LEESBURG, Va. — SkillsUSA, a nonprofit partnership of students, teachers and industry, celebrates its return to an in-person National Leadership & Skills Conference (NLSC) from June 20-24 in Atlanta. The event marks the first in-person NLSC since 2019 and the first time Atlanta has hosted the conference since 1981. The 2020 and 2021 events were held virtually as a result of the pandemic.
SkillsUSA’s NLSC is a weeklong workforce development event attended by over 12,000 CTE students and teachers from states across the nation. Attendees are selected by their states to be part of an official delegation of competitors, voting delegates and national officer candidates. Others attend to participate in high-quality professional development and leadership training.
“As a national talent pipeline and vital solution to the skills gap, SkillsUSA is excited to return to our in-person NLSC while launching an exciting new era for the event in Atlanta,” said SkillsUSA Executive Director Chelle Travis. “The move to Atlanta aligns with our goal of taking the conference to next-level success while providing the best possible experience for our students, teachers, education leaders, and industry partners. This event is much more than a conference or convention — it’s an inspiring showcase of America’s next generation of career-ready workers and leaders, and we’re proud to shine a well-deserved spotlight on their highly developed personal and professional skills. The pandemic proved just how essential these skills are and always have been, not just to industry, but to our nation and world.”
The SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference is considered one of the nation’s largest showcases for career and technical education. This multi-faceted convention features the SkillsUSA Championships, where state champions in 108 unique career competition events — from 3D Animation to Prepared Speech to Welding — compete for national bronze, silver and gold medals. Simultaneously held alongside the competitions is SkillsUSA TECHSPO, one of the nation’s largest technical expositions. TECHSPO features more than 150 exhibitors from education and industry, eager to connect with the most highly skilled students in the country.
The National Roofing Contractors Association is a partner at this year's event, giving students and attendees a look at the career opportunities available to them in the roofing industry. The association will also hold a presentation on thermoplastic roofing on June 21 through the SkillsUSA University Workshops.
The NLSC also features a full schedule of professional development, leadership training and industry-specific seminars. Recognition is also a main focus of the event, including a national Advisor of the Year award and the naming of three SkillsUSA chapters as 2022 Models of Excellence for best exemplifying the three areas of the SkillsUSA Framework: Personal Skills, Workplace Skills and Technical Skills Grounded in Academics.
Three general sessions, delegate meetings, national officer elections and a student-led community service project will round out the week. Pre-conference training opportunities will include tracks for student leaders and teachers.
SkillsUSA is one of the largest student groups in the nation, and the event is expected to generate $20 million for the Atlanta economy in 2022. The conference is targeted to grow substantially year to year through 2026.
“We are thrilled to welcome SkillsUSA to Atlanta and become the new host city of the National Leadership & Skills Conference,” said William Pate, president and CEO of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. “With hotels, restaurants and attractions just a few steps away from the Georgia World Congress Center, attendees will find it easy to explore Downtown’s walkable convention and entertainment district.”
SkillsUSA has served more than 14 million members since 1965, helping each student develop the career-readiness skills that facilitate personal and professional success. Partners, educators, community supporters and SkillsUSA stakeholders are welcome to attend the 2022 event. For more information about NLSC, watch its video, “What is SkillsUSA and NLSC?” or go to skillsusa.org/events-training/national-leadership-and-skills-conference/.