What is SkillsUSA?
SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization. It is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA serves middle school, high school and college students in programs preparing them for technical, skilled and service careers. In addition to technical skills training, SkillsUSA provides educational experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development. SkillsUSA was formerly known as VICA (the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America).
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 personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics.
Many industries today face a shortage of skilled workers, and SkillsUSA offers a tangible way to help solve this problem by ensuring that there will be a future workforce trained in the skills industry needs. SkillsUSA complements technical skill training with instruction in the employability skills that make a well-rounded worker and citizen. Our programs emphasize high ethical standards, superior work skills, lifelong education and pride.
The SkillsUSA Framework illustrates how students fulfill the mission of the organization “to empower members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. SkillsUSA has an impact on the lives of America’s future workforce through the development of personal, workplace, and technical skills that are grounded in academics.
What it does:
- Provides a common language for students to articulate what they gain from SkillsUSA participation to employers, school administrators, parents and other students
- Assesses student skill development along a learning continuum of awareness, demonstration and mastery
- Creates a vision for SkillsUSA programs at the local, state and national levels to ensure quality student-led experiences that build skills in all members
Why it works:
- Empowers every student to achieve career success
- Delivers a skill set demanded by business and industry but lacking in many employees today
- Ensures that every student member receives a consistent and specific skill set
Our members grow as individuals and discover new abilities by setting their own goals, electing officers, planning and carrying out projects within their school chapter. The national Program of Work (POW) sets the pace for SkillsUSA nationwide. The expectation is that each chapter will carry out this program of work. The seven areas that make up the POW are:
To prepare each SkillsUSA member for entry into the workforce and provide a foundation for success in a career. Becoming a professional does not stop with acquiring a skill, but involves an increased awareness of the meaning of good citizenship and the importance of labor and management in the world of work.
To promote and improve good will and understanding among all segments of the community through services donated by SkillsUSA chapters, and to instill in its members a lifetime commitment to community service.
To increase student awareness of quality job practices and attitudes, and to increase the opportunities for employer contact and eventual employment.
Ways and Means
To plan and participate in fundraising activities to allow all members to carry out the chapter’s projects.
To offer students the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and be recognized for them through competitive activities in occupational areas and leadership.
To make the general public aware of the good work that students in career and technical education are doing to better themselves and their community, state, nation and world.
To increase cooperation in the school and community through activities that allow SkillsUSA members to get to know each other in something other than a business or classroom setting.
Programs & Assessments:
SkillsUSA offers curricula and classroom programs for further student development which include:
- SkillsUSA Career Essentials ensures students have the foundation skills, attitudes and values to distinguish them from other applicants in the skilled labor marketplace. This suite is the solution in producing career-ready graduates who are prepared to face the 21st-century demands of employers.
- Foundations (formerly known as the Career Readiness Curriculum [CRC]) builds awareness of the SkillUSA Framework which is essential to a successful career and technical education program.
- Experiences (replaces Professional Development Program [PDP]) demonstrates working together in teams, understanding leadership, communicating clearly and demonstrating integrity.
- Assessments (formerly Work Force Ready System Skill Connect Assessments) provides assessments for career and technical education that are supported by industry, education and policy leaders.
- Jump into STEM! provides an opportunity for SkillUSA members to engage middle-school students and create an open door to recruitment for high-school career and technical education (CTE) programs.