Wisconsin History

1971 
One high school registered 21 members directly with the national office (Pre-Wisconsin charter being issued).

1973
One high school registered 23 members directly with the national office (Pre-Wisconsin charter being issued).

1974
In the summer of 1973, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Bureau for Career and Manpower Development, decided that the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA) could play an integral role in trade and industrial education. 

A meeting was called of schools affiliated with the Wisconsin Industrial Education Student Association (WIESA) of the American Industrial Arts Association (AIAA) along with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction staff.  This meeting took place on September 8, 1973 and was followed by a vote on the topic of maintaining WIESA – AIAA affiliation or recognizing Wisconsin VICA as our state student organization for trade and industry education programs.

The tally of these votes indicated an overwhelming support for VICA affiliation and, accordingly, Wisconsin VICA began its history during the fall of 1973.  The membership for the 1973-1974 school year, was 282 members in 13 high schools.

The First Annual State Conference was held at the American Baptist Church in Green Lake on March 8-10.

1975
Membership grew to 393 members.  The 2nd Annual State Conference was held at the American Baptist Church in Green Lake on 4/18-20.

1976
Membership grew to 506 members.

1977
Membership grew to 826 members.

1978
Membership was 749 members.

1979
Membership grew to the highest total of 848 members.  The 6th Annual State Conference was held at Madison Area Technical College on 4/6-7.

1980
Membership had a big increase this year to 1,121 members.  The 7th Annual State Conference was held at Madison Area Technical College on 3/7-8.

1981
Membership increases to 1.181 members.  The 8th Annual State Conference was held at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

1982
Membership grew to 1,325 members.  The 9th Annual State Conference was held at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

1989
Membership broke through 2,000 for the first time in state’s history and finished with 2.004 members.

1997
Membership was 1,722.  The annual state conference was held at Gateway Technical College on 4/17-19.  Bryan Albrecht was elected to the SkillsUSA National Board of Directors.

1999

Membership was 1,295.  This year saw Ken Starkman named as executive director.  The annual state conference was held at Chippewa Valley Technical College.

2003
Membership was 1,101.  The annual state conference moves to a convention center for the first time.  It was held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison on 4/23-25.

2006
Membership was at 1,165 with 60 chapters.  Brent Kindred, former student member and adviser, was appointed as SkillsUSA Wisconsin Executive Director.

2009
Membership 1,645 members.  This is the first year for the Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Regional Event with 48 registrants.

2010
Membership was 1,542.  The annual state conference was held at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells on 4/27-28.  Brent Kindred was elected to the SkillsUSA National Board of Directors.

2011
Membership was at an all-time high of 1,733.  This is the first year for the Gateway Technical College Regional event with 52 registrants.  

2013
Membership was at 1,961 members in 116 chapters.   This is the first year for the Northcentral Technical College Regional event with 48 registerants.  

2014
Membership grew to it’s highest total since 1989 and the highest total in state’s history and finished with 2,205 members in 122 chapters.  This is the first year for the Fox Valley Area Technical College regional event with 53 registerants.  The annual state conference returned to the Alliant Energy Center in Madison on 4/29-30.  Brent Kindred was elected President of the SkillsUSA National Board of Directors.

2015
Membership grew to 2,386 in 135 chapters.  Wisconsin saw it’s first chapters complete the Chapter Excellence Program (CEP).  Wisconsin had it’s first officially recognized middle school chapters.  Wisconsin had informal middle school chapters since at least the 1990s.

2016
Membership was at 2,340.  This was the first year for a new location and format for the Fall Leadership Conference held at the Chula Vista resort in Wisconsin Dells. 

2017
Membership grew to an all-time high at 2,545 members in 150 chapters.  The State Superintendent’s SkillsUSA Advisory Council made up of administrators, advisers and industry was started this year.

2018
Membership grew to 2,919 members, an all-time high record.  The 45th Annual State Conference had over 1,700 registrants competing in 79 competitions.  There were 18 new chapters that were chartered, bringing the state total to more than 166.  At the State Conference State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Tony Evers, spoke at opening ceremony.  This year also saw 24 Chapters of Excellence Programs (19 Quality, 1 Silver, and 4 Gold).