SkillsUSA begins final conference in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Thousands of students, educators and company representatives are expected to spend $16 million in Kansas City over the next 4 days.

This is the last SkillsUSA Conference in Kansas City, but after 21 years, organizers say they've simply outgrown Kansas City. The organizers say Kansas City does not have enough hotel or conference space for their growing conference, which has doubled in size over the past two decades.

Next's years conference moves to Louisville, KY, taking its more than 15,000 participants with them.

At the Skills USA championships, students compete in 99 different skill and leadership areas. They learn important job skills and sometimes are even offered positions.

This year the conference is bringing back special guest Mike Rowe of the hit TV show "Dirty Jobs". Students said the conference gives them a once in a lifetime opportunity to prepare for their futures.

"It's helped me learn so much and become who I am today. If it wasn't for the leadership skills that Skills USA have given me, I honestly don't know where I would be today," said Brice Harader-Pate, a former Skills USA Competitor.

If you're driving around downtown this week, prepare for several street closures around Bartle hall. The conference runs through Friday.

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