You may be at a crossroads as far as education goes. You’re thinking college. You may also be thinking technical school. Is there a way you can cover both bases before your decision? Any hands-on training with tools, electronics, computers or safety precautions can build your confidence and marketability, even after school. How can you get started to secure your opportunities?
The First Step
Join a SkillsUSA chapter at your high school or community college!
SkillsUSA chapters (which previously went by the name VICA) are free clubs to
join for high school students, and is a low-cost membership organization for
SkillsUSA helps students, educators and business and industry by keeping up with both employers’ needs and education mandates and trends. SkillsUSA also partners with the local chapter’s community and provides real work experience with community improvement sessions that extend from their technical training
Who and What Is Involved
More than 280,000 student and instructors join SkillsUSA annually, organized into more than 14,700 sections and 54 state and territorial associations. They also help you gain access to financial aid, in-kind contributions, and face-to-face involvement with professional people in official activities. If you are lucky enough to have one in your local community, SkillsUSA can teach you:
- How SkillsUSA participation increases student awareness of quality job practices,
attitudes and employability skills.
- How SkillsUSA activities increase opportunities for employer contact and eventual employment.
- How students, teachers and industry can work together to ensure that America has a future skilled work force.
- How community-based industry partnerships help to strengthen and improve local technical training programs.
- How industry partnerships ensure that students enrolled in technical education are training in the skills needed by employers.
How They Help You Succeed
Joining a SkillsUSA chapter helps you build and reinforce self-confidence, work attitudes and communications skills. It emphasizes:
- Total quality at work
- High ethical standards
- Superior work skills
- Life-long education
- Pride in the dignity of work
Teach Yourself and Impress a College Entrance Board
Through their Professional Development Programs, SkillsUSA also teaches 84 workplace skill competencies in a series of hands-on self-paced lessons. SkillsUSA also promotes understanding of the free-enterprise system and involvement in community service. All of these facets of this organization can either help make you stand out in a college entrance application, or ready you for advanced learning courses in any technical school. If you have a bit of free time to learn each week, SkillsUSA chapters may be just the thing to boost opportunities for your future.