Students /
March 21, 2019

What is SkillsUSA?

What is SkillsUSA?

“SkillsUSA is a national membership association serving high school, college and middle school students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including health occupations, and for further education. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps each student excel.”

The SkillsUSA Championships is an annual event and over 6,000 students compete in 100 occupational and leadership skill areas.

The History

SkillsUSA started in 1965 as the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America Inc. (VICA) and was founded by students and teachers. How cool is that?! The founders saw they needed more leadership training in their vocational fields and had the passion to start the organization. In 1984, they welcomed their three-and-a-half-millionth member and in 2004, they officially changed their name from VICA to SkillsUSA.

SkillsUSA Minnesota

SkillsUSA Minnesota has a current annual membership of over 3,000 students from chapters in 29 technical colleges and 50 high schools or cooperative centers. Dues-paying student members have access to many benefits including career resources and a large industry network, opportunities for scholarships, awards and honors, and a subscription to SkillsUSA Magazine subscription. The SkillsUSA Minnesota mission statement is below.

SkillsUSA Minnesota creates opportunities for students, educators and business. This is accomplished through leadership training, volunteerism opportunities, competitions and conferences, which enhance students’ self-worth and employability skills to create a seamless transition into the workforce.


Minnesota Leadership & Skills Championship Conference

Every spring the SkillsUSA Minnesota Championships is held and “approximately 350 business and industry leaders get together and present nearly 70 skill and leadership contests that they have prepared for the student members from across the state. The contests are entry-level and hands-on skill assessments. Industry leaders are involved in both the creation and evaluation of the contests ensuring industry-driven occupational skill standards are being assessed. First place winners from each division in most contests are offered the opportunity to go on to the National Leadership & Skills Championship in Louisville, KY in June.

The 2019 Minnesota Leadership & Skills Championship Conference is April 12-14 at the Hilton DoubleTree, Bloomington, MN. Contest sites are open to the public and a great opportunity is to see the action first-hand, “Career-Ready Starts Here”.

The Skills Contests for the high school and college transportation programs:

Marine, Powersports, & Snowmobile
April 5, 2019
Alexandria Technical & Community College

Power Equipment
April 12, 2019
Toro, Bloomington

Auto Service & Collision
April 13, 2019
Hennepin Technical College, Brooklyn Park

April 13, 2019
Cummins, White Bear Lake


SkillsUSA in 30 Seconds
SkillsUSA Minnesota Fact Sheet
SkillsUSA Minnesota Membership Information and Resources