The SkillsUSA national championships will be in Kansas City this week, bringing with them more than 14,000 people and an estimated $15 million in economic impact.
SkillsUSA helps students enrolled in career and technical programs get more hands-on experience through local, state and national competitions.
On Wednesday and Thursday, more than 5,500 public high school and technical school students will compete in 94 categories. They will represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam.
There are contests in everything from animation to welding. Spokeswoman Deb Reynolds said competition directors monitor trends to determine what skills to test. In recent years, categories such as robotics, esthetics and firefighting have been added to reflect changes in technology and demand.
She said so-called soft skills such as customer service and mock job interviews also had been added to the competition.
“What we’re trying to do here is produce the best employees we can, both with technical skills and individual leadership skills,” she said. The contests will be held at Bartle Hall, Kemper Arena, Municipal Auditorium and The Marriot, Phillips and Crowne Plaza hotels. There will be a free career fair Tuesday through Thursday at Bartle Hall, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., that is open to the public.
Read more: online at the SkillsUSA site.