Program of Work


At the classroom level, teachers serve as SkillsUSA advisors, helping students develop a Program of Work. This "blueprint" sets the agenda for each chapter and ties together all the SkillsUSA programs that will help these students make the transition from school to work. The Program of Work is a learning lab where students practice professional development, leadership and public speaking skills; demonstrate civic responsibility through community service, social activities and fund-raising projects; and prepare for competition in local and national SkillsUSA Championships. Because the students direct the Program of Work, it can focus on the specific needs of any campus. 


A Balanced SkillsUSA Program of Work

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.

If a chapter devotes all its time to community service and not enough to ways and means, money will be scarce. Or, if a chapter spends all its time on social activities, the chapter members will not enjoy the benefits of helping others. 

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).

Below are some ideas to help your chapter have a balanced program of work. Each chapter is different. You may have some great ideas of your own already in the making.

 Professional Development

Becoming a professional involves more than skill. Be aware of the importance of labor and management in the work force. Plan a chapter project in addition to section workshops.

• Hold a school assembly on SkillsUSA and CTE programs

• Establish an occupational library

• Attend a local government meeting

• Invite guest speakers from industry

Community Service 

Let your community know about your school. Show them what students can do. Promote goodwill by planning activities:

• Help at a hospital or nursing home

• Adopt a grandparent or become a big sister/ big brother 

• Work to get out the vote at election time

• Hold a beautification/renovation project

• Adopt a needy family at the holidays

Ways and Means 

Fund-raising activities allow you the financial means to carry out other projects.

• Have a plant sale or giant rummage sale

• Hold a car wash or a bake sale

• Sell products from an approved fund raiser

For more information about the SkillsUSA Program of Work, see the SkillsUSA Leadership Handbook or ASK: Advisor’s Success Kit. Both items are available through the SkillsUSA Educational Materials Catalog at

SkillsUSA Championships

SkillsUSA competitions give students an opportunity to develop stronger technical skills, gain recognition and meet potential employers.

• Invite the public to your local skill contests (industry reps can plan events, judge or donate prizes)

• Develop a chapter scrapbook for the Outstanding Chapter contest

• Get local members to participate in skill or leadership competitions

• Publish contest dates and procedures 


Increase your chapter’s awareness of quality job practices and attitudes. Provide opportunities for student and employer contact.

• Host a job fair

• Involve people from local business and industry in your skill competitions as judges or committee members

• Invite members of the business community to a SkillsUSA open house and tell them about the program and how they can become involved as supporters

Public Relations

Informing the community about chapter activities and achievements means credit to you and your school. Almost every SkillsUSA activity has public relations value. 

• Send news releases to local media 

• Submit articles and photographs to local media 

• Make a SkillsUSA float for a parade

• Circulate your chapter newsletter to a wider audience

• Ask for an opportunity to speak at a Chamber of Commerce, school board or other community event

• Publicize SkillsUSA on your school’s bulletin board or in a hallway display case

• Conduct a membership drive

Social Activities

Get to know each other better by holding activities outside of the classroom: 

• Sponsor a picnic or pizza party

• Stage a school talent show

• Sponsor a school dance

• Host a teacher appreciation reception

• Host a field day for student organizations