What is SkillsUSAVirginia? This is the student organization for students enrolled in career and technical occupations in Virginia’s high schools and community colleges. It’s good for technical education in the following ways:
- SkillsUSA Virginia connects to business
- SkillsUSA Virginia gets students into the community
- SkillsUSA Virginia gets students in the news
- SkillsUSA Virginia speaks and is heard
On Saturday, April 2nd I had the privilege to attend the SkillsUSA Virginia State Conference in Hampton, Virginia with the Northern Neck Technical Center. Several students in various trades from NNTC participated in hopes of becoming the champion in their respective field. Fifteen districts from around the Commonwealth were represented for this annual event. Competition is fierce and students work hard to qualify for an entry and the opportunity to compete.
Arriving at the Hampton Coliseum by 6:15AM made for an early morning and an exceptionally long day. Students from all districts were required to take a written test prior to the actual competitions. Contestants were furnished five hours to complete their tasks commencing at 8:00AM and finishing at 1:00PM. A large group of students, teachers, parents and visitors were shuttled via bus at 7:30AM to off site locations for various competitions.
The leadership team of Randy Long and Todd Davis from NNTC had several teachers and students compete for one of the top five place winners. It was enjoyable to see the positive interaction and dedicated commitment between the administrators and faculty with the students. I could instantly acquaint the delight each felt for their particular student and the appreciation for one another.
The Awards Ceremony took place at 7:00PM. Girls were required to wear black skirts and white blouses while the guys were in collared shirts and ties. All winners receiving their personal award were clad in a red jacket, a requirement of SkillsUSA. Northern Neck Technical Center picked-up several wins with the following students:
- Scott Newsome – 1st place (RHS) Auto Body (teacher Matt Ingram)
- Chris Feathers – 1st place (Essex High) Auto Body (teacher Matt Ingram)
- Kamron Sprouse – 3rd place (W&L) Carpentry (teacher Mike Sisson)
We arrived back to NNTC around midnight, exhausted with delight. It was an exceptional day with a terrific outcome and I can’t wait to do it again next year.