “protected” by laws and/or policies).
When someone feels mistreated based on their membership in one of the groups just mentioned, it could be an act of bias, in the form of discrimination or harassment.
|Discrimination is treating someone differently based on one’s identity status (or membership in a protected group).||Harassment is a more interpersonal form of discrimination, and happens when you experience unwelcome conduct because of your identify (e.g., your race, sex, religion, etc.) that is either severe or pervasive enough that it changes your participation experience.|
|A student was excluded from a SkillsUSA program because of a State Director’s assumption that the participant could not travel due to a disability. This student was excluded from participation because of a disability.||A student in your group is persistently making sexist or racist jokes, and it is making you uncomfortable to the extent that you start avoiding group activities.
Have you or a friend experienced discrimination or harassment at school or at work? What recourse did you have?
SkillsUSA prohibits ANY retaliation for raising a concern of an act of bias, discrimination, or harassment. No one should treat you negatively or exclude you from participating because you raised a concern.
A student reported harassment to SkillsUSA, and as a result they were excluded from participating in an upcoming SkillsUSA event because the reporting student’s Advisor was concerned that the report showed the student was not a “team player.” It is your right to bring a concern forward, and you should not be punished for it.
Although it’s helpful now, and will be helpful in your future careers, to have an understanding of these terms, SkillsUSA does not expect you to remember exact definitions. What is most important is to remember that no one should be mistreated because of their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, gender transition status, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or marital status. SkillsUSA National staff members are here to help if you have a concern.
Our expectation and hope is that no one feels mistreated while participating in our events. Unfortunately, negative incidents may occur and one may experience inappropriate conduct. SkillsUSA has a plan in place should such an incident arise.
What can I do?
If you feel you’ve been discriminated against, harassed, or were subject to any bias-related conduct, you are encouraged to report this behavior to SkillsUSA. You may do that safely through the online form on the SkillsUSA website or through the event app.
Once you submit a report, the SkillsUSA’s Response Team will promptly assist you and take appropriate steps to help you feel and be safe.
Reports can be made anonymously, if desired, though this may limit SkillsUSA’s ability to help.
SkillsUSA cannot promise complete confidentiality, as steps may need to be taken to protect safety, but SkillsUSA will do everything possible to protect your privacy and only share information on a “need to know” basis.
We all play an important part in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment
We appreciate your attention to these important issues, even if they can be difficult to talk about.
We are thrilled to be together for this event, and are excited to be connected with so many inspiring individuals.
Our mission is to empower you to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. Foundational to a highly skilled workforce is the ability to work and learn in an environment where one can thrive. As such, we encourage you to serve our mission by conducting yourselves in a welcoming and inclusive way at all times.