LOUISVILLE — SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, the world’s largest showcase of skilled trades, will returnsto the Kentucky Exposition Center June 20-24. The event brings with it an estimated economic impact of $14 million to the greater Louisville region.
The mission of SkillsUSA is to ensure a skilled workforce by preparing students for success in their chosen technical, service and health fields. Founded in 1965, the organization has served 12.2 million members, and more than 300,000 advisors and high school and college students participate each year.
SkillsUSA has contracted with the Kentucky Exposition Center through 2021 for its annual leadership and skills conferences.
“The organization selected the Exposition Center with student safety uppermost in their minds,” said Linda Edwards, Vice President with the Kentucky State Fair Board. “The campus’ level of security and self-containment was a strong motivating factor. They also appreciate that the facility is all on one level, air-conditioned, close to the airport, offers plenty of parking and features Kentucky Kingdom on the property.”
It’s estimated that more than 15,000 students, teachers and education leaders, as well as representatives from corporations, trade associations and labor unions, will attend this year’s National Leadership and Skills Conference. A highlight of the event includes the SkillsUSA Championships, with 6,000 high school and college students competing in 100 hands-on contests.
The contests represent a wide range of technical, skilled, service and health occupations, including: Architectural drafting; Carpentry; Cosmetology; Crime scene investigation; Masonry; Practical nursing; Welding; Culinary arts; Firefighting; Plumbing; Aviation maintenance technology; Electrical construction wiring and Digital cinema production and Sheet metal.
SkillsUSA Championships is free and open to the public Tuesday, June 21, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesday and Thursday, June 22-23, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is $8 per car, $20 for a bus.
“SkillsUSA draws the most talented and skilled students from across the country,” said Edwards. “Though they’re only here for a week, they make positive contributions to our city, working with Habitat for Humanity, Louisville Metro Parks, St. Joseph’s Children’s Home, Falls of Ohio and other organizations. By the time the conference ends, the students have made meaningful connections with our community. They leave as ambassadors of Louisville; it’s a win-win for everyone.”
The public is invited to join SkillsUSA students June 21-23 in the West Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center to help in the Build a Bench Community Event. Benches will be constructed and donated to area nonprofit organizations, public schools and community parks. For more information, visit www.skillsusa.org.