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SkillsUSA (formally Vocational Industrial Clubs of America – VICA) was founded in 1965 for the purpose of improving the public’s perception of career and technical education and America.
Here in Massachusetts, our organization was founded in 1974 to fulfill the same purpose. Our mission has long been to Prepare World-Class Workers and Responsible American Citizens. A tall order, which does not get accomplished in isolation. It is an enormous undertaking that requires the ultimate in industry education partnerships.
Our students havethe opportunity to participate in high-skill, high-wage occupational training and then demonstrate excellence through the authentic assessment of the SkillsUSA Championships as well as leadership and employability skills activities. In addition, our business partners have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our students and change the future of the American workforce.
SkillsUSA is a national student organization serving trade, industrial, technical and health occupations students with leadership, citizenship and character development activities and programs. Members in high school trade preparatory and industrial cooperative programs have their own division and activities. Postsecondary students in vocational schools, junior and community colleges form another division.
SkillsUSA emphasizes respect for the dignity of work, quality products and services, leadership and concern for others. Members also learn about democracy by practicing it in the chapter organization.
SkillsUSA teaches how to live and work with others and relates school experiences to a student’s personal search for meaning, identity and achievement. In SkillsUSA, students learn to understand their role and contribution in a technological age.
Through SkillsUSA, members serve others and work toward a solution to today’s situations in a responsible way. They prepare for a citizenship role through leadership development activities, workshops and conferences and develop job skills and personal abilities. SkillsUSA members learn to take advantage of education and prepare for a vital contribution to the community and nation as well as personally satisfying life role.
There are 50 member states as well as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia and Ontario, Canada. Current membership is over 250,000. SkillsUSA was established with the support of the American Vocational Association, U.S. Office of Education, AFL-CIO, and the United States Chamber of Commerce.
In Massachusetts, SkillsUSA is supported through the School to Career Unit at the Massachusetts Department of Education and operates in 40 high schools, and several college/post-secondary training programs.