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SkillsUSA Competitor

High school students with top proficiency scores advance to state championship

We are looking for students who have mastery of the basics in their field, understand how to work safely on the job, and know how to use the right workplace skills to communicate effectively.”

— Karen Ward, Executive Director of SkillsUSA Massachusetts

RAYNHAM, MA, UNITED STATES, March 4, 2024 / — More than 6,200 high school students across Massachusetts are completing qualifying testing this month to claim a spot in the state SkillsUSA Massachusetts competition this spring. The top three students in 72 disciplines will earn gold, silver and bronze medals as district champions.

The top two students in each category will advance to the State Leadership & Skills Conference, scheduled for April 25-27 in Marlborough, where they will compete in hands-on events in skills areas from automotive refinishing to welding. This online qualifying exam assesses students’ proficiency in their trade, knowledge of jobsite safety practices and workplace skills. Results will be tallied by March 19.

“Our goal is to find the top students in each discipline to represent their district at the state competition,” said Karen Ward, executive director of SkillsUSA Massachusetts. “We are looking for students who have mastery of the basics in their field, understand how to work safely on the job, and know how to use the right workplace skills, including how to interview and communicate effectively.”

In the exam’s disciplines component, Ward noted, for example, that students in carpentry areas must demonstrate they can read a blueprint while those in health areas must show how to read medical devices. Even though only three students in each district takes top honors, Ward notes that about 85% of students who compete in this qualifying round demonstrate proficiency in their discipline.

“Your participation shows that you care about making an impact and having career success,” Kayla Mathieu, national treasurer for SkillsUSA and a student at Southeastern RTHS, told participants during the district competition’s opening ceremony. “It takes extraordinary will, self-motivation and courage to tackle the task of competing in the state skills competition.”

The April competition is the SkillsUSA Massachusetts’ centerpiece for showcasing participants have the right technical and workplace skills to enter the job market immediately or pursue continued education after earning their high school degree. “These exams are one step in a rigorous curriculum that continues to level up the capabilities of our graduates, who exit with a highly calibrated blend of skills to be workforce ready – and prepared to grow with their employers,” Ward said.

SkillsUSA Massachusetts operates six districts, which each include between seven and 13 technical high schools. At the state event, which drew 2,000 competitors last year, the district champs will join students competing in 11 additional skill and 29 leadership disciplines – which include extemporaneous speaking and community action – which do not require qualification exams. State champions will advance to the National Leadership & Skills Conference in Atlanta from June 24-29.


SkillsUSA Massachusetts, an educational nonprofit organization, is dedicated to equipping high school, college, and adult learners with the skills and knowledge necessary for successful careers in technical, skilled, and service-oriented industries. Through its comprehensive curriculum, hands-on experiences, competitions, and community service initiatives, SkillsUSA Massachusetts aims to foster leadership, teamwork, and technical proficiency among its members.


Kyra Newman
JLV Communications
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