SkillsUSA Theme for 2015-2016

The SkillsUSA competition theme for the 2015-16 year is

SkillsUSA: Champions at Work

Connecting You to Career Success

The topic to be addressed by contestants in the Chapter Display, Prepared Speech and Promotional Bulletin Board competitions is how our theme, SkillsUSA: Champions at Work, addresses the SkillsUSA national program of work in the area of professional development.

Within this topic, contestants might illustrate or discuss any of the following:

  • Why is ensuring career success for every member of SkillsUSA important to the economic health and stability of our nation?
  • Describe how the mission of SkillsUSA — to empower its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens — guarantees career success.
  • How has the vision of career success changed over the decades?
  • Describe the skills and attitudes that business and industry are demanding of students for career success.
  • What elements of SkillsUSA ensure that members experience career success?
  • How has the definition of career success changed for the current generation of students from their grandparents’ generation?
  • What does career success look like in the 21st century?
  • In the next 10 years, what skills are needed to fill the job-market skills gap, and how do SkillsUSA members ensure career success through their SkillsUSA involvement?
  • What are the connections that SkillsUSA has built to ensure career success for its members?
  • How has SkillsUSA adapted over the years to provide members with the skills needed for career success?
  • How has your involvement in SkillsUSA ensured that you will be connected to career success?
  • Career success involves much more than mere dollars; describe the elements of experiencing true career success.
  • Which SkillsUSA programs ensure that members are developing personalskills that are needed for career success? Program examples may include those that improve the following: integrity, self-motivation, work ethic, professionalism and responsibility.
  • Which SkillsUSA programs ensure that members are developing workplaceskills that are needed for career success? Program examples may include those that improve the following skills: communication, decision making, teamwork, cultural sensitivity and leadership.
  • Which SkillsUSA programs ensure that members are developing technicalskills that are needed for career success? Program examples may include those that improve the following skills: technical literacy, job-specific tasks, service to the community, ongoing professional development and an awareness of safety and health issues.

SkillsUSA Fact Sheet

Overview: SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps each student to excel. SkillsUSA is a national organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations, including health occupations and for further education. SkillsUSA was formerly known as VICA (the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America).

Membership: More than 300,000 students and advisors join SkillsUSA annually, organized into more than 17,000 sections and 54 state and territorial associations.  Combining alumni and lifetime membership, the total number impacted is more than 320,000. SkillsUSA has served more than 10.5 million members.

Mission: SkillsUSA’s mission is to help its members become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.

SkillsUSA is an applied method of instruction for preparing America’s high performance workers in public career and technical programs. It provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development. It builds and reinforces self-confidence, work attitudes and communications skills. It emphasizes total quality at work—high ethical standards, superior work skills, life-long education, and pride in the dignity of work. SkillsUSA also promotes understanding of the free-enterprise system and involvement in community service.

Partners: In 2011, more than 16,600 teachers and school administrators served as professional SkillsUSA members and advisors. More than 1,100 business, industry and labor sponsors actively support SkillsUSA at the national level through financial aid, in-kind contributions, and involvement of their people in SkillsUSA activities. Many more work directly with state associations and local chapters.

Programs: SkillsUSA programs include local,state and national competitions in which students demonstrate occupational and leadership skills. At the annual national-level SkillsUSA Championships, over 5,500 students compete in 94 occupational and leadership skill areas.

SkillsUSA programs also help to establish industry standards for job skill training in the lab and classroom, and promote community service. SkillsUSA is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and is cited as a “successful model of employer-driven youth development training program” by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The SkillsUSA Work Force Ready System is a comprehensive tool to help students document entry-level skills as defined by industry and accepted by state education policy. Developed under a W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant, the Work Force Ready System features 47 industry-driven assessments.

SkillsUSA Attire

Wearing the official SkillsUSA attire adds a sense of unity and identification to meetings and activities. Members are encouraged to strictly follow the guidelines for official attire during ceremonies, visits with dignitaries, officer campaigns and similar occasions. For a diagram and detailed information, see the SkillsUSA Leadership Handbook or ASK: Advisor’s Success Kit.

Official attire for women:

  • Red SkillsUSA blazer, windbreaker or sweater
  • White collarless or small-collared blouse or white turtleneck (collar must not extend over the blazer lapel or the sweater or windbreaker)
  • Black dress skirt (knee-length) or black dress slacks
  • Black shoes

Official attire for men:

  • Red SkillsUSA blazer, windbreaker or sweater
  • White dress shirt
  • Plain solid black tie
  • Black dress slacks
  • Black dress shoes

To order official clothing and work uniforms for competition, go to the SkillsUSA Supply Service.

SkillsUSA Colors

The colors red, white, blue and gold represent the national SkillsUSA organization.
  • Red and white represent the individual states and chapters.
  • Blue represents the common union of the states and of the chapters.
  • Gold represents the individual, the most important element of the organization.

Symbolism of the SkillsUSA Emblem

The shield represents patriotism

The shield denotes our belief in democracy, liberty and the American way of life.The gear represents the industrial society
The gear, symbolic of the industrial society, denotes the interdependence and cooperation of the individual working with labor and management for the betterment of mankind.
The torch represents knowledge The flaming torch reflects the light of knowledge, which dispels the darkness of ignorance. In the light of the torch, progress will be made toward the vocational goals of the individual.The orbital circles represent technology
The circles represent the challenge of modern technology and the training needed to accept and master the challenge of new technical frontiers and the need for continuous education.The hands represent the individual
The hands portray a search for knowledge and our desire to acquire a skill. In the process of attaining knowledge and skill, we will develop a respect for the dignity of work and become productive and responsible citizens.

Note: The emblem should not be used to represent the organization. Please use official SkillsUSA logos.

SkillsUSA Creed

I believe in the dignity of work
I hold that society has advanced to its present culture through the use of the worker’s hands and mind. I will maintain a feeling of humbleness for the knowledge and skills that I receive from professionals, and I will conduct myself with dignity in the work I do.
I believe in the American way of life
I know our culture is the result of freedom of action and opportunities won by the founders of our American republic, and I will uphold their ideals.
I believe in education
I will endeavor to make the best use of knowledge, skills and experience that I will learn in order that I may be a better worker in my chosen occupation and a better citizen in my community. To this end, I will continue my learning now and in the future.
I believe in fair play
I will, through honesty and fair play, respect the rights of others. I will always conduct myself in the manner of the best professionals in my occupation and treat those with whom I work as I would like to be treated.
I believe satisfaction is achieved by good work
I feel that compensation and personal satisfaction received for my work and services will be in proportion to my creative and productive ability.
I believe in high moral and spiritual standards
I will endeavor to conduct myself in such a manner as to set an example for others by living a wholesome life and by fulfilling my responsibilities as a citizen of my community.

SkillsUSA Pledge

Upon my honor, I pledge:
  • To prepare myself by diligent study and ardent practice to become a worker whose services will be recognized as honorable by my employer and fellow workers.
  • To base my expectations of reward upon the solid foundation of service.
  • To honor and respect my vocation in such a way as to bring repute to myself.
  • And further, to spare no effort in upholding the ideals of SkillsUSA.

Read more

SkillsUSA Motto

Preparing for leadership in the world of work.