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SkillsUSA National Signing Day Celebrates the Skilled Trades

SkillsUSA and committed partners shine a well-deserved spotlight on students pursuing the skilled trades careers our nation depends on.
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Photo by Brooke Gatchell

SkillsUSA National Signing Day made a media splash nationwide on May 4, working with industry partners to highlight the value of skilled trades careers. The nationwide events recognized career and technical students for their dedication to career readiness and their commitment to their future career plans. A total of 1,421 students in 104 chapters in 34 states participated in the event.

For the SkillsUSA members and their instructors, school administrators and parents who witnessed the events, the day contained all the celebratory elements of a graduation or athletic signing day with signs, banner, balloons, speeches and lots of photos to commemorate the important moments. Students were recognized by their school administrators, teachers, elected officials, SkillsUSA advisors, family and friends for deciding to pursue a career in the skilled trades. Students were applauded as they announced their career plans and signed “letters of intent” for a job, apprenticeship or further technical training.

“SkillsUSA’s National Signing Day salutes students who express their commitment to a fulfilling and rewarding career in the skilled trades,” says SkillsUSA Executive Director Chelle Travis. “SkillsUSA is America’s champion of the skilled trades. By empowering the next generation of workers, SkillsUSA can help close the skills gap while presenting robust career opportunities for young workers who enjoy interesting jobs that offer stability and long-term benefits. This annual national event generates greater awareness of the skilled trades and these rewarding career paths.”

National SkillsUSA partners who supported SkillsUSA National Signing Day included Angi, Constellation, Wolverine and the Lowe’s Foundation.


New SkillsUSA partner Angi hosted events for students on Instagram and TikTok on May 4 and provided creative digital assets, celebratory banners, filters and gifs to construction and related trades students participating in National Signing Day. By partnering to sponsor National Signing Day, Angi brought their platform, brand and network of pros to the SkillsUSA cause in efforts to change the perception around home trades and highlight the positive attributes of careers in the trades such as high earning potential, high satisfaction and high community impact. They also placed a full-page ad in the New York Times to celebrate the skilled trades and SkillsUSA members that have chosen the skilled trades as a career.

“Every day, men and women across the U.S. begin each day setting off to do the vitally important work that is helping people, improve, maintain and repair their homes,” said Angie Hicks, Chief Customer Officer, Angi. “We know that these jobs do not get the credit and recognition they deserve, even though they boast high earning potential, high satisfaction, high demand and high community impact. Students choosing careers in the trades are making a great decision and we are happy to celebrate them.”


Constellation supported a SkillsUSA Signing Day ceremony at Maryland’s Calvert County Public Schools’ Career and Technology Academy (Calvert CTA) that celebrated 56 graduating seniors. In attendance were business partners, sponsors, community officials, school leaders and families. “We’re proud to support SkillsUSA and Calvert CTA and the significant work they’re leading to connect hardworking and motivated students in our community with long-term, good-paying careers,” said Director of Philanthropy at Constellation Carrie Stockwell. “This is one example of Constellation’s Powering Change workforce development initiative in action, and it exemplifies our commitment to strengthening our communities and building the workforce of the future.”

At the event, the deputy district director for U.S. Congressman Steny Hoyer, Stephanie Carey Barone, shared remarks from the congressman at the event. “As you all embark on this journey to technical schools, trade unions, local businesses, and the military, remember that each of you are integral to your local communities by providing essential services upon which we all rely.”

Dr. Andraé Townsel, superintendent of Calvert County Public Schools also spoke and said, “Congratulations to all of you today. You have worked tirelessly to achieve your goals and your dedication has paid off in a big way. Your success is a testament to the hard work that you’ve put in and you should be extremely proud of yourselves.”


Wolverine supported SkillsUSA’s National Signing Day activities at Bay Arenac ISD Center in Bay City, Mich., where 130 students signed their letters of intent. About 300 in total attended, including parents, future employers and teachers. Jim Harbaugh, renowned head football coach of the University of Michigan Wolverines, brought four University of Michigan Football players to the event. “I’m proud to be part of this impactful event with the Wolverine brand to celebrate these students in the same way that student athletes are celebrated for committing to a four-year university,” he said. “It’s important to recognize and encourage those who are pursuing careers in the skilled trades as this is a critical industry that keeps our country running. There’s no better place off the field for my players and me to rally around our blue-collar work ethic than at SkillsUSA National Signing Day.”

Photo by Brooke Gatchell.

Half of the 130 students signed their letters of intent in the morning and the other half in the afternoon. During the break, Wolverine organized a business and industry panel discussion with moderator SkillsUSA Michigan state director Danielle West and panelists Coach Jim Harbaugh, Scott Schoessel, vice president of global marketing for Wolverine; Brian Hawkins, senior general superintendent Three Rivers, Justin Pomerville, president, Tri-County Building Trades and Tammy Richards, production manager of SC Johnson.

The day ended with Wolverine taking portrait photos of each student and gifting them a Wolverine backpack and a $400 gift card toward Wolverine boots.

Check out Wolverine’s blog and video about the event!

Lowe’s Foundation

Longtime partner Lowe’s also provided financial support for SkillsUSA National Signing Day. “Lowe’s is committed to addressing the critical need to develop the skilled trades workforce so that we can continue to build and revitalize our homes, neighborhoods and infrastructure for the future,” said a Lowe’s spokesperson. “We were thrilled to support SkillsUSA National Signing Day, as it put a spotlight on the next generation of skilled tradespeople who are taking their first steps toward a rewarding career in this high-demand industry.”

Check out our website for just a few of the SkillsUSA National Signing Day celebrations from schools and chapters nationwide.

2023 SkillsUSA National Signing Day Flickr Album

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