SkillsUSA: Texas State Leadership and Skills Conference

Tuesday, May 07, 2024

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Marshall, Texas: Marshall ISD took advantage of a Career & Technical Education (CTE) Development Grant offered by Marshall Economic Development (MED) this past April to attend the SkillsUSA Texas State Leadership and Skills Conference in Corpus Christi, TX.  The grant paid for up to $10,000 in travel, fees, and other expenditures related to the conference for CTE Director Charlotte Leon; MED Business Retention, Expansion, and Workforce Development (BRE/WD) manager Robert Andrade; as well as 4 additional Marshall ISD educators Deitra Rogers, Dwain Knight, Rosiland Deckard, and Erica Wilson to attend.  The team was focused on learning more about how to participate in the SkillsUSA Texas program through their attendance and participation.  The goal was to explore options for Marshall students in future events.

“Our funding was directly related to training skills for the occupations that our primary industry partners request. Completing those skills meets an industry need in a much better way,” said Robert Andrade, BRE/WD Manager.

SkillsUSA Texas is the state-level program for the national program, SkillsUSA.  The national organization works with over 400,000 students across the United States in middle schools, high schools, and college/postsecondary institutions.  It is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce and productive citizens.  Part of SkillsUSA’s mission is to help each student excel in many skills, including leadership, employability, technical, and professional skills.  The program emphasizes respect for the dignity of work, high standards in trade ethics, superior workmanship, quality, and safety.

The recent state gathering, a testament to the breadth of skills and industries covered by the program, saw a staggering 6,500 students competing in over 150 events. The conference area, spanning the size of 16 football fields, was divided into sections tailored to the diverse events, which encompassed construction, engineering, drafting, cosmetology, motor mechanics, culinary, surveying, HVAC, plumbing, robotics, welding, and over 100 other occupational fields. The event also featured leadership development competitions, including job interviews and public speaking.

Charlotte Leon, CTE Director of Marshall ISD, commented, “We are very thankful for the ongoing support of Marshall Economic Development. In sponsoring faculty from Marshall ISD to attend and help judge this year's Texas State SkillsUSA competition, a fire was lit in Marshall CTE teachers. They are now confident that our CTE Mavs are ready to show off their technical skills and bring back ribbons to showcase their program areas. They're eager to expand Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) opportunities and train teams to compete in the future.”

The Skills USA program requires schools to form a chapter.  The competitions start at the school district level, then move on to regional, state, national, and even globally through the WorldSkills Competition.

SkillsUSA enjoys support from more than 1,000 corporations, businesses, associations, and labor unions.  These sponsors support SkillsUSA financially and with in-kind contributions because they believe in the mission.   The program focuses on the importance of developing leadership skills, positive attitudes, and pride in workmanship.  Students in the program learn to associate their schoolwork with real work and take that attitude from the classroom to the workplace.

About Marshall Economic Development Corporation: Marshall Economic Development Corporation, or Marshall Economic Development, is a Type A 501 (c)(3) non-profit economic development corporation and works to develop relationships with new and existing businesses within the statutory scope of the Development Act of 1979. Marshall EDC was established by Resolution of the City Commission of Marshall, Texas on April 25, 1991, to act as an instrument of the City of Marshall in the promotion and assisting of industrial and manufacturing businesses to relocate to Marshall, Texas and Harrison County and the expansion of existing local businesses, to eliminate unemployment and underemployment through primary jobs. For more information visit


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