LOUISVILLE, Ky. —The city is ready to host the world’s largest showcase of skilled trades when the 54th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference returns to the Kentucky Exposition Center June 24-29. The event brings with it an estimated economic impact of $26.2 million to Louisville.
More than 18,000 students including middle, high and college students along with teachers, education leaders and representatives from 600 national corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions participate in the event. SkillsUSA instructional programs represent 130 different occupational areas.
The conference highlight is the annual SkillsUSA Championships, June 27-28. During the competition, top career and technical students participate in 102 hands-on contests, representing a wide range of technical, skilled, service and health occupations. These contests cover 1.4 million square feet or 20 football fields and are across several divisions including Skilled and Technical Sciences, Leadership Development, Occupationally related and demonstration contests. Some examples of each are:
Skilled and Technical Sciences: Aviation Maintenance Technology, Masonry, Web Design
Leadership Development: Employment Application Process, Prepared Speech, Quiz Bowl
Occupationally Related: Engineering Technology/Design, Entrepreneurship, Medical Terminology
The SkillsUSA Championships requires an immense amount of equipment and materials including 2,000 computers, 12,500 bricks, 1,500 blocks, over 60 stoves and ovens, more than 25 refrigerators, over 100 welders and greater than 50 manufacturing machines and complete laboratories for machining, welding, auto repair and painting.
“This is a great benefit for Louisville as we get the opportunity to watch these bright youth participate in competitions at the forefront of their industries, in addition to the positive impact they have on our community through their service projects,” said Karen Williams, President & CEO of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are honored and thrilled to welcome them back,” she said.
SkillsUSA community service projects are an instrumental component of the event as they volunteer throughout the week. This year’s projects include:
Blood Drive: June 28, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kentucky Exposition Center Parking Lot: Outdoor Trade Show
The public can donate blood to the local community via the Kentucky Blood Center.
Service Projects: June 29
Students will share their skills and work on local projects including: Youthbuild Louisville, Louisville Metro Parks, Louisville Rescue Mission, Louisville Grows and more.
SkillsUSA Championships is free and open to the public Wednesday, June 27 and Thursday, June 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is $8 per car, $20 for a bus.
SkillsUSA’s mission is to empower its members to become world-class workers, leaders and
responsible American citizens. SkillsUSA improves the quality of America’s skilled workforce through a structured program of citizenship, leadership, employability, technical and professional skills training. Founded in 1965, the organization has served 12.5 million members, and more than 360,000 advisors and students participate each year.
Since 1968, the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (LCVB) primary goal has been to enhance the area’s economy through tourism development – to promote and sell Louisville as a world-class destination. Tourism is the third largest industry in Louisville generating an estimated economic impact of $3.5 billion which supports over 27,000 local tourism-related jobs. Guests are coming from around the globe to attend a meeting, convention, special event, as a leisure guest or a combination. More than 16.4 million visitors are experiencing Louisville’s authenticity, bourbon and culinary scenes and our unique brand of Southerness. The LCVB was one of the first Destination Marketing Organizations in the country fifty years ago and was one of the first to become accredited in 2006, by the independent, international standards program developed by the Washington, D.C. based Destinations International.