About SkillsUSA Illinois

SkillsUSA Illinois is a state and national membership association serving high school, college and middle school students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including health occupations, and for further education.
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps each student excel.

Our Organization

Use the tabs below to learn more information about organization.

SkillsUSA Mission

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps each student excel. SkillsUSA Illinois’ mission is to empower its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.
 

SkillsUSA Theme

The SkillsUSA competition theme for the 2018-19 year is:

SkillsUSA: Champions at Work, Career-Ready Starts Here.

The SkillsUSA competition theme is used throughout the year as the topic to be addressed by contestants in the Chapter Display, Prepared Speech and Promotional Bulletin Board competitions at local, state and national levels.
The topic to be addressed by contestants in the Chapter Display, Prepared Speech and Promotional Bulletin Board competitions is how our theme, “SkillsUSA: Champions at Work, Career-Ready Starts Here,” addresses the SkillsUSA program of work in the area of professional development. For more information on the current year’s theme, click here.

 SkillsUSA Colors

SkillsUSA Emblem

The shield represents patriotism

The shield denotes our belief in democracy, liberty and the American way of life.

The gear represents the industrial society

The gear, symbolic of the industrial society, denotes the interdependence and cooperation of the individual working with labor and management for the betterment of mankind.

The torch represents knowledge

The flaming torch reflects the light of knowledge, which dispels the darkness of ignorance. In the light of the torch, progress will be made toward the vocational goals of the individual.

The orbital circles represent technology

The circles represent the challenge of modern technology and the training needed to accept and master the challenge of new technical frontiers and the need for continuous education.

The hands represent the individual

The hands portray a search for knowledge and our desire to acquire a skill. In the process of attaining knowledge and skill, we will develop a respect for the dignity of work and become productive and responsible citizens.

SkillsUSA Official Attire

Wearing the official SkillsUSA attire adds a sense of unity and identification, as well as enthusiasm, to meetings, ceremonies, presentations and activities. Members are encouraged to strictly follow the guidelines for official attire during ceremonies, visits with dignitaries, officer campaigns and similar occasions.

Official Attire for women:
  • Red SkillsUSA blazer, windbreaker, sweater or black SkillsUSA jacket
  • White collarless or small-collared blouse or white turtleneck, collar not to extend over the blazer lapel or the sweater, windbreaker or jacket
  • Black dress skirt (knee-length) or black dress slacks
  • Black sheer (not opaque) or skin-tone seamless hose
  • Black shoes
Official attire for men:
  • Red SkillsUSA blazer, windbreaker, sweater or black SkillsUSA jacket
  • White dress shirt
  • Plain, solid black tie
  • Black dress slacks
  • Plain black socks
  • Black dress shoes

To order official clothing and work uniforms for competition, go to the SkillsUSA Supply Service.

SkillsUSA Motto

Preparing for leadership in the world of work.

SkillsUSA Pledge

Upon my honor, I pledge:

  • To prepare myself by diligent study and ardent practice to become a worker whose services will be recognized as honorable by my employer and fellow workers.
  • To base my expectations of reward upon the solid foundation of service.
  • To honor and respect my vocation in such a way as to bring repute to myself.
  • And further, to spare no effort in upholding the ideals of SkillsUSA.

Meaning of the Pledge

Upon my honor, I pledge:
This is a very strong statement. It means you are committed to follow through on your promise.
To prepare myself:
Preparation requires self-control. It means effort without immediate reward but with the knowledge that the effort will pay off when the preparation is completed.
By diligent study:
Diligence implies something far beyond a quick review of assignments. Diligence means perseverance, concentration and not always taking the easy route.
And ardent practice:
A person of character makes every effort in spite of setbacks or personal loss.
To become a worker:
SkillsUSA members take pride in making things happen, in being good workers and in their employers.
Whose services:
Doing things for others is the basis of many occupations. SkillsUSA members strive to be active in their schools and communities.
Will be recognized as honorable:
The result of preparation, study, practice, work and service is the respect and honor given SkillsUSA members.
To base my expectations of reward upon the solid foundation of service:
This statement reinforces the attitude that we must first serve in order to gain. This attitude is important to success.
To respect my vocation:
SkillsUSA members recognize the need to find their vocation and strive to understand its traditions, skills, leaders and potential.
To bring repute to myself:
SkillsUSA members strive to have a good reputation among their peers, fellow workers, teachers, parents and employers.
To spare no effort in upholding these ideals:
This means service to the community, school and SkillsUSA chapter – getting things done and becoming a leader, all with the ideals of SkillsUSA in mind.

SkillsUSA Creed

 

I believe in the dignity of work

I hold that society has advanced to its present culture through the use of the worker’s hands and mind. I will maintain a feeling of humbleness for the knowledge and skills that I receive from professionals, and I will conduct myself with dignity in the work I do. 

I believe in the American way of life

I know our culture is the result of freedom of action and opportunities won by the founders of our American republic, and I will uphold their ideals.

I believe in education

I will endeavor to make the best use of knowledge, skills and experience that I will learn in order that I may be a better worker in my chosen occupation and a better citizen in my community. To this end, I will continue my learning now and in the future.

I believe in fair play

I will, through honesty and fair play, respect the rights of others. I will always conduct myself in the manner of the best professionals in my occupation and treat those with whom I work as I would like to be treated.

I believe satisfaction is achieved by good work

I feel that compensation and personal satisfaction received for my work and services will be in proportion to my creative and productive ability.

I believe in high moral and spiritual standards

I will endeavor to conduct myself in such a manner as to set an example for others by living a wholesome life and by fulfilling my responsibilities as a citizen of my community.

SkillsUSA Illinois History

A cabinetmaking/woodworking instructor in Montello, Wisconsin named Harry Meinert was active in getting his classroom to participate in the community. Two students inspired classroom projects gave Harry the idea to start an organization.
Check out more than six decades of history below!
1950s
  • 1952- IIEC Illinois Industrial Education Clubs founded.
  • 1954- The Red Blazer was adopted as the IIEC uniform.
1960's
  • 1964- At a Vocational Association Conference in Kansas City, MO Harry Meinert convinced Ralph C. Neal of Ohio and Jesse Carroll of Texas to accept the “Red Blazer” as the recognized uniform in exchange for dropping the word “education” from the potential name list for a newly founded National Organization.
  • 1964- Harry Meinert and Philip Baird traveled with their peers from several State associations to Washington D.C. to meet with the AFL-CIO to get the approval for a National Student Organization.
  • 1964- In anticipation of the founding of the national organization, Illinois holds its 1st state conference.
  • 1965- The first National Conference was held at the Hotel Andrew Jackson in Nashville TN. The building stood at Sixth and Deaderick just east of Memorial Plaza.
  • 1965- IIEC was disbanded, losing a significant portion of its membership. The newly founded Vocational Industrial Clubs of America would be the nationally recognized organization. Leon Elliot served as the first State Director.
  • 1965- two member of the Illinois Delegation Peggy Glassford Regional VP and Shirley Frankiewicz Secretary were elected as the members of the 1st National Officer Team.
  • 1969- Tim Renshaw of Illinois was elected as national office and served as regional VP. (5th team
1970's
  • 1971 Harry Meinert is made an honorary life member.
  • 1972 Brudus Fulks of Illinois was elected as national office and served as regional VP.
  • 1973 Raeann Dalke of Illinois was elected as national office and served as regional VP.
  • 1975 Mary Palusiak of Illinois was elected as national office and served as regional VP.
  • 1977 Rondle Castle is awarded the international. VICA Degree.
1980's
  • 1981 Cheryl Stonecipher and Jodie Prowant of Illinois was elected as national officers and serving as regional VP and PS Secretary. Jodie Prowant is the 1st PS office from Illinois.
  • 1983 Janet Price of Illinois was elected as national office and served as PS Secretary.
  • 1985 Mark Boyd of Illinois was elected as national office and served as PS VP.
  • 1987 Don Bauc is appointed as the 7th State Director.
  • 1989 SkillsUSA Illinois Celebrates its 25th Anniversary.
1990's
  • 1990 Philip Baird is made an honorary life member.
  • 1991 State Director Don Bauc places a motion before the Board of Directors for the creation of the two leadership awards. The Harry Meinert award for the outstanding  Secondary State Officer and the Philip G. Baird Award for Outstanding Post-Secondary Officer. They we approved and distributed for the first time that year.
  • 1992 Christopher Sessa of Illinois was elected as national office and served as PS Parliamentarian.
  • 1995 Eddie McDuffie of Illinois was elected as national office and served as Regional VP.
  • 1998 Scott Logan of Illinois was elected as national office and served as PS President.
2000's
  • 2005 Sean Apsey of Illinois was elected as national office and served as PS Parliamentarian.
  • 2007 Don Bauc is made an honorary life member.
2010's
  • 2010 Loree Hayden (now Moore) of Illinois was elected as national office and served as PS Vice President.
  • 2010 Illinois has 3 recipients of the International SkillsUSA Degree. Kim Cioni, Karyn Hawthorne, and Nicholas Hulva. Karen, Kim, and Nicholas were presented their degrees at the National Leadership and Skills Championships Awards Ceremony.
  • 2015 Eric Hill was named the 8th Executive Director of SkillsUSA Illinois.