Missouri Career Education

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About Missouri SkillsUSA

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.

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers, high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including health occupations. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives’, working together to ensure America has a skilled work force.  SkillsUSA was formerly known as VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America).

More than 285,000 student and instructors join SkillsUSA annually, organized into more than 15,000 sections and 54 state and territorial associations.  Currently, 15,166 teachers and school administrators serve as professional SkillsUSA members and instructors. 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. SkillsUSA has served more than 9.3 million members.

SkillsUSA returned to Kansas City June 22-June 26, 2009 for the 45th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC), a showcase of career and technical education students.  More than 13,750 people—including students, teachers and business partners — participate in the week-long event.  The SkillsUSA Championships will be held in H. Roe Bartle Hall and Municipal Auditorium. More than 4,500 outstanding career and technical education students—all state contest winners—competed hands-on in 87 different trade, technical and leadership fields.  Contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations, and labor organizations, and test competencies are set by industry.

The Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, Inc. (VICA) was founded in 1965 by students and teachers who were serious about their professions and saw the need for more training in the areas of leadership to complement their chosen vocation. In Nashville, Tennessee, 14 states were represented, as VICA chose it's name, colors, motto, purposes and goals.

In 1969 the first theme was "Speak Up for America," and the first handbook was published in 1970 with the theme being “Skills Build America.”  Land was purchased for the National Leadership Headquarters in 1974 and ground breaking took place in 1978.  Health Sciences Education became part of  VICA in 1986. The Professional Development Program became a reality in 1988.  The official name for the national competition became SkillsUSA Championships in 1995.  SkillsUSA-VICA became the official name of the organization at the national National Leadership and Skills Conference on July 4, 1999.

In 2001, Timothy W. Lawrence, a former student member, became national executive director. Formerly national director of business and industry partnerships, Lawrence had also been a classroom instructor, industry employee, state association director and member of the Board of Directors.  The same year an ex-officio position was created for National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium.  On Sept. 1, 2004 the organization's name officially changed to SkillsUSA.

SkillsUSA's Youth Development Foundation's purpose is to provide support to the goals and purposes of SkillsUSA, including student awards, preparation of special publications or funds for the SkillsUSA Championships.

SkillsUSA Missouri is a state association of SkillsUSA Inc.  SkillsUSA Missouri consists of nine districts with over 85 local chapters with a membership of nearly 10,000.

SkillsUSA Missouri is the CTSO for Industrial and Health Sciences Education.  It is an applied method of learning where students practice skills and build self-confidence while helping their schools and communities. The SkillsUSA Professional Development Program is a curriculum which involves local industry and academics which can be used in day-trades, apprenticeship training, cooperative education, school-to-work, academic and special needs programs. Our program emphasizes high ethical standards, superior work skills, lifelong education and pride.

 SkillsUSA activities foster the development of problem-solving ability and teamwork while building self-confidence and communication skills. These are qualities employers value and look for when hiring or promoting workers.  The local program of work sets the pace for the SkillsUSA chapter.