SkillsUSA - United States
A two-person team competes in mobile robotics during the 2012 SkillsUSA Championships.
One hundred thirty trade, technical and skilled service occupational titles are represented in the curricula of SkillsUSA member students. Titles cover construction, manufacturing, transportation, health sciences, information technology, communications, personal services, hospitality, public safety, and engineering technology industries.
Representative Best Practices
SkillsUSA’s success stems from a number of differentiating factors:
- Breadth of partnerships: SkillsUSA has the support of more than 1,100 corporations, trade associations, businesses, and labour unions at the national level.
- Multidiscipline curricula: SkillsUSA programmes help to establish industry standards for job skill training in the lab and classroom, and promote community service. SkillsUSA is recognized by the US Department of Education and is cited as a “successful model of employer-driven youth development training programme” by the US Department of Labor.
- SkillsUSA programmes include local, state and national competitions in which students demonstrate occupational and leadership skills. At the annual national-level SkillsUSA Championships, over 5,600 students compete in 94 occupational and leadership skill areas.
- The SkillsUSA Work Force Ready System is a comprehensive tool to help students to document entry-level skills as defined by industry and accepted by state education policy. Developed under a W. K. Kellogg Foundation grant, this programme features 47 industry-driven assessments.
- The Career Skills Education Program (CSEP) contains 49 online lessons teaching basic employment and life skills to college/post-secondary students.
- Student2Student Mentoring gives high school students a chance to mentor younger students in the area of career development.
Making an Impact
SkillsUSA is helping manufacturers to close the skills gap:
- Caterpillar has recruited several top SkillsUSA students for its fast-track management programme and for CAT’s ThinkBIG technician training programmes in selected community colleges. Caterpillar has been a leader in providing top-level executives to serve in SkillsUSA governance.
- Air Products has disseminated information to its operating facilities on how to engage with SkillsUSA local chapters and encouraged new chapter development near their facilities. Lynn Scheitrum, Manager, Talent Management and Central Staffing for Air Products, said, “One of the things we have looked to SkillsUSA for, and why it has become such an important talent pipeline for us, is that we are seeing students coming through with the capacity to understand complex skills and innovate creatively to function in manufacturing.”