Northeast State students medal at national SkillsUSA competition

Published 11:38 am Monday, July 8, 2024

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Two competitors representing Northeast State Community College won silver medals at the SkillsUSA National Championships competition held June 24-28 in Atlanta.

Northeast State competitor Trevor Eller placed as the national runner-up, winning the silver medal in the technical drafting category. Dow Cox claimed the silver medal as national runner-up in the computer programming category.

“We are so very proud of Trevor and Dow,” said Northeast State President Dr. Jeff McCord. “Their ability to excel at a national level is reflective of the high-quality students, faculty, and academic programs at Northeast State. As a college and as a region, we are among the best in the nation.”

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Technical drafting competitors use their skills, including computer-aided drafting (CAD), to create a solution for a drafting project given to them in the competition. These competitors were also evaluated on employability as well as excellence and professionalism in the field of technical drafting.

Computer programming contestants must demonstrate knowledge of computer programming, describe how programs and programming languages work, and describe the purposes and practices of structured programming.

Fellow Northeast State competitors in the national event included Jennifer Farmer who competed in the job skills demonstration A. Also representing Northeast State were the team of Mason Ramsey and Ethan Fink who placed in the cyber security category.

The national SkillsUSA conference welcomed more than 12,000 students, teachers, education leaders, and representatives from 650 national corporations, trade associations, businesses, and labor organizations. The event featured more than 100 hands-on skill and leadership contests.

The five Northeast State competitors won gold medals in their respective fields at the SkillsUSA State Leadership Conference held this past April in Chattanooga. Gold medal winners received automatic invitations to compete in the national competition. Northeast State faculty and staff members Ray Acker, Daniel Arnett, and Jim Holbrook accompanied the students to Atlanta.

The SkillsUSA competition categories are created and judged by industry to ensure that students are learning the real-world skills employers demand from entry-level professionals. The competitions represent some of the most highly skilled, in-demand skilled trade areas in the nation.

Northeast State students brought home 12 medals at the SkillsUSA state conference. A record number of 30 Northeast State students competed in 15 academic categories at the state conference. Students winning silver medals in the state competition were Oliver Leyva (Job Skill Demo A), Cody Vines (Architectural Design), and Sadayaa Smith (Internetworking). Students winning bronze medals at the state competition were Noah Edwards (Plumbing); Titus Stovall (Electrical Construction Wiring); Neal Fleck (Internetworking); and Zachary Johnson (Computer Programming).

Northeast State’s SkillsUSA chapter was established in 2018 by then-instructor and current dean of the college’s Technologies Division, Nichole Manz-Young. The chapter has recorded great success in state and national competitions, including three students who won national championships in the past three years.

The SkillsUSA Championship is the national culmination of a year-long process that begins in local SkillsUSA chapters across the country. Local winners advance to district or regional competitions, testing their skills against competitors from other schools.

The philosophy of the SkillsUSA Championship is to reward students for excellence and involve industry in directly evaluating student performance. The competition further seeks to keep classroom training relevant to employers’ needs.

Founded in Tennessee and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of students, instructors, and industry that ensures America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive.