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Local teams win at SkillsUSA

Students from Utah high school and college technical education programs won the nation's highest awards at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.

Industry leaders representing over 1,100 businesses, corporations, trade associations and unions recognized the students for their demonstrated excellence in 96 hands-on occupational and leadership contests, such as robotics, criminal justice, aviation maintenance and public speaking. All contests are designed, run and judged by industry using industry standards.

Top student winners received gold, silver and bronze medallions. Many also received prizes such as tools of their trade and/or scholarships to further their careers and education. The SkillsUSA Championships is for high school and college-level students who are members of SkillsUSA.

In addition, for the fourth year, high scorers in the contests received Skill Point Certificates. The Skill Point Certificate was awarded in 90 occupational and leadership areas to students who achieved a high score defined by industry.

The following were winners (and Skill Point Certificate recipients) from the Carbon County area:

*Team F (consisting of Damian Olsen, Dexter Thayn, Austin Welch), from College of Eastern Utah (Price), was awarded the High School Gold medal in Welding Fabrication. Dylan Olson, from Helper and a student CEU, was awarded the college/postsecondary silver medal in Welding.

*Team A (consisting of Sheraya Barajas, Kelton Wells), from CEU, was awarded the College/Postsecondar Gold medal in Audio/Radio Production.

*Team E (consisting of Chad Cloward, Shawn Devereaux, Taylor Behling), from CEU, was awarded the College/Postsecondary Silver medal in Welding Fabrication.

"Over 5,600 students from every state in the nation came to compete in the SkillsUSA Championships this week," said SkillsUSA Executive Director Tim Lawrence. "This is the SkillsUSA partnership at its best. Students, instructors and industries are working together to ensure America has a skilled work force and every student excels. These students prove that career and technical education expands opportunities."

According to Lawrence, recent survey data says that 75 percent of these students will go on to higher education. Included in that number are 40 percent who will be attending college and working at the same time.

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