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Executive Update: March 2024

In this update:

SkillsUSA Illinois Grows Again

SkillsUSA Illinois is experiencing another year of growth, evident in both membership and conference participation. Membership has once again expanded across all three divisions—middle school, high school, and college/postsecondary. The value of SkillsUSA Illinois lies in its ability to serve as a bridge between educational institutions and employers in workforce development partnerships. We remain steadfast in our mission to empower students authentically, enabling them to become skilled professionals, career-ready leaders, and responsible community members.

Moreover, SkillsUSA Illinois is poised to host its largest state conference in recent history. The Championships: Illinois’ Elite Career Competitions will welcome nearly 2,600 competitors across 127 career competitions. This event is positioned to be a cornerstone of workforce development in the state and a premier showcase of career and technical education.

Get Ready For The Championships 2024

Your chapter's participation in The Championships 2024: Illinois’ Elite Career Competitions in Peoria is eagerly anticipated. We have invested significant effort in enhancing member recognition opportunities, creating new programs based on advisor feedback, and expanding career competition offerings for our members. Your involvement in this event is vital, and we are committed to ensuring you have a fulfilling and rewarding experience.


Currently, our team is in the process of finalizing registration and hotel assignments. Lead Advisors can expect to receive additional information and answers to any questions soon. Following the completion of this process, chapters will receive conference invoices.


It's essential to start preparing for the career competitions now. Competitors should familiarize themselves with the Technical Standards, accessible to advisors through the SkillsUSA Absorb platform, as well as the Illinois Competition Guides available on the SkillsUSA Illinois website at

Courtesy Corps Returns

SkillsUSA Illinois is thrilled for the return of The Courtesy Corps at the upcoming Championships. Members of this corps play a vital role in ensuring the smooth execution of our conferences, focusing on delivering exceptional customer service to all attendees. Participation in the Courtesy Corps offers members who haven't attended the Championships an opportunity to do so, aiming to broaden the event's impact. Corps members will gain hands-on experience in event setup, support, and execution, fostering confidence for future participation.


We are currently seeking additional members for The Championships 2024. Courtesy Corps members receive complimentary meals and registration onsite, with only hotel accommodations being the responsibility of the chapter. For more information, review the Courtesy Corps Information or reach out to Brendan Creamer with any questions at

Healthcare Pathways: Career Experience

April 12, 2024 – Methodist College (Peoria, IL) | Registration Deadline: April 3

Experience the first Healthcare Pathways: Career Experience, presented by SkillsUSA Illinois in partnership with Carle Health and Methodist College. Open to schools statewide, with a special emphasis on Central Illinois, this event is set to create a new way young talent connects with leading healthcare employers in the region. Students will have an exclusive opportunity to network with industry leaders who are actively seeking to recruit and mentor the next generation of healthcare professionals. The goal of this event is to bridge the gap between students eager to embark on their career journey and employers ready to provide invaluable guidance and employment opportunities.


Learn more about the event at

SkillsUSA Illinois Partners to “Employ Central Illinois”

SkillsUSA Illinois along with a consortium of regional partners, led by Illinois Central College (ICC), secured a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Perkins Innovation and Modernization (PIM) Career Connected High Schools Grant Program.


These partners, including Illini Bluffs High School, Pekin High School, Peoria Public Schools, the Peoria Regional Office of Education, the West Central Illinois Building and Construction Trades Unions, and ICC, will collaborate to align work-based learning experiences and dual credit with post-secondary options for paid apprenticeships. The initiative aims to provide high school students equal access to high-quality courses and work-based experiences in various professions such as healthcare, construction, manufacturing, and information technology. To read the full press release, click here.

National Leadership & Skills Conference 2024

June 24–28, 2024 (Atlanta, GA)

Information for the National Leadership & Skills Conference has been posted to the SkillsUSA Illinois website. Registration opens on April 27 and closes May 8. To learn more, visit

Regional Advisor’s Meeting

The next Region 7 Advisors Meeting is scheduled for April 5, 2024, at the Country Charm Restaurant (101 Lincolnway Dr. # 2034, New Lenox, IL 60451). Lunch will start at 11 a.m., followed by the meeting at noon. This is a new location with a set menu, no buffet. Lunch is the responsibility of the individual advisor. Topics of discussion will include The Championships and new program offerings. Additionally, there will be an open forum for group discussion on any topic with SkillsUSA Illinois staff. All are encouraged to attend.

New Team Member at SkillsUSA Illinois

SkillsUSA Illinois warmly welcomes Susan Rushing as our new Program Specialist for Workforce Development. With a diverse background in business management, Susan brings valuable expertise from various skilled trade organizations. Her extensive experience in Human Resources, including recruitment, training, compliance, and financial oversight, makes her a valuable asset. Susan's passion for workforce development, especially in the trades industry, drives her to contribute to the growth and enhancement of the workforce. Through her role at SkillsUSA Illinois, she aims to utilize her skills and knowledge to foster a skilled workforce that meets the demands of today's business landscape.


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