How to Start a Chapter



Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to become a SkillsUSA Advisor. You are starting on a journey that is bound to offer many rewards for you and your students. SkillsUSA members develop into well-rounded people. There are a few basic steps to follow when starting a new chapter. Many of the resources you need can be found right here on the SkillsUSA website while others are available for purchase.

One of the most important things to remember is to help your students to learn an effective planning process for carrying out activities, and to let students take the lead on planning and carrying out your events. They will learn and grow as they carry out their calendar of events.

10 Steps to a Successful Chapter

  1. Secure support from your school administration. If you haven’t already started your chapter, then resources to assist you in securing support from your school administration can be found on our website – https://www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/membership-kit-2/high-school/1-secure-support-school-administrator/
  2. Connect to your state SkillsUSA director andsubmit both a charter and constitution to your state SkillsUSA Director. A charter application, a local chapter constitution and a complete listing of SkillsUSA directors and their contact information can be found at:  https://www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/membership-kit-2/high-school/2-connect-state-skillsusa-director/
  3. Ensure SkillsUSA in integral to CTE Program.  Introduce your students, parents, administrators and advisory committee members to the SkillsUSA Framework.  There are numerous online resources available to assist you – https://www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/membership-kit-2/high-school/3-ensure-skillsusa-integral-cte-program/
  4. Conduct membership recruitment activities. The key to a successful chapter is the ability to recruit and retain members.   Resources for membership recruitment can be found at – https://www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/membership-kit-2/high-school/4-conduct-membership-recruitment-activities/   
  5. Register yourself and your students as members of SkillsUSA!   Now that you have officially established your SkillsUSA chapter, you can begin to register yourself and your students as members of SkillsUSA.  Online resources for registering your chapter can be found at – https://www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/membership-kit-2/high-school/5-register-students-members-skillsusa/
  6. Organize chapter management structure.   Organizing your chapter management structure is one of the most important steps that you can take to ensuring a successful chapter. By following the keys points listed in your membership kit on pages 16– 19 and also located online at – https://www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/membership-kit-2/high-school/6-organize-chapter-management-structure/
  7. Take advantage of SkillsUSA programs.   SkillsUSA programs are developed for implementation on the local, state and national level. Student members can achieve individual recognition by participating in programs, while several programs actually honor the entire section or chapter for their accomplishments. To discover how your chapter can take full advantage of all programs offered, be sure to check out the resources at – https://www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/membership-kit-2/high-school/7-take-advantage-skillsusa-programs/
    1. Career Essentials:  Experiences Implement Career Readiness
      The SkillsUSA Career Essentials:  Experiences curricula have everything you need to give your students what they need to be career-ready. The Experiences exist in four curriculum course

      1. Exploratory course (for ages 12 to 14)
      2. Fundamental course (for ages 14 to 16)
      3. Advanced course (for ages 17 to 19)
      4. Adult Learner course (for ages 20 and older)To learn more about the Career Essentials:  Experiences and how you can implement into your classroom visit our website at www.careeressentials.org or contact a Coach at careeressentials@skillsusa.org.
  8. Make plans to attend a conference or training. Whether on a local, regional, state or national level, when students attend a SkillsUSA conference or training event, they are stepping out of the bounds of comfort and expanding their horizons https://www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/membership-kit-2/high-school/make-plans-attend-conference-training/   
  9. Apply for scholarships. One of the greatest benefits of student membership in SkillsUSA is scholarship opportunities. Students must be active, dues-paid SkillsUSA members to be eligible for a scholarship through SkillsUSA or its partners. Scholarships are offered in several areas. Some are based on merit, others are related to financial need and many are presented to the medalists of SkillsUSA Championships at the state and national levels.   https://www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/membership-kit-2/high-school/9-apply-scholarships/
  10. Celebrate chapter success. Completing an important project, conference or a capstone for the year provides the perfect occasion to celebrate and reflect on the experience. Celebrations are a necessary part of the process.  https://www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/membership-kit-2/high-school/10-celebrate-chapter-success/