Kentucky students were among some of the top finishers at the 50th annual SkillsUSA National Conference and Skills Competition held in Kansas City, Mo., this summer.

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, including health occupations.

The national conference recognizes and rewards excellence in a broad range of skills-related competitions and career-related areas. Through state-based competitions at spring state leadership conferences, students compete in events testing their knowledge and skills in a variety of areas. Top state winners then are eligible to compete for honors at the national leadership conference each summer.

Kentucky had 104 members attend the national conference with nine students finishing in the top five of their competitions including first, second and third place finishes by postsecondary students. Six other students finished within the top 10 of their skills categories.

“We are very proud of our students and advisers,” said Commissioner Terry Holliday. “SkillsUSA Kentucky and other student organizations provide valuable experiences for our young people that serve them well in high school, postsecondary and in their chosen careers.”

In addition to its connection to the country’s Career and Technical Education sector, SkillsUSA has a close relationship with some of the biggest corporations in the country with many serving as official sponsors including Lowe’s, Caterpillar, Chrysler, Toyota and John Deere.

More than 300,000 students and advisors join SkillsUSA annually. Combining alumni and lifetime membership, the total number served this year is more than 350,000. SkillsUSA has served more than 11.6 million members since its founding in 1965. The SkillsUSA National Conference will be moving to Louisville in 2015.

Click  here for a list of 2014 Kentucky SkillsUSA national winners.