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October 13, 2017

The Best Way to Build a Successful SkillsUSA Chapter

SkillsUSA’s Chapter Excellence Program (CEP) recognizes your achievement in integrating the SkillsUSA Framework in chapter activities related to the program of work. As a chapter’s yearly action plan, the SkillsUSA program of work is at the heart of student learning and employability development. By using our framework as a guide, chapters have a blueprint for creating relevant activities that encourage participation and help students understand what they’re learning.

The SkillsUSA Framework’s focus on intentional learning turns the program of work into more than just a planning tool. Using the framework, the program of work becomes the vital conduit that links students to the application of personal, workplace and technical skills demanded by industry — the SkillsUSA trifecta for student success.

Within the personal, workplace and technical skills areas, there are specific Essential Elements tied to each. The Essential Elements are high-demand employability skills as defined by industry, and the benchmark for measuring student success during an activity. For example, if students learn the Essential Element of responsibility during a personal skills activity, the SkillsUSA Framework requires that a chapter be specific regarding the how and why students learned responsibility. This conscientious approach gives added meaning to the valuable experience students gain in while planning, organizing and implementing activities. Most importantly, this approach actualizes SkillsUSA’s mission to “empower members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens” on the chapter level.

Every chapter is encouraged to participate in CEP, and there are three award levels to recognize program involvement. The first two levels are acknowledged by a chapter’s state SkillsUSA association, and the third level is recognized nationally through Models of Excellence. Each level is designed to give chapters a benchmark for success and future improvement, leading to stronger chapters and better prepared students. The more a chapter applies the SkillsUSA Framework, the greater the chance for CEP honors.

Start Your CEP Application Today

Start your Chapter Excellence Program application today and begin to earn recognition for your chapter! The online application is on the main page of the membership registration site once you have logged into your school account ( Questions? Use the resources below to introduce students to CEP:

Additional help is only a phone call or email away: 844-875-4557 or

Free Occupational Safety Resources Available for Postsecondary Educators

Every day, two to three workers die on construction sites in the United States. New and young workers are at high risk for injury. But through quality safety and health education, career and technical programs can help keep future workers safe.

Free resources are now available at: These will help postsecondary instructors and administrators to:

  • Assess your program using the online assessment tools to determine how it’s doing in the areas of Safety and Health Management Systems, Instructor Qualifications and Support, Effective Teaching and Learning, and Offsite Learning
  • Learn how to better prepare your students to work safely in changing, hazard-filled environments
  • Spread the news about these resources by downloading an informational handout that can be used at your meetings

SkillsUSA has advised and supported this effort, based on research conducted in 2015-16 by the University of California Berkeley’s Labor Occupational Health Program and West Virginia University’s Injury Control Research Center. Other supporters include the Association for Career and Technical Education, the Association for Skilled and Technical Sciences, and the National Council for Workforce Education. Funding came from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), through CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.

This Video Contest is in the Bank

To encourage financial responsibility, the American Bankers Association Foundation has a “Lights, Camera, Save!” video contest that calls on students to educate themselves and their peers about saving and using money wisely.

Contest judges are looking for creative, innovative concepts — your students’ imaginations are the only limit to coming up with unique savings scenarios. Winning videos will be posted on YouTube and viewed across the globe. The contest is free and open to all students age 13-18, with the videos of local winners moving on to the national competition.

The entry period is Oct. 1-Dec. 1. The top three national winners will receive awards of $1,000, $2,500 or $5,000 to fund their saving goals. Equally rewarding, if one of your students is a top-three national winner, your school will win a scholarship to attend the 2018 Jump$tart National Educator Conference. Winners will be announced in March.

Visit for additional contest information and to locate a participating bank in your area.

Help is Only a Call, Email or Chat Away

Everyone needs a little help now and then. Let the SkillsUSA Membership Hotline operators help you solve your problems. Hotline operators are ready to answer your questions on how to start a new chapter, engage chapter members and strengthen an existing chapter. Operators are on call from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. (Eastern time) Monday, Wednesday and Friday and from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesday and Thursday. Call the hotline toll free: 844-875-4557.

Don’t have time to call? Send the operators an email at or chat with them online at the membership registration site.