More than 2,500 Tennessee career, technical education students to compete in SkillsUSA state championships April 10-12 in Chattanooga

Submitted by: 
College of Applied Technology
Students at work on their building and carpentry skills

The future workforce of Tennessee will be on full display at the SkillsUSA Tennessee championship competitions to be held in Chattanooga Monday-Wednesday, April 10-12.

More than 2,500 career and technical education students from high schools and colleges across the state will compete in 120 contests demonstrating their skills in scores of career areas, including various manufacturing, transportation, construction, hospitality and human services fields.

“There is a solution to the current and future demand for a skilled workforce. Jobs are available right here in our state; these positions are waiting for people with the right skills. These highly skilled workers are the people graduating from career and technical education (CTE) programs,” said SkillsUSA Postsecondary State Director Chelle Travis, who is also assistant vice chancellor for student services, Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology, at the Tennessee Board of Regents. 

James King, TBR’s vice chancellor of the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology, said, “These students competing in this championship are demonstrating more than just their skills; they are proving that our workforce is prepared to lead the way in every technical area our country needs to maintain a strong global economic presence. CTE is learning that works for America, and we are very proud of this talented group of students who are true champions dedicated to excellence in their trades.”

During the competition, students will work against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations such as electronics, computer-aided drafting, welding, automotive service, medical assisting and culinary arts. All contests are run with the help of industry experts, trade associations and labor organizations. Test competencies are set by professional industry standards. The winners will go on to compete in the SkillsUSA National Championships this June in Louisville, Ky.

In addition to competitions, a highlight of this year’s conference will be the Opening Ceremony at 6 p.m. Monday at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s McKenzie Arena.  Doug Starrett, president and chief executive officer of the L.S. Starrett Company and a tremendous supporter of SkillsUSA, will be the keynote speaker for the evening. During the opening ceremony, SkillsUSA will recognize outstanding CTE students and educators from across the state.  A complete conference schedule is available online at

SkillsUSA is a nationwide partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA annually serves over 300,000 high school and college/postsecondary students, and their instructors in technical, skilled and service occupation instructional programs. SkillsUSA chapters are in career and technical high schools, and two- and four-year colleges.

Formerly known as the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America Inc. (VICA), SkillsUSA was founded in 1965 to teach students leadership skills to complement their chosen careers. The organization emphasizes respect for the dignity of work, ethics, workmanship, scholarship and safety. For more information about SkillsUSA, please visit or

TBR – The College System of Tennessee is the state's largest public higher education system, with 13 Community Colleges and 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology serving more than 100,000 students. Student Success and Workforce Development are Job One.