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Vol. 44, No. 51

June 18, 2010

Missouri Students to Compete at National SkillsUSA

15,000 Participants to Convene in Kansas City Next Week

More than 200 Missouri students from across the state will showcase their award-winning technical skills at the national SkillsUSA competition to be held in Kansas City starting Monday.

SkillsUSA will return to Bartle Hall and nearby venues for its 46th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference, a showcase of career and technical education students.  More than 15,000 people – including students, teachers and business partners – are expected to participate in the week-long event.

The field of 5,600 contestants will compete hands-on in 96 different trade, technical and leadership fields.  The level of competition will be high as the students vie for scholarships and prizes; each competitor is a state champion.  Contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations.

The competitions will be held Wednesday and Thursday and are open to the public free of charge.

“This is an exciting event for all involved,” said Dr. Paul Light, state SkillsUSA advisor at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  “The students and teachers have been putting in a lot of extra time this summer to get ready.  They want to show what they have learned.”

New this year will be a combined event for the opening session and the official opening of the SkillsUSA Championships.  Both events will take place at 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 23 at Kemper Arena.

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.

Missouri SkillsUSA is the seventh-largest chapter in the nation with more than 11,000 student members.  The Missouri delegation this year consists of 146 high school students, 61 postsecondary students, plus student SkillsUSA leaders who are selected to serve in the voluntary Courtesy Corp.  The students are accompanied by adult advisors.