Students head to Linn for SkillsUSA Conference
LINN - More than 2,000 students will compete for scholarships and gain technical and vocational experience at the SkillsUSA Leadership and Skill Conference Thursday.
The State Technical College of Missouri (State Tech) is hosting the conference from April 4 to April 6.
"Our state Leadership and Skills Conference is our state showcase of current technical education," said Joey Baker, the state executive director of SkillsUSA Missouri.
Students will compete in more than 150 skill and leadership events.
"Those include programs in automotive service technology, welding, diesel, carpentry, criminal justice and a wide variety of other programs," Baker said.
With so many students present, Baker said the conference almost turns into a big concert.
This conference alone will award $3 million worth of scholarships to competition winners. Scholarships offer $2,000 for first place, $1,500 for second place and $1,000 for third place.
SkillsUSA is a nonprofit organization that serves high school and college, post-secondary students and teachers enrolled in career and technical education programs.
Baker called this conference a workforce development event.
"What we do here at SkillsUSA is ensure that our students graduate proficient with the workplace, personal and technical skills that our employers expect and demand out of our student graduates," Baker said.
He also said the work that students do during the conference is a representation of modern technical education.
"Current technological education today ensures that students have a viable path to college or careers," Baker said.
Participants will be able to enjoy other hands-on activities and meet potential employers and the state officer candidates.
The opening ceremony will be at 11:30 A.M. on Thursday in the Activity Center at State Tech.