SkillsUSA is about more than competition

Jul 11, 2017

SkillsUSA is a student organization open to all high school students.  Omaha Public Schools’ Career Center has anywhere between 120-150 students participating in any given year.

Jeremy Cowley, Program Director of the Career Center for OPS, says the number fluctuates from year to year. 

The one thing that doesn’t change are the opportunities students receive through membership in SkillsUSA. 

Cowley says the organization is centered on skilled and technical science areas as well as health science and STEM education fields. 

He explains SkillsUSA not only gives students the chance to develop their leadership skills, but also gives them the opportunity to take the skills they’re learning in class and put them to work in a competition atmosphere. 

But SkillsUSA is bigger than the competition.  Cowley says OPS wants every kid to be able to say their time spent in the organization was valuable.

"And so that’s the thing we are continuing to work on with the socials, community service and leadership opportunities, so it’s something every student receives value out of.  And that’s the end goal is that a student, when they leave here, if they were a SkillsUSA member, they can say their experience was enhanced and that they are better off, more employable and have skills because they were a SkillsUSA member.”

Students may sign up for SkillsUSA throughout the first semester of the school year.  Dues are $15 and financial assistance is available for those who need it.

More information is available at