In a fanfare that would rival a rock concert, SkillsUSA kicked off its 54th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference during its Opening Ceremony at the Kentucky Exposition Center on June 26.
This year, 6,500 of the best students in the U.S. will compete in Louisville during the SkillsUSA Championships, June 27-28, in 102 hands-on skill and leadership competitions, including competitions in automotive, collision, diesel and motorcycle service. Each SkillsUSA Championships contestant is a SkillsUSA state gold medalist.
During the Opening Ceremony, students entered Freedom Hall with state banners, cheering on their states as they were outfitted with glowing hats and noise sticks, before the SkillsUSA High School and College/Post Secondary National Officers officially opened the event.
Kent Rice of Toyota and Michael Carr of Snapon Tools, both sponsors of the Opening Ceremony, spoke to students to encourage them to get job ready and celebrate their hard work to advance their skills to help fuel future workforces.
The main speaker of the night, NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski, even put on the iconic red SkillsUSA jacket to rally the crowd to thank SkillsUSA in a social media post.
The SkillsUSA Championships is the nation’s largest workforce development event for middle-school, high-school and college/postsecondary students enrolled in public career and technical education programs. Follow Tomorrow’s Technician on Twitter and Instagram for live updates of the event.