Career and technical education students from across Tennessee demonstrated excellence and brought home medals and honors at the 2021 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference last week.
The annual SkillsUSA conference and its national championship competitions showcased the nation’s best career and technical education (CTE) students, who competed in 106different trade, technical and leadership events. The 2021 SkillsUSA Championships were held virtually due to pandemic-related travel restrictions.
SkillsUSA Tennessee Postsecondary sent 52 students, representing 18 community and technical colleges, to participate at the national workforce event. A total of 23 Tennessee postsecondary students – individually and as members of small teams – won gold, silver or bronze medals. Many also received prizes such as tools of their trade and scholarships to further their careers and education.
The Tennessee collegiate-level winners, their institutions and competition fields are:
During the national event, students worked against the clock, proving their expertise in occupations such as electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and welding. All contests are run by SkillsUSA with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations, testing competencies set by industry. In addition, leadership contestants demonstrated their skills, including extemporaneous speaking and conducting meetings using parliamentary procedure. Middle and high school students who are members of SkillsUSA compete at the event separately from college-level students. Just over 3,700 students at all levels competed in this year’s event.
SkillsUSA improves the quality of the nation’s future skilled workforce through the development of SkillsUSA Framework skills that include personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. The organization’s vision is to produce the most highly skilled workforce in the world, providing every member the opportunity for career success.
SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of education and industry founded in 1965 to strengthen our nation’s skilled workforce. Driven by employer demand, SkillsUSA helps students develop necessary personal and workplace skills along with technical skills grounded in academics. This SkillsUSA Framework empowers every student to succeed at work and in life, while helping to close the skills gap in which millions of positions go unfilled. Through SkillsUSA’s championships program and curricula, employers have ensured schools are teaching relevant technical skills, and with SkillsUSA’s new credentialing process, they can now assess how ready potential employees are for the job. SkillsUSA has more than 372,000 annual members nationwide in high schools, middle schools and colleges, covering over 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, and is recognized by the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor as integral to career and technical education. With the addition of our alumni, membership last year was 434,141. SkillsUSA receives in-kind and financial support from more than 650 national partners. We have served more than 13.6 million members since 1965. For more information: www.skillsusa.org.
The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.