Our Legacy

Learn more about the history of BPA


Our History

Learn more about the history of BPA

Learn More!

Our History

Officially formed in 1966 as the Office Education Association (OEA), Business Professionals of America (BPA) has a strong history as a student organization that contributes to the preparation of global professionals through the advancement of leadership, citizenship, academic and technological skills for students at the Middle, Secondary and Post-secondary levels.

For over 50 years, BPA has served as an innovator in Career and Technical Education, providing its members with opportunities for growth through education, competition, community service and personal development.

The Early Years Vocational Education was passed. The need for a student organization for students enrolled in career, technical, office and business programs is recognized. A study was conducted of 43 states indicating that 67% of the state vocational education supervisors wanted a career/technical youth group for students in the office/business programs. 1963 First Affiliates The Vocational Education Clubs of America (VOECA) is formed by Iowa, Kansas and Wisconsin. Articles of incorporation are filed with the Office Education Association (OEA) with these states as the first three affiliates. 1966 First National Conference The first National Conference is held in Greenlake, Wisconsin. 1967 A National Presence A National office is established for the Office Education Association in Columbus, Ohio and the Board of Trustees approved the Alumni Division. 1971 Permanent Residence The current headquarters for Business Professionals of America is purchased at 5454 Cleveland Avenue in Columbus, Ohio. 1982 OEA becomes BPA Image reform recommendations from a market study done in 1984 were implemented in 1988 and OEA becomes Business Professionals of America (BPA). 1984-1988 Milestone Achieved The mortgage for the National Center is paid off and burned in a ceremony at the National Leadership Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. 1992 A New Division The Middle Level Division is piloted by Delaware, Florida, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas from 1998-2002, approved by the Board of Trustees and Corporate body in 2002-2003 and Middle Level Division members participate in the National Leadership Conference for the first time in 2004. 1998-2004 New BPA Pledge "We are met in a spirit of friendship and goodwill as we prepare for careers in a world-class workforce. We work together to develop professionalism and leadership through Business Professionals of America and pledge our loyalty to our nation." 2010 Virtual Events Created BPA creates a new series of contests called the Virtual Events which feature an innovative approach to contest delivery and focus on media and informational technology events. 2012 Fifty Years Business Professionals of America celebrates five decades of student achievement with its 50-year anniversary and setting a Guinness World Record at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts for the largest gathering of people wearing tie dye. 2016 National Showcase For the first time, virtual event competitors are invited to the National Leadership Conference to showcase their projects in the BPA National Showcase! 2016 BPA United The 2017-2018 National Officer team created BPA United, a project and donation system, that provided support to those members that were in regions devastated by major hurricanes. 2017 National Showcase Business Panel During the 2018 NLC in Dallas, the National Showcase Business Panel is officially adopted featuring a Q&A session with high-profile business partners, including: Google, Hewlett-Packard, Social Assurity and Precision Exams. 2018 BPA Unveils New Logo This is the first major brand refresh for BPA in over 30 years and helps guide the organization into the 21st century. The updates include a new logo, tagline, design approach, and brand colors. The new elements will be present on the BPA website, social media channels, communications and marketing. 2019
Click here to read our Golden Celebration publication at Calameo

The Golden Years and Beyond

For the last five decades, Business Professionals of America has left its mark on those who have been affiliated with the organization whether through membership or partnership.

1966-2016: The Golden Celebration – 50 Years of Business Professionals of America. Take a look back at some key moments in history for our organization.

Read it!

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