About SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. As a nonprofit national education association, SkillsUSA serves middle-school, high-school, and college/postsecondary students preparing for careers in trade, technical, and skilled service occupations. SkillsUSA is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor as a successful model of employer-driven youth development training.

SkillsUSA serves more than 331,000  students and instructors annually. This includes 19,019 instructors who join as professional members. Including alumni, SkillsUSA membership totals over 393,000. SkillsUSA has served nearly 14 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.

  • Mission: SkillsUSA is America’s proud champion of the skilled trades. Our mission is to empower students to become skilled professionals, career-ready leaders, and responsible community members.
  • Vision: SkillsUSA’s vision is to produce the most highly skilled workforce in the world, providing every member the opportunity for career success.
  • Values: The following values inform and inspire our work and interactions.
    • Integrity: We are consistent and authentic in word and action to each other, our members, and the communities we serve.
    • Respect: Respect is foundational. Our self-awareness precedes our ability to connect with each other and our members while mutually valuing our unique experiences.
    • Responsibility: We are accountable to the whole of our organization, from internal staff to our diverse group of stakeholders. Through listening, learning
      and acting, we engage in our shared commitment to realizing a collective vision.
    • Community: We value and belong to a diverse community. We strive to do our best in service through continuous reflection and growth.
    • Service: SkillsUSA acts through the willing service of staff and committed volunteers to empower its members and their communities to reach their
      highest potential.
  • Impact: A 2023 report (condensed report) from the Student Research Foundation shows that SkillsUSA members consistently outperform their peers not enrolled in a career and technical student organization (CTSO) in seven essential areas:
    1. Earning a license or certification related to their field of study
    2. Meeting potential employers
    3. Being excited about their chosen career
    4. Gaining work experience as a student
    5. Understanding the work environment
    6. Being excited about school
    7. Connecting school to the real world
  • The SKillsUSA Framework:  The SkillsUSA Framework illustrates how students fulfill the mission of the organization: to empower members to become skilled professionals, career-ready leaders and responsible community members.
    SkillsUSA Framework image
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    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 andspecific skill set
  • The SkillsUSA Program of Work:  The heart of SkillsUSA’s success can be found in our thousands of local chapters across the nation. That’s why providing ways for chapters to stay strong and engaged throughout the year is so important. SkillsUSA’s Program of Work (PoW) is the road map for planning and implementing an annual calendar of chapter activities. When a SkillsUSA chapter aligns its yearly activities with the PoW, students receive rich experiences that empower them to become career ready.

    The PoW features six categories that define areas of focus for a well-run chapter in the same way a well-run business may be divided into different divisions. Each division has specific responsibilities, but all contribute to the overall success of the business. Likewise, SkillsUSA chapters are encouraged to create separate committees for each of the six categories and then facilitate category-specific activities for the whole chapter. When a chapter provides rich experiences in all six categories of the PoW, it empowers students to become career ready. It also allows students the opportunity to practice and perform the Essential Elements of the SkillsUSA Framework and receive feedback to strengthen their skills.

  • SkillsUSA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement: In 2022, SkillsUSA created the following Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Statement to help govern our work: “SkillsUSA strives to ensure inclusive participation in all of our programs, partnerships and employment opportunities. In SkillsUSA, diversity encompasses differences in race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, gender transition status, national origin, age, physical and mental ability, thinking styles, experience, and education. We strive to make all members, partners, and employees feel welcomed and valued in the SkillsUSA family. SkillsUSA believes in treating all people with respect and dignity. We want SkillsUSA to be regarded as a membership organization of choice that encourages all individuals to be involved.”