October 2021

Welcome to the 2021-2022 Year!

The official SkillsUSA Illinois Calendar of Events was released last month.  As an organization, we plan to return to a traditional, in-person event calendar this year. The safety and health of our members is the number one priority of SkillsUSA Illinois. We have partnered with risk management industry-leaders to develop plans and procedures to minimize risks around COVID-19. All events will follow the guidance of the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education. SkillsUSA Illinois will evaluate all information and make decisions on program delivery as event dates draw near.

Click here to view the 2021-22 Calendar of Events. 

Membership Kits
SkillsUSA’s new, opportunity-filled membership kit can now be accessed online, and registered SkillsUSA advisors should expect to receive a kit in the mail in the coming weeks. The kit includes materials for local chapters to run a SkillsUSA Recruitment Week during a week that fits their school schedule this fall. Find this year’s membership kit at skillsusa.org/membership-kit.


Recruitment Week 2021
Membership recruitment week is designed to empower chapter leaders to recruit new members through challenges and experiences with other students from across their state and country. This program was designed to provide chapters a toolkit of resources to help retain and recruit SkillsUSA members as well as provide an opportunity for chapter recognition at the national level. Learn more at LINK


SkillsUSA Illinois State Office
Our office is excited to help your chapter this year! The best way to reach us for any assistance or questions is to email membership@skillsusaillinois.org or call 833.754.5545.

  • Eric Hill, Executive Director
  • Christopher Anderson, Associate Executive Director
  • Amanda Rearden, Administrative Specialist
SkillsUSA Illinois Registered Apprenticeship Program

After a two-year pilot program focused on work-based learning opportunities exploration and research, SkillsUSA Illinois launched our new Registered Apprenticeship Program this past May.  The program implements the SkillsUSA Illinois proven model that improves college and career readiness, creates employment opportunities, addresses equity in underserved communities, and expands partnerships between the workforce system, education, and business. SkillsUSA Illinois, a certified U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship Intermediary, facilitates their Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) process by connecting employers and schools to validate training, create apprenticeship opportunities, and then support apprentices from program start to finish. This opportunity will allow SkillsUSA Illinois to provide apprenticeships in high- growth industries to eligible students at current chapters focusing on high school juniors and seniors and first-year students in college to support workforce development and economic growth.

Through authentic work-based learning, SkillsUSA Illinois apprentices complete related technical instruction training in their classrooms and then receive on-the-job training at a worksite under the supervision of an industry expert. Apprentices are compensated for their work time on-the-job. Successful program graduates will earn the nationally recognized U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship Credential, the SkillsUSA Career Essentials (career-ready) Credential, an industry-recognized employability skill development credential, and industry-specific credentials and certifications. This program truly fulfills the SkillsUSA Illinois mission, of “empowering members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.”

Want to learn more? Email us at apprenticeships@SkillsUSAIllinois.org


SkillsUSA Illinois Foundation Receives Grant for Apprenticeship Expansion

On Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker joined the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and community leaders to announce significant investments to expand workforce training and support Illinois’ continued economic recovery from the pandemic. This includes $4.4 million in grants to support increased access to training for at-risk youth across the state.  These investments will support an expansion of training programs across the state with funds deployed to 20 partner organizations serving an estimated 500 youth over a one-year period.

The Illinois Foundation of SkillsUSA – VICA, an arm of SkillsUSA Illinois, Inc., is a collection of private and public partners with the goal of providing continuing success and growth of SkillsUSA Illinois. The foundation supports SkillsUSA Illinois, Inc. in achieving programmatic and business success. Through this grant opportunity, the foundation will receive $180,000 to expand SkillsUSA Illinois’s Registered Apprenticeship Program, specifically in the sectors of Manufacturing and Transportation, Distribution and Logistics. To read the full press release, click here.

L.E.A.D. 2021 – Registration Deadline October 13

L.E.A.D. is a two-day (Nov. 11-13) employability skill development conference that helps members activate their career and leadership potential through hands-on, high-energy and motivational programming. L.E.A.D. allows members to increase career readiness through experience, understand how to lead a SkillsUSA Chapter and gain a set of skills that can be used to lead others. L.E.A.D. is also for career and technical education professionals, offering development around the best practices of career readiness instruction and this year will focus on work-based learning initiatives. Learn more at skillsusaillinois.org/lead.

Illinois Recognized for Organizational Leadership

SkillsUSA Illinois, Inc. was again recognized for Gold Level achievement in SkillsUSA’s State Standards of Excellence Program for the 2020-2021 year. The purpose of the program is to ensure state associations have in place policies, procedures and structure on an annual basis that deliver a high level of service to membership. This program serves as a system to allow states to benchmark their performance and determine improvements to become the very best organization for their members. SkillsUSA Illinois is honored to have received this level of recognition.