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Career and Technology Students Compete for SkillsUSA

By Staff | Feb 2, 2010

Toby Wagner, a senior at the LCTC threads a black iron pipe as part of his competition for SkillsUSA at Penn College. He is Treasurer for the PM session for SkillsUSA at the Technology Center and hopes to have a career in heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

HUGHESVILLE – Several local students were finalists in the District 6 SkillsUSA competition last week at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. SkillsUSA is a national student organization that started in 1965 to help alleviate shortages in today’s workforce. Competitions from local schools were held on Friday, January 29 at Penn College and students from the Lycoming Career and Technology Center in Hughesville placed first, second and third place in the regional competition according to Walt Reed, Workforce Development Coordinator and Dean of Students. Only students enrolled in vocational curriculums can be part of SkillsUSA. This year’s theme is ‘Champions At Work Connecting The Opportunities.’

District competitions took place at Penn College and Northern Career Center in Towanda. Michael Sheets finished third place in the Culinary Arts competition at Northern Career on Thursday, Toby Wagner finished second place in the Plumbing competition at Penn College and Miranda Jordan came in second place in the Technical Drafting competition at Penn College. February 9 will be the last day for District 6 competitions when six students from LCTC will be competing at SUN Technical Center in New Berlin for the final round before state finals.

Reed said that all first place winners are eligible for state competitions in April at Hershey and for the past four years students from the Lycoming Career and Technology Center have competed at this level. There are seven to eight different skills in each of the departments that include Auto Service Technology, Computer repair, Criminal Investigation, Pre-school learning, and Medical Math. “Each school can enter one student or team for district contests. They are selected by the staff through competitions held in individual classrooms,” said Reed. The six competitions that were held at Penn College were in Technical Drafting, Architectural Drafting, Welding, Masonry, Plumbing and HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration.)

Instructors, Walt Reed and Karen Hill are advisors for SkillsUSA. They help register students for the program and assist with their fundraisers. They meet every two months or as needed and are in the process of organizing a fundraiser for this year’s Relay for Life at Hughesville High School. Last year they did fundraisers for the local food bank

Student officers for SkillsUSA in the AM session are Andrea Shipman from Muncy, President; Whitney Sampsell from Muncy is Vice President; Ashley Keiser from Warrior Run is Secretary, Courtney King from Muncy is Treasurer and Lewis Hill from Muncy is Reporter. Dylan Steele from Warrior Run is Parliamentarian.

Miranda Jordan, a senior from Hughesville, shows her drawing and CAD file for a machine part that she did at her co-op site at Houseknecht's Machine and Tool Company in Hughesville. She is a senior at the LCTC and Reporter for the SkillsUSA PM session.

Officers for the PM session are Casey Swank,President, Abby Bressler, Vice-President, Vinson Smith, Secretary, Toby Wagner, Treasurer, and Miranda Jordan as Reporter. All of the students are from Hughesville.

Nationally there are more than 300,000 students enrolled as members in SkillsUSA.