National Leadership & Skills Conference

Virtual Event • Month of June 2021

The National Leadership and Skills Conference pits competitors against the best of the best from all across the country and encourages students to reach their highest potential. Learn more about how SkillsUSA plans to host an exciting and engaging virtual National Leadership and Skills Conference.

Championships will be held virtually throughout the month of June

SkillsUSA executive director Chelle Travis is joined by Sam Bottum — SkillsUSA board president and Chief Marketing Officer for Snap-on Incorporated — for an important announcement on the status of SkillsUSA's 2021 National Leadership and Skills Conference and SkillsUSA Championships. For more information on the event, including a full transcript of this video, visit

SkillsUSA's National Leadership and Skills Conference will be held virtually in 2021, with localized hands-on elements for select competitions. Along with all of our competitive events, the conference will also include delegate sessions, national officer elections and many opportunities for leadership development, professional development and member chapter/chapter recognition.

NLSC Tentative Schedule

This Schedule is subject to amendment at any time.

June 1: National Officer Candidate Applications Due (by 6 p.m.)

June 4: National Officer Candidate Official Notification to Candidate

June 8: National Officer Candidate Orientation and Written Exam (2 p.m.)

June 9: National Officer Candidate Written Exam Results Released

June 14 – 18: SkillsUSA Championships
(some events will occur prior to this week and some after but the majority will be held week of June 14)

June 14: Advisor of the Year Interviews (9 a.m. – noon)

June 15: Models of Excellence Personal Interviews (10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.)

June 15: National Officer C/PS Candidate Interviews

June 16: Models of Excellence Workplace Interviews (10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.)

June 16: National Officer High School Candidate Interviews

June 17: Models of Excellence Technical Interviews (10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.)

June 17 – 24: National Officer Candidate Online Campaigning

June 19 – 21: Leverage and Engage

June 22: Delegate Kick-Off and Training Session (1 p.m. – 3 p.m.)

June 22: Delegate Social Activity (4 p.m. – 6 p.m.)

June 22 – 24: Advisor Professional Development Training

June 23: Delegate Meet the Candidates (1 p.m. – 3 p.m.)

June 23: Delegate Business Session (4 p.m. – 6 p.m.)

June 24: Awards and Recognition Session (3:30 p.m.)

    • 2021-2022 National Officer Announcement and Installation

    • Advisor of the Year

    • Honorary Life Award

    • Models of Excellence

    • Outstanding Educator Award

    • NLSC Pin Design Challenge

    • Presidential Volunteer Service Award

    • SkillsUSA Championships including Leadership, Occupationally Related and Skill Competitions

    • Student2Student

    • NLSC T-shirt Design Challenge

June 28: Leverage

July 5: Leverage

July 12: Leverage


Frequently asked questions

Will the 2021 National Leadership and Skills Conference be held in- person as originally scheduled? If not, what format will it take?

SkillsUSA’s National Leadership and Skills Conference and SkillsUSA Championships will be held virtually in 2021, with localized hands-on elements for select competitions. Along with all of our competitive events, the conference will also include delegate sessions, national officer elections and many opportunities for leadership development, professional development and member/chapter recognition.

Why was the decision made to hold a virtual conference?

Our decision was based mainly on the following factors: The safety and security of our membership and stakeholders. With so much still unclear as to when large face-to-face gatherings will be deemed safe and when the effects of the virus will finally subside, we could not in good conscience move forward with the planning of an in-person event bringing thousands of our members and stakeholders together from across the country. State associations not being able to travel to Atlanta for an in-person event. Statewide travel restrictions
In a survey conducted in October, 23 state associations revealed that imposed travel restrictions in their states would prevent them from attending the national conference. With the increase of COVID cases nationwide, more states have since been added to that list. State budgetary restrictions and redirected travel funds.
Numerous additional states have redirected travel funds to other needed budget shortfalls during this pandemic. This redirection of funds also directly affects the ability for states to travel, even where travel restrictions are not in place. Lack of on-site preparation time for national staff. 2021 was scheduled to be our first year in Atlanta, so it was more important than ever that our staff make multiple visits to the event sites months ahead of time to prepare competition and meeting spaces, review safety procedures, identify event locations and more. Our staff has not been able to visit Atlanta since last February, and most of our state directors have not had the opportunity to visit at all. At this time, it's unclear when those visits would be able to occur, and without that in- person planning, we cannot successfully hold an in-person event. Restrictions on partners’ ability to travel and participate in an in-person event. Our partners are facing similar issues with travel restrictions and budgetary obstacles as referenced above, and many have expressed concern that they will be unable to travel and participate in an in-person event in 2021. Most, however, remain committed to supporting and participating in the virtual events we’re currently planning.

Why was this decision made so early?

We felt it was crucial to make the decision now so that state associations, technical committees, partners and all of our other stakeholders would have adequate time to prepare for high-quality national and state conferences without wasting valuable time preparing for other scenarios that are very unlikely to occur. This will help ensure that local and state agencies feel confident that their state conferences and our national conference will live up to the high standards of quality and rigorous competition that SkillsUSA is known for. It was also important for us to be a good partner to our friends in Atlanta and notify them as soon as possible of the inability of our students and teachers to attend the national conference in-person.

Will the SkillsUSA Championships still be happening? If so, how?

Yes! We will still be conducting ALL of the SkillsUSA Championships competitions this year. The guidelines have been revised for each competition to reflect the virtual nature of the event. All competitions will be judged — and many will be conducted — virtually. However, some will require localized areas where hands-on skills will be performed by competitors and overseen by an instructor and a proctor to ensure safety, quality and integrity in all competitions. These hands-on elements will also be documented, and that documentation will be shared with national judges as part of the virtual judging process. Details are still being finalized, but rest assured: the skills of our competitors WILL be put to the test once again this year as they’re judged against tough national standards. We WILL name national bronze, silver and gold medalists, and our partners — as they have always done — will be eager to meet and hire the best career and technical education students in the nation. Look for more information soon.

Is this going to be just another Zoom conference?

No, this event will NOT be just another Zoom conference. (We’ve all had our fill of those.) We will be working with a company (as yet unnamed) specializing in virtual events to create a unique, exciting, user-friendly and option-rich environment for all our members. In fact, the virtual format we’re working on may provide even MORE opportunities to make connections with future employers, mentors and friends. This will be an EVENT, an event members, partners and more will want to be a part of and will be proud to have participated in. More information will be coming soon.


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