National Leadership and Skills Conference

SkillsUSA’s NLSC, including the SkillsUSA Championships and SkillsUSA TECHSPO, will be held virtually in 2021.

While I know the first reaction to this news will be disappointment, I want to assure all of you that we WILL be holding an engaging and inspiring event you can all be proud of, including all of our SkillsUSA Championships competitions, SkillsUSA TECHSPO and many other events associated with our national conference. Although the medals our competitors receive may not be presented in person this year, those bronze, silver and gold medallions will be just as valuable and just as respected by industry as they’ve always been. They’ll also be just as likely to lead students to life-changing educational and career opportunities.

Some of the factors that led to our decision include:

Number one on that list, as always, is the health and safety of our members and stakeholders. With so much still unclear as to when large face-to-face gatherings will be deemed safe and when the effects of the virus will finally subside, we could not in good conscience move forward with the planning of an in-person event bringing thousands of our members and stakeholders together from across the country.

Travel restrictions have also had a large effect on our decision. In a survey conducted in October, 23 state associations revealed that imposed travel restrictions in their states would prevent them from attending the national conference. With the increase of COVID cases nationwide, more states have since been added to that list. Complicating the situation further are state budgetary restrictions that also affect the ability to travel, even where travel restrictions are not in place. If state delegations are unable to travel, they cannot participate in a national in-person event, and our national conference cannot function without that participation.

As this hopefully makes clear, an in-person conference in 2021, as much as we all want it, is simply not a realistic option for SkillsUSA. Making our decision now will enable all of us to focus on what IS possible, and to make those events as empowering, engaging and inspiring as we can.

We’ve learned much over the last eight months, and we are working hard to prepare a national event and competitive experience that’s worthy of our long tradition. We will be working with a company specializing in virtual events to create a unique, user-friendly and option-rich environment for all our members. In fact, the virtual format we’re working on may provide even MORE opportunities to make connections with future employers, mentors and friends. This will not be just another Zoom conference. It will be an EVENT, an event students will want to be part of and partners will be proud to support.

As for the SkillsUSA Championships, the guidelines have been revised for each competition to reflect the virtual nature of the event. All competitions will be judged — and many will be conducted — virtually. However, some will require localized areas where hands-on skills will be performed by competitors and overseen by an instructor and a proctor to ensure safety, quality and integrity in all competitions. These hands-on elements will also be documented, and that documentation will be shared with national judges as part of the virtual judging process. Details are still being finalized, but rest assured: the skills of our competitors WILL be put to the test once again this year as they’re judged against tough national standards. We WILL name national bronze, silver and gold medalists, and our partners — as they have always done — will be eager to meet and hire the best career and technical education students in the nation.

Look for more specific details in the days and weeks ahead, and find the latest NLSC updates at

At the SkillsUSA Championships, more than 6,000 students compete in 100 occupational and leadership skill areas. SkillsUSA programs help to establish industry standards for job skill training in the classroom. Competitors earn the right to represent Michigan at this conference by competing at the state level and taking first place among other student competitors. Over 600 student delegates elect the national officers, conduct the business of their organization, meet with business and industry representatives, and hear from government officials.

The conference is attended by over 15,000 individuals from across the country. Approximately 1,100 national corporations, trade associations, labor unions and partners support SkillsUSA at the national level.

Members attend this conference representing SkillsUSA Michigan as competitors, voting delegates, advisors, or guests.



Please be sure to read the contest updates posted on the National web page. Please be sure to check the contest updates regularly. We want all competitors to be aware of this information and any changes, so you are prepared for your contest!



All contestants will be required to submit a one-page, type-written resume. A penalty of 10 points will be assessed for failure to submit a resume. The resume will be turned in at the contest orientation meeting.



All students will be required to take the SkillsUSA Leadership Test.  More details will be forthcoming.



The clothing requirement for your contest is found in the Technical Standards. Please be sure to follow this exactly as you will receive a penalty for not having the proper clothing. Be sure to get the proper clothing beforehand as there is no guarantee that you will be able to purchase what you need at the National Conference. Competition uniforms may be purchased at the SkillsUSA Online Store.



Registrants should remember that they are representing SkillsUSA and forming a public impression of the organization. When traveling, registrants are not required to wear official SkillsUSA attire, but they are encouraged to wear clothing with the SkillsUSA logo — for example, an embroidered polo shirt with khaki slacks. At all times, whether traveling or during the conference, registrants’ overall appearance should be clean and neat. Their attire should be appropriate for the occasion. Contestants must follow the clothing requirements in the official technical standards for their contests. Please refer to the Participant Dress Code for complete details.



All students must be paid members of SkillsUSA Michigan by January 15 in order to participate at the National Conference.



Please make sure that all persons attending the conference are familiar with the Participant Code of Conduct form. The Code of Conduct form is for the protection of you, your students, your school, and SkillsUSA Michigan. A copy of this form needs to be in all participants’ name tags. This will allow for easy access to medical information in case of an emergency.