Over 1,000 technical education students are registered to participate this week in the Kentucky Skills USA conference.
The annual event is a partnership between the state’s Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, the national Skills USA organization and the private industry, which helps create the nearly 90 events students compete in throughout the week. Among those events are plumbing, automotive technology and welding.
Eligible career and technical high school students and community college students compete for the chance to go to the national competition in Missouri in June, said Kentucky Skills USA interim director Fran Dundon.
The event is also a chance for students to meet industry leaders, she said, and many, like welding, are demanding qualified workers as their sectors expand.
“There are companies crying for welders, not only in this state but all across the United States. And so the welding competitions are very fierce and we have a lot of wonderful instructors across the state and great welders in terms of students,” said Dundon.
Student interest in technical education has increased with the state’s new college and career ready standards, and Dundon said there is a growing need for qualified workers in various sectors.