State Leadership and Skills Conference

April 5 – 7, 2019

Each April, approximately 500 business and industry leaders will coordinate nearly 80 skill and leadership contests that they have prepared for the 1,500 student members from across the state.

These are entry-level, hands-on skill contests, evaluated by the same industry leaders who prepare them. The contests are based on industry driven occupational skill standards. Business partners work throughout the school year to plan the competitive events and many of them hire their new employees right off the competition floor!

After participating in contests during the day, members will have free time to meet and socialize with other SkillsUSA Michigan members, and explore downtown Grand Rapids. Chapter delegates will also elect the new SkillsUSA Michigan State Officers who will lead us into another exciting year!

Sunday’s award session showcases the top students in each contest. Generous industry leaders donate thousands of dollars in prizes in the form of scholarships, tools, reference manuals and training aids for the winners and their schools. First place winners from each division in most contests are offered the opportunity to represent Michigan at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference!


Conference headquarters is located in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. The Opening Session and Award Ceremony will take place at DeVos Place. Contests will take place in several locations around Grand Rapids.


All registrations must be made electronically on the registration form through your Lead Advisor. Everyone attending the state conference and/or competing in a state contest must be registered using this form and pay the registration fee. Paper registration forms will NOT be accepted.


Because SkillsUSA Michigan realizes that some schools have a long lead time to have a check issued for payment, we have developed this procedure for schools to request a two week payment extension. Schools requesting a payment extension need to complete and submit this form by March 6, 2018. A new form must be submitted for each conference for which an extension is requested.


The day of the competition, competitors are encouraged to bring with them snacks and/or lunch to the contest site, as they may not be able to leave the contest site until the contest is finished. Contestant lunches are not provided by SkillsUSA Michigan but may be provided by the contest technical committee.


A student can compete in only one state contest.


Students who did NOT qualify to compete at States but are attending the State Conference may be eligible to be on the Approved Alternate List. Students accepted for the Approved Alternate List must be approved by the State Director before the State Conference and have met the following criteria:
• Competed at Regionals in that contest.
• Are registered as an alternate for a team event and must indicate what team they are an alternate for. These alternates are only allowed to substitute for a competitor of the indicated team.


With your registration, each person attending the conference must submit a Participant Code of Conduct Form. Failure to turn in a Participant Code of Conduct Form for each person attending the conference (students, advisors, observers, etc.) will disqualify the person (whose form is missing) from conference activities, including competition. Please make of copy of these forms to submit to our office. The originals are to remain with you or the Lead Advisor at the conference. Please make sure that all persons attending the conference are familiar with the Participant Code of Conduct. The Participant Code of Conduct is for the protection of you, your students, your school, and SkillsUSA Michigan.


In order for SkillsUSA Michigan to be HIPAA compliant, we are no longer allowed to collect personal medical information for each person attending the conference. It will be the responsibility of the local school to maintain/keep medical information and have permission to dispense it as needed. We will still be requiring the signed Participant Code of Conduct form for each person attending the conference (students, advisors, observers, etc.).


The Advisors Council has determined that there should be adequate supervision for the students provided by each school. One (1) adult is responsible for every ten (10) students attending the conference. Please be sure to register the appropriate number of advisors from your school. Each school will decide which advisors are to be responsible for which students. Accountability for any student’s misconduct will be the direct responsibility of the advisor in charge of his/her designee. Advisors should have available at all times the name, address, and phone number of the parents/guardians of each student they are responsible for.


As approved by the Advisor Council in July 2012, all schools competing on April 7-9, 2017 MUST stay at one of the official State Conference hotels. No other hotels are allowed. Commuting is NOT allowed. The hotel registration is separate from the State Conference registration and reservations are made on a separate form. The hotel charges are NOT included in the State Conference registration fee.


Please sign up using the codes below to receive important text messages at the State Conference. We will post more information in March.


SkillsUSA supports community service activities and the State Officers are sponsoring a State-wide Food Sculpture Contest. Winning schools will be recognized at the Sunday Morning Awards Program. Detailed information about the State-wide Food Sculpture Contest is available on the Special Contest Page.


The lead advisor from each attending school will be given their conference materials upon registration on Friday at the SkillsUSA Michigan headquarters at the Registration Desk on the second floor of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Conference registration starts on Friday at 12:00 pm. You will need to check-in before your students take the Leadership Test.


After reviewing the conference materials if there are corrections and/or changes, please bring them to the conference headquarters at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel before the Opening General Session on Friday. Corrections will be made Friday evening and if needed, new name badges will be available at the SkillsUSA Michigan headquarters on Saturday morning. No changes will be allowed after the start of the Opening General Session.


Contest information for each event will be available on our web site by the first week in March. The web site contains important information about each contest, including what each competitor needs to bring to the contest.


The State Conference Dress Code was approved by the Advisor Council in July 2008. The Advisor Council will be on hand at each meeting to determine if a student is properly dressed before he/she will be allowed on the stage. This dress code applies to all participants (students, advisors, observers, guests, etc.).


SkillsUSA Michigan and the Advisor’ Council changed the State Conference awards presentation procedure in 2010. At the State Conference Awards Ceremony on Sunday, the Advisors’ Council will be on hand to determine if a student is properly dressed before he/she will be allowed on the stage. If a student is determined to be not properly dressed (as outlined above), then the student will be instructed to go to the right of the stage to receive their award. Improperly dressed students will not be allowed to stand in front of the stage to receive their medallions (as in previous years). Pictures may be taken on the awards podium after the completion of the awards ceremony.


In an effort to conserve time and resources, the industry awards will be announced and distributed as follows:
• Announcement – Before the Awards Ceremony begins, recognition will be given to the industry award donors on the large screen.
• Program – Industry award donors will also be recognized in the State Conference program.
• Distribution – The industry awards will be given to the winners in a separate room outside of the ballroom. After the winners receive their medal and plaque on stage and have had their picture taken, they will need to go to the industry awards room and show their plaque to claim their industry award. They must show their plaque in order to receive their industry award.

For an industry award donor to receive recognition at the State Conference, the new Industry Awards Form must be filled out completely and sent in to the State Office by March 1, 2017.

Important – All industry awards must be picked up at the Sunday Awards Ceremony at the State Conference. Industry awards will NOT be sent after the State Conference, as in year past, with the medal and plaque.


Each student must submit a one-page printed resume before the contest start at the contest site (present to contest coordinator, not judges). The resume is no longer submitted online. This is the only time that resumes can be turned in. Failure to do so will result in a 10 point penalty. The resume rubric is available to download.


All students will be required to take the SkillsUSA Leadership Test on Friday afternoon anytime between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm. The students with the top ten scores on the Leadership test will be recognized at the Sunday Awards Ceremony. This test is also used as a tie-breaker for competitors. A study guide for this test is available to download here.


There are several contests that start and/or have testing on Friday, April 7, 2017. Be sure to download the state contests information on Contests page and review it carefully. SkillsUSA Michigan is not responsible for competitors that do not follow the posted contest information.


SkillsUSA Michigan will provide transportation from the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel to outlying contest sites on Saturday. Transportation is NOT provided for contests held before April 20, 2018 or not held in Grand Rapids on April 20-22, 2018 unless otherwise stated on the Contest page.


SkillsUSA Michigan is committed to providing equal access to all persons in admission to, access to, or operation of its programs or services. Individuals with disabilities or needing accommodations must complete and submit a Special Needs Request Form to the state office with your registration. SkillsUSA Michigan is not responsible for providing special accommodations if this form is not submitted.


Each chapter will be allowed to have official voting delegates at the Delegate Meeting. All delegates must be registered for the state conference. They may be students that are already attending the conference in another capacity (competitor, observer, alternate, etc.). Only students with a voting delegate or alternate delegate ribbon on their name tag will be admitted to the Delegate Meeting on Saturday afternoon and therefore, be allowed to vote for the state officers and on state business. The number of official voting delegates is based on your chapter’s membership as of January 15, 2018. The chart of official voting delegates is available here.


At the Friday Opening General Session, we will have a Miracle Minute to donate money to a charity. We are asking all students and advisors to donate a few dollars and/or their pocket change to this Community Service activity. Please be sure to bring your donation with you to the Friday Opening General Session.


All advisors are asked to attend the Advisor Meeting on Saturday night. This meeting is conducted by the Advisors Council. Advisor Years of Service awards and information regarding the National Leadership and Skills Conference will be given out at this meeting.


Information regarding the National Leadership and Skills Conference on June 25-30, 2018 will be passed out at the Advisor Meeting on Saturday Night. There will NOT be a meeting immediately following the Awards Ceremony, as in the past.


All students can earn the Michigan Statesman Award on Saturday evening. Information will be included in your school packet. The award (a pin and certificate) can be earned by:
• Reciting to a State Officer the answers to the seven SkillsUSA knowledge questions.
• Have the State Officer initial the spaces by all of the oral questions that he or she has reviewed.
• Turning in the completed checklist that evening.


Information on the Sunday Morning Awards Program is as follows:
• Breakfast will not be provided.
• Pictures of the medalists in each contest will be taken
• The pictures will be posted our Flickr site


State contest results will be sent to the lead advisor two weeks after the State Conference.