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

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SkillsUSA Mission

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. We help each student excel. A nonprofit national education association, SkillsUSA serves middle-school, high-school and college/postsecondary students preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations.

 

Mission Statement:

SkillsUSA empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. We improve the quality of our nation’s future skilled workforce through the development of SkillsUSA Framework skills that include personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics.

 

Our vision is to produce the most highly skilled workforce in the world, providing every member the opportunity for career success. SkillsUSA serves more than 331,000  students and instructors annually. This includes 19,019 instructors who join as professional members. Including alumni, SkillsUSA membership totals over 393,000. SkillsUSA has served nearly 14 million annual members cumulatively since 1965 and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor as a successful model of employer-driven workforce development.

SkillsUSA Illinois Region Map

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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.

1960s

  • 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)

1970s

  • 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.

1980s

  • 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.

1990s

  • 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.

2000s

  • 2005 Sean Apsey of Illinois was elected as national office and served as PS Parliamentarian.

  • 2007 Don Bauc is made an honorary life member.

2010s

  • 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 Hawthorne, 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.