Nearly 300 Missouri high school and college students joined more than 6,000 students from around the country in Louisville, Kentucky, June 25-30 for the SkillsUSA 54th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference, the world’s largest showcase of skilled trades. The students competed against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in fields such as electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, medical assistance and culinary arts.
Colby Henson, a Graphics Imaging-Sublimation student at Sikeston Career & Technology Center, placed silver at the conference.
Missouri students brought back a total of 30 first-, second- and third-place medallions, and 106 placed in the top 10 against students from all 50 states and two U.S. territories.
“Missouri’s success at the national level is a testament to our educators’ passion of ensuring our students graduate job-ready day one,” said Joey Baker, SkillsUSA Missouri’s State Executive Director. “Our students graduate with the workplace, personal and technical skills necessary to be successful in college or their chosen careers.”
Dr. Roger Dorson, interim commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, said, “Congratulations to these students, not only for their strong finish in competition, but for honing their craft to such a high degree. We are proud of what they have accomplished on the state and national stages.”
SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry that helps ensure the U.S. has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. Founded in 1965 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, the association serves more than 400,000 member students and instructors each year in middle schools, high schools and colleges. SkillsUSA programs cover 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations. The programs are integrated into career and technical education through a framework of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics.