Jefferson City, MO - The event showcases the talents of thousands of students in career and technical education. More than 14,000 student contestants, teacher advisors, contest judges, business and education leaders and other observers are expected to attend.

The national field of contestants is 5,000 strong. Each SkillsUSA Championships contestant is a state gold medalist. Missouri is fielding 137 student contestants in high school events, plus 92 high school “Courtesy Corps” members. Missouri has 77 contestants at the postsecondary level. Each Missouri competitor qualified during the SkillsUSA championships held at Linn State Technical College in April.

A space larger than 16 football fields in Bartle Hall and other area facilities will provide the setting for 91 hands-on skill and leadership competitions.

The public is invited to view the competitive events Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday’s events include automated manufacturing technology, milling technology, computer maintenance and many more.

Thursday’s lineup includes commercial baking, crime scene investigation, medical and dental assisting, cabinetmaking, collision repair, masonry, motorcycle service technology, robotics and automation, welding and many more.

SkillsUSA is hosting five technology demonstrations in the skill areas of industrial maintenance, mobile robotics, robotics engineering, structural steel design and sustainability solutions.

One new contest this year will be medical terminology. It will evaluate the knowledge of candidates preparing for employment in the health field and recognize outstanding students for excellence and professionalism.

“Students will be demonstrating the technical, academic and employability skills required by America’s high-performance workplace,” said Dr. Paul Light, state SkillsUSA advisor at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“Most contests are in highly skilled occupations essential to the American economy. In fact, the SkillsUSA Championships are more than a competition. It is one of the most significant methods industry has found to set standards for public high school and college career and technical education programs,” Light added.

Considered the greatest day of industry volunteerism in America every year, the event is supported by more than $35 million in donated time, equipment and materials. The Championships require a massive amount of equipment and materials, including more than 850 computers, 50 trucks, 9,500 bricks and 1,500 blocks, 60 stoves, and complete laboratories for machining (off-site), welding, and auto repair and painting.

The competitions will be run and judged by industry experts using national standards. Many of the 500 judges for the competitive events come from Kansas City-area and out-state Missouri businesses.

SkillsUSA is a national organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations, including health occupations. SkillsUSA was formerly known as VICA (the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America). With more than 11,000 members, Missouri has the seventh largest state chapter in the nation.

The National SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Conference will be held in Kansas City each June through 2014.

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