Photo by Lloyd Wolf.
An exciting new report affirms what more than 14 million SkillsUSA members served since 1965 already know: SkillsUSA involvement better prepares students for personal and professional success.
“The SkillsUSA Advantage” report — just released by the Student Research Foundation — shows that SkillsUSA members consistently outperform peers not enrolled in a career and technical student organization (CTSO) in seven essential areas:
- Earning a license or certification related to their field of study
- Meeting potential employers
- Being excited about their chosen career
- Gaining work experience as a student
- Understanding the work environment
- Being excited about school
- Connecting school to the real world
Among the more than 27,000 high school students surveyed, this “SkillsUSA advantage” holds true regardless of gender, race/ethnicity or socioeconomic status. In fact, girls, students of color and students at low socio-economic schools all showed improved outcomes from participating in SkillsUSA. SkillsUSA students also reported greater access to expanded opportunities and dramatically improved career-readiness skills.
“This report truly validates the power and importance of SkillsUSA’s mission,” says Chelle Travis, SkillsUSA’s executive director. “What’s even more exciting is how the life-changing, career-shaping benefits of membership are equally available to SkillsUSA students from all backgrounds.”
One of the first post-pandemic looks at students, the report underscores the importance of removing barriers to ensure that all potential members have an opportunity to participate in SkillsUSA and reap those benefits in their own lives. In fact, increasing access to SkillsUSA as part of career and technical education (CTE) is one way of increasing equity in educational outcomes. Expanding student access to SkillsUSA is also a promising solution to meeting our nation’s future workforce needs while helping to close the skills gap that threatens economic growth.
Download and share The SkillsUSA Advantage report to help spread the word: There has never been a better time to be skilled, and there has never been a better time to be a member of SkillsUSA.
Source: Career Interest Survey by the Student Research Foundation administered in fall 2021. Analysis is based on responses of 27,686 CTE students in high school classrooms across the nation.