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Information for Starting a New Chapter

Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to become a SkillsUSA advisor. You are starting on a journey that is bound to offer many rewards for you and your students. SkillsUSA members develop into well-rounded people. There are a few basic steps to follow when starting a new chapter. Many of the resources you need can be found right here on the SkillsUSA website,

One of the most important things to remember is to help your students to learn an effective planning process for carrying out activities, and to let students take the lead on planning and carrying out your events. They will learn and grow as they carry out their calendar of events.

Index - Click on a topic below to jump to that section


Starting a Chapter


Student Membership

Membership Dues

In the Classroom

Chapter Meetings

Officer Elections

Chapter Activities


Plan to Attend a Conference 

Competitions / Contests

Fundraising (Ways and Means)

Chapter Excellence Program


SkillsUSA Framework

Timeline for Chapters

What is SkillsUSA?

Why Start a Chapter - Click Here to View

Steps to Starting a SkillsUSA Chapter Module - Click Here

1. Administration

Successful SkillsUSA chapters work with administrators from the onset. Receiving permission and support from administration to start a SkillsUSA chapter is essential. To guide you along the formation of your chapter:

Meet with your school administrator to request permission to start a new program and to gain support for the SkillsUSA chapter (it’s a good idea to have a few brochures on hand to explain program basics and benefits to students, instructors and the school). Our basic brochure, Be a Champion with SkillsUSA, covers all the benefits of the program for schools, instructors and students.

 ~ Set up a meeting with your administrator. A minimum of 30 minutes should be scheduled to allow enough time to review the materials and answer questions.

~ Guide for Administrator Meeting - Click Here

 ~ Review the SkillsUSA Administrator Flier. This flier is designed to highlight the value and importance of SkillsUSA to your administrator.

 ~ The Talking Points for Administrator Meeting flier provides a step-by-step discussion guide for this important meeting. This is your guide to introducing the flier to your administrator and highlighting the benefits of a SkillsUSA chapter.

~ Consider showing your administrator the personal message prepared by executive director Tim Lawrence. This short, three-minute video packs a punch by connecting the integral nature of SkillsUSA to the educational system and future career readiness. The message will resonate with administrators.


~ Once you receive permission from your school administration, you are ready to move on to the next step.

2. Starting a Chapter 

Once you have received support from your administration and connected with your state SkillsUSA director, it is time to make the formation of your chapter official if it is a new chapter. Both a charter and constitution must be submitted to your state SkillsUSA director.

~ Steps to Starting a SkillsUSA Chapter Module - Click Here

~ SkillsUSA Webinar: Starting a New Chapter   49min

 ~ Contact SkillsUSA South Dakota state office and

                ~ email:

                ~ Phone: 605.229.9145

~ Request to be placed on the state mailing list.

~ Find out about any upcoming activities or deadlines.

        ~ Click Here to see the timeline for advisers

        ~ SkillsUSA South Dakota Program of Work Click Here

        ~ SkillsUSA South Dakota Calendar Click Here

 ~ Obtain the SkillsUSA Membership Kit from the National Office

~ phone: 800.321.8422  or  800.355.8422

~ Or download membership forms and materials for the current school year. Click Here

        ~ H.S. Membership Kit Booklet Click Here to View

        ~ College Membership Kit Booklet Click Here to View

 ~ Charter Application

~ A SkillsUSA chapter charter Application Click Here to View   

~ complete a charter, and have your administrator sign it. Students can also be involved in this process and share their excitement about the new chapter by delivering the charter to the administrator for his or her signature.

 ~ Chapter Constitution

        ~ The chapter must submit a constitution.  Sample Constitution Click Here to download

        ~ All you need to do is edit this sample constitution to fit your chapter

 ~ Skills USA South Dakota does NOT have annual Chapter association Fees

        Only Fees are:

        ~ Membership fees both for students and professionals

        ~ Conference Registration fees to participate in the state, regional, and national conferences


        ~ All you need to do is edit this sample constitution to fit your chapter

 ~ Submit a copy of your chapter's constitution and Application

        ~ Electronic copies preferred.

        ~ Send to

 ~ Identify one or more possible SkillsUSA leaders (technical instructors, a career counselor or another interested person within the school) to help with the new chapter.

        ~ Teachers whose classes are hands on in nature.

                ~ Photography (Art) Teacher, Business Teacher, Computer Teacher, Ag Teacher

 ~ Gain support from other faculty members if you plan to involve students from other training programs.

 ~ Explain SkillsUSA to the Industry Advisory Council that supports your program, and ask for its support and involvement as the chapter develops by serving as guest speakers, contest judges, etc.


~ Lead Chapter Adviser(s): is the main adviser for the school.  The Lead Adviser will receive the vital communications from the State Office. The lead adviser will then share the communication with the staff and student member of their chapter.  The Lead Adviser(s) is likely to be the one to enter the membership and conference registration into the online registration system.  The Lead Adviser will oversee the chapter and make sure that chapter meetings are being held, and chapter officers are doing their duties.

~ Classroom Adviser(s):  is all classroom instructors who are associated with your SkillsUSA chapter. This should be all of your CTE programs in your school.  Classroom Advisers help promote SkillsUSA within their classrooms and help recruit student members.  Classroom advisers should be paid professional members of SkillsUSA.

~ Perkins Funding -   Click Here to learn more on accessing Perkins for your chapter

 Adviser Training Modules - Click Here to view the site

        ~ SkillsUSA Overview Module - Click Here

        ~ What’s In It For My Local Community Module - Click Here

 SkillsUSA Chapter Management Modules

        ~ Steps to Starting a SkillsUSA Chapter Module - Click Here

        ~ Membership Drive Module - Click Here

        ~ Chapter Meeting Module - Click Here

        ~ Officers & Elections Module - Click Here

        ~ Chapter Activity Planner Adviser Module - Click Here

                ~ Chapter Activity Planner Student Module - Click Here

        ~ Leadership Development Module - Click Here 

        ~ Program of Work Module - Click Here

        ~ Community Service Module - Click Here

        ~ SkillsUSA Championships Module - Click Here

        ~ Advisory Committees Module - Click Here

        ~ Self-Evaluation and Action Planning Module - Click Here

~ Chapter Leadership Training Modules - Click Here

 Student Membership

The key to a successful chapter is the ability to recruit and retain members. Recruitment is an ongoing process and should involve as many current members as possible. If you are starting a new chapter, then all it takes is a few interested students to help get the momentum going. When members and advisors focus on the goal of ensuring that every eligible student has the opportunity to be involved in SkillsUSA, it makes recruitment easy.

Non-CTE students:

You can have Non CTE students join your local chapter.   CTE students would receive the hard or technical skills related to a career, and SkillsUSA curriculum can provided the soft skills need to prepare students for success.  To compete in a contest at the State Conference students must have a class in the area that they are going to compete in.   Some class in South Dakota like Photography do not fall under CTE, but they are hands on type classes.  Students in classes like this would be welcome as SkillsUSA members.

~ Membership Drive Adviser Module - Click Here

~ Wendy Venturini PSA message 60sec. Click here to View

~ SkillsUSA Webinar: Membership Recruitment  58min

Now is the time to build excitement about this new opportunity called SkillsUSA. Inform students about the benefits of involvement and encourage them to join.

Create excitement and awareness by showing students the SkillsUSA kickoff video. Video introduces the theme for the year, Educated and Skilled to Lead America, and walks students through their year of engagement in SkillsUSA activities and programming. Videos can be located on the Membership Kit DVD.

~ Executive Director Tim Lawrence addresses students in a video designed especially for them. Also,

   make sure to catch Tim’s video to teachers and learn why, as a former instructor, he felt it was so

   important to engage all of his students in SkillsUSA.

~ Students will catch the enthusiasm of SkillsUSA participation by seeing first hand students who are

   involved in conferences, either competing or on stage representing their chapter.

~ Hold a membership recruitment drive and encourage everyone to join. Create incentives for

   students to join (door prizes, drawings, special snacks). Get creative and have fun!

~ Capture students’ attention with the Kickoff Video and Student Message by SkillsUSA Executive Director Tim Lawrence. Post these on social media or your campus website. Seek creative ways to get the word out about SkillsUSA.

~ Use the SkillsUSA PowerPoint during class to introduce students to the organization or during an open house when parents are present. If possible, have parents and students seated and present the PowerPoint to them. An extra bonus is to have SkillsUSA members present selected slides or give short testimonials on why they benefit from being involved in SkillsUSA. For additional ideas, check out the Ideas for Using the SkillsUSA PowerPoint.

~ The heavy lifting has already been done for you. Check out the top 10 recruitment ideas that are tried and true from experienced SkillsUSA advisors, found in the Membership Recruitment Ideas document.  Click Here to download

~ Have students take the lead by personalizing the Meeting Promotional Fliers with information specific to your chapter and then hanging the fliers around the school. Encourage students to talk with other students and teachers about the benefits of SkillsUSA as they travel around the campus.

~ Using the posters from the Membership Kit, create a bulletin board in a prominent location in the school. Get a few of your members involved. They will have an incredible time working together and create something that will have an impact on membership recruitment. Incorporate the SkillsUSA theme for the 2017-2018 year into your recruitment activities: SkillsUSA: Champions at Work, Job-Ready Day One.

~ Using SkillsUSA’s new Brand Center will guarantee that you create a strong visual identity within the school. The interactive website makes it easy for members to download existing SkillsUSA logos (national, state and slogan art) as well as the SkillsUSA Framework art. An all-new function allows local members to create their own personalized SkillsUSA logo with the name of the chapter. Members will be asked to register when first visiting the site, which enables them to save specific sections as favorites. This will be a unique login and password and is not tied to our registration system. Learn more at:

~ Capture students’ attention with the Kickoff Video and Student Message by Executive Director Tim Lawrence. Post these on social media or your campus website. Seek creative ways to get the word out about SkillsUSA.

~ Hold a membership recruitment drive. Create incentives for students to join, including door prizes, drawings and special snacks. It is amazing what motivates students, so consider putting together a committee to organize and run the membership recruitment drive. Their ingenuity and excitement for SkillsUSA will quickly spread.

~ Use the SkillsUSA PowerPoint during class to introduce students to the organization or during an open house when parents are present. If possible, have parents and students seated and present the PowerPoint to them. An extra bonus is to have SkillsUSA members present selected slides or give short testimonials on why they benefit from being involved in SkillsUSA. For additional ideas, check out the Ideas for Using the SkillsUSA PowerPoint.

         ~ SkillsUSA Membership Powerpoint - Click Here to Download

        ~ Instruction on how to use the Powerpoint Click Here

Ultimately, membership recruitment is an opportunity to showcase your CTE program to the school and community. Don’t miss the opportunity!

~ Membership Information form  

~ Example Member Collection Form

        ~ Can also Use Google Forms or Survey Monkey to collect membership Data

                ~ Click Here for an example Google Survey

        ~ Some will use the Conference Registration form to collect students information

                ~ Click Here for the NLSC 1 form

Ultimately, membership recruitment is an opportunity to showcase your CTE program to the school and community. Don’t miss the opportunity!

 Membership Dues

Advisers and students both have annual membership dues.

These amounts include both state and national dues.

Professional (Advisers) Dues = $31.00

Student Member Dues  = $15.00

With Professional membership the teacher will receive access to some of SkillsUSA’s Curriculum, as well as access to the contest Technical Standards.

Students must be registered prior to March 1st of each year

 In the Classroom

Incorporate SkillsUSA into your syllabus, and include Membership Form, Parent Letter and SkillsUSA Brochure that showcases the value of SkillsUSA for students.

~Don’t miss this fundamental opportunity to start the year off right. Ensure parents and families  

   understand that SkillsUSA is an integral component of your career and technical program by

   placing information directly into your syllabus to illustrate its importance. Check the Membership Kit

   DVD for templates to use.

~ SkillsUSA activities and programs develop students in three distinct areas: technical skills that are

   grounded in academics, workplace skills and personal skills. Families will appreciate that their

   student is becoming more employable and gaining a competitive advantage in the job market

   through their SkillsUSA experiences.

~ Use the SkillsUSA PowerPoint during class to introduce students to the organization or during an open house when parents are present. If possible, have parents and students seated and present the PowerPoint to them. An extra bonus is to have SkillsUSA members present selected slides or give short testimonials on why they benefit from being involved in SkillsUSA. For additional ideas, check out the Ideas for Using the SkillsUSA PowerPoint.

SkillsUSA is an integral part of career and technical education (CTE). Teachers infuse the organization’s activities into their instructional programs, enabling students to gain real-world applications to their studies. When SkillsUSA is integrated into the CTE program, all students develop the personal, workplace and technical skills that comprise the SkillsUSA Framework. For example, the newly released SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Foundations and SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Experiences are available through SkillsUSA to embed into curriculum, offering your students experiences to better prepare them for career success. To learn more about the new Career Essentials suite of products, visit Your classroom will come to life as students see the connection between what they are learning today and their futures. Just as your lab provides contextual moments, your classroom can provide relevancy in developing leadership, communication and teamwork skills that develop the whole student.

~ Mentoring: Student2Student - Click Here to Learn More

~ Jump Into Stem! - Click Here to Learn More

~ HP Life

Hp Life e-Learning is a free, peer-reviewed online training program designed for students, entrepreneurs, and small-business owners to develop business and IT skills.

HP Life e-Learning courses are modular, interactive, and relevant in today’s business economy

~ HP Life Flyer - Click Here

~ HP Life Website - Click Here

~ Pocket Resume - Click Here

~ Customer Service Training - Click Here  to Learn More

~ Careersafe Online Safety Training - Click Here  to Learn More

 Chapter Meetings - Click Here for Resources

Conduct well-planned, regularly scheduled chapter meetings. Consider all options when scheduling chapter meetings. It is essential to hold meetings on a regular basis and to inform students when meetings are scheduled. The meeting times and locations can take a variety of forms to meet the needs of your student body. Because of the integral nature of SkillsUSA to CTE programs, many chapters will hold their meetings during the school day within each class period to give everyone an opportunity to be involved. With the structure of the school day shifting, though, many advisors have become creative in when and how they hold chapter meetings:

Meetings are where the work of the chapter is accomplished and decisions are made by the members. The Sample Meeting Agenda will help you to understand the flow of the meeting, and the Membership Interest Survey serves as a great tool to determine the interest areas of members.

Don’t lose a minute in getting your students engaged in SkillsUSA activities. After you have made them aware of the opportunities and created excitement around SkillsUSA, then set your first meeting date and advertise!

Committee List &  Report Form Click Here to Download

Example Chapter Budget Click Here to Download

Using the posters from the Membership Kit, create a bulletin board in a prominent location in the school. Get a few of your members involved. They will have an incredible time working together and create something that will have an impact on membership recruitment. Incorporate the SkillsUSA theme for the school year into your recruitment

Use Parliamentary Procedures AKA Robert's Rules of Order to run your chapters.

Roberts Rules of Order Cheat Sheet - Click Here to View

Parliamentary Procedure Video Click Here to View

 Officer Elections

Chapter officers are essential to the success of a local chapter. They will conduct executive council meetings to plan for full chapter meetings. Officers serve and guide the membership and ensure that all members are actively participating.

The steps to establish a quality chapter officer team are simple.

a. Follow a step-by-step process to elect the officers.

b. Ensure that all candidates understand the officer roles.

c. Provide training for newly elected officers.

To begin the step-by-step process to elect officers, you must first determine which offices should be part of the chapter. There are six suggested offices (president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, reporter and parliamentarian); however, local chapters should consider the number that is adequate given the size and scope locally. In some cases, that number may be more or less than six. Items to consider include:

Ensure the candidates fully understand the duties of the office for which they desire to campaign. A number of resources are available to help students understand the different roles and responsibilities of each office (SkillsUSA Leadership Handbook, Leveraging Your Leadership with Effective Chapter Meetings and Officers and Elections Training Module).

Within the election process, all candidates campaign for their desired office. Campaigning provides a great opportunity for personal and workplace skill development. Procedures must be fair for all candidates. Establish rules and guidelines that all candidates follow. This may include completing an application, writing an essay on why they would make good officers, teacher recommendations, an interview and including speeches as part of the campaign. Additional guidelines may include requirements to maintain a specific GPA, proper behavior and a spending limit for campaign materials.

All chapter members are eligible to vote in the elections. Consider establishing an election committee so they can determine, prior to voting, the most appropriate balloting procedure. Options can include one vote per member or determining a percentage that candidates will be awarded from their essay, interview, speech and ballot count.

After election results are determined, install officers. Use the long or short version of the installation ceremony listed in the SkillsUSA Leadership Handbook. Officer installation is an excellent time to involve members and their families in your chapter as well as school administrators and community leaders.

Training ensures officers understand and are capable of performing their duties effectively. Some ideas for training topics include: roles and responsibilities, working as a team, meeting basics, creating an agenda, use of committees and how to make meetings fun for attendees. Consider purchasing Leveraging Your Leadership with Effective Chapter Meetings, and in six lessons, your officers will be able to plan an agenda, organize and run a meeting and operate committees.

Hold officer elections, select committee chairs and dive into the Program of Work.

                ~ Officers & Elections Advisor Module - Click Here

                ~ Officer Candidate & Duties Form - Click Here to View

                ~ Officer and Election Guidelines Click Here

                ~ Program of Work Description Click Here

                ~ National Program of work

                ~ South Dakota Program of Work

Teachers should consider the SkillsUSA chapter as the training ground for students to learn personal, workplace and technical skills. A chapter only exists to provide rich experiences that prepare students for career success. To make that a reality, students must be the ones organizing and leading the chapter at the advisement of their teacher, known as the advisor.

Organizing your chapter management structure is one of the most important steps that you can take to ensuring a successful chapter. By following the keys points below, you will set yourself and your students up for success:

As you kick off your year and get everyone engaged in your chapter, be sure to share the excitement and success with your administrators and guidance counselors.

Chapter Activities                                        

A balanced SkillsUSA program means that every member participates in a variety of activities during the school year. There are seven areas in the SkillsUSA Program of Work, and a chapter should try to do at least one activity for each area per year.


Some activities can be used for dual purposes. A chapter may hold a reception (social), but this is also a good time for public relations (invite potential SkillsUSA members and let them see how fun SkillsUSA is).

SkillsUSA Activities should fall under one of the sections of the SkillsUSA Framework. Use the Framework to help guide your chapter activities -  Click Here

Develop a Chapter Program of Work (POW) Calendar for the year. Each chapter is encouraged to complete at least one activity from each of the seven areas of the National Program of Work. You can also align your activities with the SkillsUSA South Dakota Program of Work This ensures each member participates and gets the most out of SkillsUSA membership. A balanced program of work is essential for a chapter to function effectively. For example, if a chapter devotes too much time to social activities and not enough to fundraising, the chapter might run short on funds. A successful program of work assists a SkillsUSA chapter in succeeding through:

  1. Professional Development — attend a local government meeting, invite local professionals to speak to the chapter
  2. Community Service — conduct a coat drive, collect can goods for a shelter
  3. Employment — host a career fair, hold a résumé writing workshop
  4. Ways and Means — host a fundraiser that uses student technical skills
  5. SkillsUSA Championships — participate in a local, regional, state and/or national championships
  6. Public Relations — submit articles and photographs to local media, present to the local board of education or rotary club
  7. Social Activities — sponsor a picnic or pizza party, host a teacher appreciation luncheon

After you have selected the right activities for your chapter, you can begin compiling a chapter calendar to serve as a plan of action for your SkillsUSA chapter. As students begin planning, encourage them to make certain the calendar includes at least one activity from each of the seven keys for the SkillsUSA Program of Work.

~ Activity Planner:  

The Chapter Activity Planner is a tool that makes planning and conducting chapter activities fun and effective. The planner makes it easy to brainstorm ideas, set goals, create an action plan, track assigned tasks and evaluate progress. At the end of an activity, the tool produces an electronic report to save for future reference. Put students in charge of leading the chapter with the chapter activity planner today.

- The Activity leads students through a six-step planning process - Click Here

Organize – create a basic list of information about the activity

Assess – determine the need for the activity and desired outcomes

Plan – outline the steps required to complete the activity

Act – complete steps and monitor progress

Reflect – evaluate results

Report – list media sources and share results with key stakeholders

The Chapter Activity Planning Tool can be accessed here.

~ Ideas for Marketing your Chapter - Click Here

~ Sample Activity Calendar Click Here to download a

~ SkillsUSA Week  - Click Here

~ SkillsUSA Week Chapter Activities - Click Here

~ Goodwill Visits to Business Partners - Click Here

~ Business and Industry Appreciation - Click Here

~ Parent Information Night - Click Here

~ Example Chapter Activities - Click Here

~ Chapter Leadership Training Modules - Click Here

~ Service Project Information. Champions Serving Others: Easy Guide to Service Projects Click Here

The Chapter Excellence Program (CEP) is the single best way to ensure you have a successful SkillsUSA chapter.

The Chapter Excellence Program takes the guess work out of what it looks like to be a healthy SkillsUSA chapter. It provides the requirements and indicators that meet the standards for success and prepares members for career readiness as defined in the SkillsUSA Framework.  Click Here for more Information.

The CEP is instrumental to developing framework skills in members, and it begins to work at the forefront of program of work planning. Here’s how:

  1. Committee of students or officers select a chapter activity.
  2. They determine which SkillsUSA Framework Essential Elements best apply to the activity and provide an opportunity for intentional learning to take place. Select two to three Essential Elements from one area of the framework: personal, workplace or technical.
  3. As a committee, write three SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound) goals for the activity that include how members are going to gain the Essential Elements of the framework.
  4. Create a plan of action (who, what, when and where) for completing the activity.
  5. At the end of the activity, revisit the goals. Prepare a statement that includes results, evaluation and how students achieved the developing framework skills through participating in the activity. Consider what was accomplished? How did this activity help members gain skills based on the Essential Elements selected?

Complete a projected budget that includes a list of planned income and expenses for the year. Within the planning process, it is important for students to consider if an activity falls within the budget and can be supported by the chapter. Creating and following a budget ensures the success of a chapter but also builds key skills among the members such as responsibility, decision making, planning, organizing and management. Developing an understanding of sound financial practices is a skill that will carry over into a lifetime of success for students and ensures career readiness.

Training Module:

~ Chapter Activity Planner Adviser Module - Click Here

        ~ Chapter Activity Planner Student Module - Click Here

Timeline for chapter activities Click Here to View

 Registrations - March 1st National Deadline

Register your members by visiting and selecting the “Login” header. Contact Judy Garrison at or at 703-737-0616 if you do not see your school listed on the online registration system.

  Make plans to attend a conference or training

Whether on a local, regional, state or national level, when students attend a SkillsUSA conference or training event, they are stepping out of the bounds of comfort and expanding their horizons. SkillsUSA offers rich and meaningful opportunities for students to connect attending such activities with the development of the framework skills of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. By participating in the activities outlined below, SkillsUSA chapters become conduits for meaningful student growth.

SkillsUSA South Dakota Code of Conduct and Conference Registration forms

Click Here to View


Fall Leadership Conference (FLC) - Click Here to Learn More

Mid-America Leadership Conference - Click Here to Learn More

Legislative Shadow Day - Click Here to Learn More

State Leadership and Skills Conference (SLSC) - Click Here to Learn More

National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) - Click Here to Learn More

  Competitions / Contests

The SkillsUSA Championships begin at the local level with contests in classrooms nationwide. Winners advance to state competition, and only the best make it to the national event. State and local competitions and conferences are managed at the state level, not by the national organization. Students benefit no matter how they place in their contests. The philosophy of the championships is to reward students for excellence, to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance and to keep training relevant to employers’ needs. Students test their skills, frequently make job contacts, and have a chance for recognition. State and national winners receive gold, silver and bronze medallions, scholarships, tools and other awards.

~ Guidelines for State Leadership and Skills Conference (SLSC) - Click Here to View

~ State Leadership and Skills Conference (SLSC) - Click Here to Learn More

~ Technical Standards - Click Here to sign in and View

~ SkillsUSA Championships Adviser Module - Click Here

~ The Technical Standards is the official competition guide for the SkillsUSA Championships. It contains rules for all state and national events, including an overview, lists of technical skills and knowledge required, clothing requirements, eligibility and equipment lists. It also lists the embedded academic skills in math, English and science. Rules for state and local events may vary from the national guidelines, but most competitive events are modeled after the national technical standards. As a free member benefit, SkillsUSA professional members receive the SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards when they have submitted a current and accurate email address along with their membership details. The SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards is available online only to professional members as part of their paid membership.

Chapter Fundraising (Ways & Means)

Fundraising is a key part of the SkillsUSA program of work. Without funds, it is hard to conduct most activities. In addition to helping to finance the local chapter, a fundraising activity can also provide many valuable learning experiences for students. From project management to forecasting profits, setting timelines, working in teams and being accountable for results, fundraising teaches many skills that will be needed on the job and in life.

There are many ways to raise funds for your chapter, from weekly donut or pizza sales to an annual health fair, car show, mulch sale, flea market, art show and other annual events. You can also team up with an established fundraising company to sell their products using their products and marketing materials. When possible, it is wonderful to incorporate the technical skills your students are learning as well as opportunities for students to speak to business partners and other adults. These are great ways to reinforce the skills being developed in the classroom.

To start, your chapter officers should work with you to determine a SkillsUSA budget for the school year to cover the costs of chapter activities, travel to competitions, official attire or contest uniforms, curriculum, equipment or other chapter materials. Next, determine what portion of the budget can be provided through student payment, a student activity fee or Perkins funding. The balance can then be raised through fundraising activities. Review your organization budget with your principal to be sure it aligns with school policy and procedure.

Student participation is an important factor in the management of money that will be raised for their benefit. Fundraising ideas should be approved by the whole chapter. And, all funds raised should benefit those students currently enrolled in your programs.

~ Think about a fundraiser to fund your chapter if you school does not fund you

~ Click Here for a Fundraising Checklist.

~ State Fundraising Ideas Click Here.

~ Example National Fundraising Ideas - Click Here

~ Fundraising Policy - Click Here to View

~ Example / Sample Chapter Budget Click Here

Chapter Excellence Program

The Chapter Excellence Program provides the roadmap to building a successful chapter, and honors chapter achievement relative to the SkillsUSA Framework. Instead of focusing on the number of events each year, the standards for the Chapter Excellence Program focusing on the resulting development after the events.

Visit for more information.


SkillsUSA provides product solutions to assist chapter advisors and students. Products range from implementation of the SkillsUSA program of work to growing individual student skill development. Products can be found at

Key products when starting a new chapter are:

New Advisor Starter Kit

Advisor Success Kit (ASK)

Leveraging Your Leadership with Effective Chapter Meetings

Jumpstart and Propel

SkillsUSA South Dakota Webpage

Timeline for chapters 

Click Here to View

SkillsUSA South Dakota Code of Conduct and Conference Registration forms

Click Here to View

Employability Curriculum

Work Force Ready System Skill Connect Assessments

Student2Student Mentoring

National Conference Pin and T-Shirt Design Contests

SkillsUSA Champions Magazine Photo Contest

National Week of Service

President’s Volunteer Service Award



SkillsUSA Framework

~ What it does

~ Provides a common language for students to articulate what they gain from SkillsUSA participation

   to employers, school administrators, parents and other students

~ Assesses student skill development along a learning continuum of awareness, demonstration and  


~ Creates a vision for SkillsUSA programs at the local, state and national levels to ensure quality

   student-led experiences that build skills in all members

~ Why it works

~ Empowers every student to achieve career success

~ Delivers a skill set demanded by business and industry but lacking in many employees today

~ Ensures that every student member receives a consistent and specific skill set

~ In the Classroom

~ Use the SkillsUSA Framework Flier and Graphic in your program materials to draw attention to the

   development of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics.

~ Show the framework video to students, parents, administrators, teachers and members of your

   business community so they understand how SkillsUSA ensures career readiness..

~ As part of the lesson plan, students will benefit from visiting the Career Transitions site, where they


~ Assess their career interests by taking an online assessment.

~ Browse career paths and check out videos of real people working in the field.

~ Learn to write a résumé and cover letter


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