Building America's Skilled Workforce

Chelle Travis, Executive Director of SkillsUSA

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SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. They serve over 331,000 students and instructors annually...that's over 14 million students since its founding in 1965!

You might be familiar with SkillsUSA through their popular state and national competitions. But they're about more than just hard skills: Their mission is all about empowering students to become world-class leaders, workers and American citizens.

In this episode, we're talking with Chelle Travis, the Executive Director of SkillsUSA, about the work this organization is doing to carry out its mission. The episode is all about how we best prepare students to be workers and leaders in today's technology-driven society.

3 Big Takeaways from this episode:

  1. CTE is STEM, and STEM is CTE: Key features of STEM learning, like math, critical thinking, data analysis, problem-solving, and technology skills are all embedded into the learning outcomes for SkillsUSA's Career and Technical Education programs. Chelle helps us see how these STEM skills are necessary and used in fields like healthcare, manufacturing, culinary arts, hospitality, business, automotive and more.
  2. Some skills don't change: Conversations in TechEd often focus on what's new and emerging, but Chelle reminds us that some skills are foundational to our students' education. SkillsUSA has always focused on: the dignity of work, developing the whole person (not just technical skills), pride in innovation and ingenuity, lifelong learning and adaptability, and a commitment to helping others and giving back through service.
  3. Industry drives updates to standards, skills and technology: SkillsUSA relies on industry partnerships to guide the development of new standards, competitions and skill areas for students across the country. This is especially true in competitions, where industry determines the standards and judges the competitions.


To learn more about SkillsUSA:

Connect with SkillsUSA on social media:

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