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News and Updates

We have a lot happening this year in SkillsUSA Missouri!  We have a new website: which has all the information you will need for updates, conferences, registrations, etc.  If you need additional information, please contact:

SkillsUSA Missouri State Director
Christy McElwain


About 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 360,000 members are a part of 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 12 million members.

The National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC), a national showcase of career and technical education students is held annually in Louisville, Kentucky. More than 15,500 people—including students, teachers and business partners — participate in the week-long event. The SkillsUSA Championships will be held in the Kentucky Exposition Center. More than 5,500 outstanding career and technical education students—all state contest winners—competed hands-on in more than 100 different trade, technical and leadership skills. 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 Skilled Technical Sciences. 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.

Professional Development Program

Involvement in SkillsUSA builds and reinforces self-confidence, positive attitudes toward work and communications skills. SkillsUSA helps students believe in themselves and in their abilities. It can open doors to exciting opportunities for you, your classmates and your community. It takes leadership, determination, pride and dignity to progress in the world of work. SkillsUSA provides the tools to help you succeed.

In the SkillsUSA Professional Development Program Awards there are six degrees that can be earned by the student. Each Degree builds upon the preceding Degree. The local SkillsUSA chapter presents the Trainee Degree (Level 1), Leader Degree (Level 2), Professional Degree (Level 3), and the Master Degree (Level 4). The State SkillsUSA Association awards the American Degree (Level 5) during the State Leadership and Skills Conference. The International Degree (Level 6) is awarded by the National SkillsUSA at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.

Levels 1 - 4

The local instructor verifies the first four degrees. The requirements for the degrees are set up in the SkillsUSA Professional Development Program Student Workbook. Each award has a set of competencies that has to be completed.

Certification Forms

Level 1 - The Trainee Degree
Level 2 - The Leader Degree
Level 3 - The Professional Degree
Level 4 - The Master Degree
Level 5 - The American Degree
Level 6 - The International Degree

Level 5 – The American Degree

The American Degree is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon members of SkillsUSA while they are still students. This award recognizes outstanding achievement by an individual in academic, career, technical and professional skill development. To earn the American Degree, a student must demonstrate academic, career, technical and professional development and pass a state test.

The American degree is the fifth level of achievement in the Professional Development Program, SkillsUSA Student Workbook. The student must complete an American Degree notebook that includes appropriate documentation and verification and a professional portfolio. The candidate must apply to the State Association by March 1. The American Degree will be awarded at the State SkillsUSA Championships by the State Association Director.

Level 6 – International Degree

The International Degree is the highest individual honor earned by SkillsUSA members. The activities in the Special Projects Level will build multiple skills that involve high levels of thinking and problem solving. Achieving these skills will require long-term commitment by you, your instructor and your mentor. This degree can be applied for after the student has been out of school for one year. It is very hard to accomplish. This award is given on the national level.

The application, notebook (Level 6) and five copies of the professional paper must be sent to the State Association by April 1. The SkillsUSA office must have the materials by May 1. Applicants and the State Association will be notified by May 15th on the candidate’s status. Successful applicants who complete all four steps will be awarded the International Degree by SkillsUSA at an appropriate award ceremony during the week of the National Leadership and Skills Conference.


Register for membership

Missouri SkillsUSA is an association of local chapters organized in the State of Missouri and operating in accordance with a charter granted by SkillsUSA, Inc. Membership of Missouri SkillsUSA shall consist of eligible members of the chartered local chapters and members shall hold the same membership status in their respective local chapter.

The purpose of SkillsUSA Missouri is to ensure that participating students are provided a positive educational experience and are adequately prepared to meet the challenges of their future. Through extra effort and determination, the students participating in SkillsUSA Missouri events can motivate themselves to develop more skills than would otherwise be expected. Those extra skills can provide them with a higher quality of experience throughout their lifetime.

The official membership year starts September 1 each year.

A local chapter must have at least ten members or 100% of the vocational class, if there are less than ten students eligible for membership. Members of the State Association must be members of the national organization to qualify for a charter. Each local chapter and state association shall be open for membership to all students regardless of race, sex, religion, creed, disability, or national origin. The State Treasurer shall report on or before March 1 of each school year as to which chapters have paid their membership dues or conference fees in full. These chapters shall be designated as chapters in good standing.

Membership classes recognized by Missouri SkillsUSA are:

Active Membership: Students enrolled in a coherent sequence of courses or career major that prepares them for further education and/or employment related to technology, the health industry, trades or industry and who are earning credit toward a high school diploma/certificate or its equivalent. Dues shall be $11.00 per membership year and shall be payable by February 1st to the National Association. The National Office will return $3.00 of the dues per member to the State Association where $2.50 shall be set aside for state operation and $.50 shall be set aside for district operation.

Professional Membership: Persons associated with or participating in the professional development of Missouri SkillsUSA as approved by the policies of the State Association. Such members shall include classroom teachers, teachers aides, counselors, teacher educators, supervisors or other professional or paraprofessional staff. Professional members will pay dues as established by SkillsUSA, Inc., but will be ineligible to hold office or vote. Dues shall be $17.00 per membership year and shall be payable by February 1st to the National Association. The National Office will return $3.00 of the dues per member to the State Association where $2.50 shall be set aside for state operation and $.50 shall be set aside for district operation.

Associate Membership: Cooperative employers and/or training station sponsors, advisory council members, students, and lay persons associated with and contributing to the improvement and development of the organization and vocational trade, industrial, technical and health occupations education. They are not eligible to hold office or vote. The membership fee are the same as Professional Membership.

Alumni Membership: Individuals who were former VICA , SkillsUSA–VICA or SkillsUSA members who have graduated and are no longer eligible for membership in secondary or post secondary divisions. They are not eligible to hold office or vote in the student divisions.


SkillsUSA State Officers

Congratulations to the 2020-2021 State Officer Team!

President: Allie Caldon Northland Career Center

Vice President: Jesse Jacob  Carrolton Area Career Center

Secretary: Chloe Morales Northland Career Center

Reporter/Historian: Jacob Hawkins Cass Career Center

Parliamentarian: Bradley Skaggs Crowder College

SkillsUSA District Officers

The election of District SkillsUSA Officers is a vital activity that directly relates to the success of a District.  All too often, the officer election is an afterthought or an item left to do at the last minute.  Many times when students are coerced into running on site they do not realize the time and effort required of a successful officer.

It is the responsibility of the District Advisors and Local Associations to solicit quality District Officer candidates.  This process must start with the first District Executive Council Meeting and continue throughout the year.  The District Advisor and Local Associations must work with the new students to prepare them to take over the leadership roles.  Each Local Association must be encouraged to identify and to work with prospective officers.  The quality officer candidate allows for quality officers.

District Officer Pins

District SkillsUSA Officer pins can be ordered from

The Senior District Advisor is responsible for ordering pins.

President - Gavel

Vice President - Torch

Secretary - Quill

Treasurer - Key

Parliamentarian - Mace

Historian - Quill & Scroll

Reporter - Winged Pen

District Officer Candidates Requirements

A quality officer candidate is a student who:

  • Has at least one year remaining in the vocational program
  • Has the support at home to be successful
  • Has the support at their home school to be successful
  • Can devote the time and energy necessary to be successful
  • Can work as part of a team
  • Can communicate with their peers
  • Has demonstrated successful academic achievement
  • Has demonstrated knowledge of SkillsUSA

The Senior District Advisor should appoint, by November 1, a search committee for District Officers.  The committee should be composed of at least one student and one advisor per Local Association.  The committee's task is to solicit quality students to apply and run for District SkillsUSA Officer.  The application and recommendations for officer election procedures are included in this section.  The search committee should report to the Senior District Advisor by January 1 as to their success.

District Officers must be elected at the spring District Leadership and Skills Conference. This allows the District to start the New Year with motivated and experienced officers.  The District will also have full representation in the State Secondary Officer election procedure.  Your efforts in recruiting District Officer candidates will be rewarded by the increased number of candidates and a well-planned election.

District Officer Election Procedures

  1. Each district will elect seven (7) officers:  president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, parliamentarian, reporter and historian.  (Check your District Constitution).
  2. No school should have more than two (2) officers or candidates.
  3. All schools will be notified at least 30 days in advance of all elections.
  4. All candidate applications must be filed with the Senior District Advisor 14 days prior to the election and must contain:
    a.  properly completed and signed application
    b.  resume
    c.  verification of:  2.0 grade point (4 point scale), on target to graduate with class and enrollment in a preparatory trade, technical, industrial or health occupation vocational program during term of office
    d.  letters of endorsement from:
    1. parents -- indicating their support and willingness to allow their student to travel
    2. local SkillsUSA Lead Advisor -- indicating leadership ability and willingness to financially support officer if elected
    3. local Vocational Administrator -- indicating availability of student to attend meetings and willingness to provide travel, supervision and money for student when needed
    4. local Academic Administrator -- indicating ability to miss school, academic ability and leadership potential
  5. All candidate material will be reviewed by the Senior District Advisor to determine that each candidate has met the minimum qualifications.
  6. All qualified candidates will take a written test, based on level 1 and level 2 of the PDP, on the day of the election.
  7. All qualified candidates who score 75% or more on the written test shall be interviewed by the election committee to determine primary or final ballots.
  8. All candidates placed on the ballot shall give a 1 to 3 minute speech before the House of Delegates.
  9. All balloting shall be done by secret ballot.
  10. Winning candidates must have a majority of votes cast (50% + 1 vote).
  11. Officers will be installed during the awards ceremony.

NOTE:  Election Committee should include at least one of each of the following: Junior District Advisor, present District Officer and Vocational Administrator. The election may or may not place all or any of the interviewed candidates on the ballot.