The Motivation Behind SkillsUSA Competitions
Competitions are held all over the world, across a large scale of industries every year. There are sales awards and bonuses, publishing competitions, awards in acting and music, and, of course, sporting events like the Olympics. These events establish notoriety in best practices, outstanding achievement, and exceptional performance. Demonstrating success after prolonged periods of learning and skill development, showcases talents and encourages others to get better and keep learning. At SkillsUSA, competitions are a fundamental part of instruction and the SkillsUSA framework. These events provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their leadership and technical skills as it applies to their pathways.
Students are encouraged to participate in contests and competitions as part of the SkillsUSA Ohio program. These events offer many opportunities for growth as well as networking opportunities with industry partners. SkillsUSA is an expansive organization that works with sponsors and industry partners across the country, enabling a massive pool of knowledge, instruction, and contacts to benefit students for years to come. Competitions are one especially important piece of accessing this vast network of possibilities.
Practice Makes Progress & Preparation
Feeling prepared for a new career is essential to self-confidence when a student enters the workforce and applies for a job in their chosen pathway. Understanding the nuances of resume writing, the hiring process, and the day-to-day encourages the students while preparing them for the next step in their lives. Having an environment where they can practice these learned skills, display their knowledge, and be rewarded for their efforts is a very key part of the SkillsUSA Ohio program.
The SkillsUSA Ohio competitions are a way to provide just that. They are more than just an event to measure growth and skills, these competitions serve to prepare students for the workforce by creating a practice environment with real-life scenarios. SkillsUSA Ohio competitions have a resume requirement and a job interview, along with the scenario-based competitions. This allows students to experience the hiring process as well as the actual work that goes along with their area of study.
When a student competes in these events, we want them to gain an understanding of what their choice of study looks like out in the real world. By going through all the steps, they will encounter once they enter the workforce, they can practice their skills, determine what they need to continue to develop, and feel confident and prepared for their career in the real world.
What Contests are There and How do They Work?
If the idea of entering a competition gives you pause, it is best to understand the progression of competition and how exactly they work. Competitions provide a safe environment for students to apply the skills they have learned within the program. There are three categories of competitions:
Leadership Development Contests
Skilled and Technical Sciences Contests
Occupational Development Contests
The flow of competitions works by first competing at a Local Level, then State level, and eventually, the National Level (SkillsUSA Championships):
Industry Experts' Role:
Select the skills that will be evaluated at the competition
Establish the standards and evaluation criteria
Serve as technical judges and chairpersons
We encourage all advisors to encourage students to compete! This is one of the most integral ways of demonstrating understanding and accomplishment through the SkillsUSA Program. When choosing what to compete in, choose something that you find interesting, but also challenging. When competing in a safe and healthy environment, students can gain motivation for learning and growth. The competitive environment also enables students to use their acquired skills as they pertain to their chosen careers. This can be very eye-opening, stimulating, and enlightening as they continue their path into the workforce.
Some helpful tips when preparing for your competition:
Familiarize yourself with the contest procedures and guidelines
Create a checklist of tools needed
Review the rating system
Evaluate your task ability that may be required for the competition
Practice! Hold a trial run prior to the competition
Be positive and open to feedback from advisors and teachers
SkillsUSA competitions are a fun and engaging way to foster and demonstrate student learning! For additional information on competitions, look here. We encourage all our students to participate, ask questions, and keep developing their skills!