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Updated: 10/04/2013 06:36:41PM

Polk gets 3-year deal from SkillsUSA

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Polk County Tourism & Sports Marketing teamed up with the Lakeland Chamber and the Lakeland Center, recruiting SkillsUSA Florida to conduct their annual conference and competition in Lakeland for 2015, 2016 and 2017.

High school and college students preparing for careers in service occupations will compete to demonstrate their occupational and leadership skills. The SkillsUSA Florida event will bring more than 1,500 participants and spectators to Polk County for three days in April during each of the three years, and will generate more than 2,400 room nights and more than $2.5 million in economic impact annually.

PCTSM, the Lakeland Chamber and the Lakeland Center recently hosted SkillsUSA Florida Director, Tyler Kercher, on a two day site visit to Polk County, which helped to cement the deal after a recruiting period of more than two years. In his remarks via a press release following the SkillsUSA Board of Directors meeting, where Polk County was selected over other major destinations, Tyler said of the PCTSM team that “The Board was really impressed with the excitement of the staff and the business contacts they are able to bring to the table. It’s exactly what we need to continue to drive this organization forward.”

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. More than 125 occupational titles are represented in the curricula of SkillsUSA member students, covering the construction, manufacturing, transportation, health sciences, information technology, communications, personal services, hospitality, public safety and engineering technology industries.

SkillsUSA programs include local, state and national competitions in which students demonstrate occupational and leadership skills, helping students to excel in their career tracts and ensuring that America will continue to have a skilled workforce. To learn more about Florida SkillsUSA, visit

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