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Local Students Place at National Skillsusa Event

College of Eastern Utah students Jeremiah Garcia and Katie Young recently competed at the national SkillsUSA event. Young, an Orangeville resident, captured a gold medal in the prepared speech category. Garcia, a Helper resident, received a silver medal in welding at the national competition.

Two students representing the Carbon and Emery County area received recognition at the national SkillsUSA competition last month for expertise in vocational and technical fields.

Katie Young, an Orangeville resident who attended College of Eastern Utah last year, received a gold medal in the prepared speech category.

The prepared speech contest requires students to deliver a speech from five to seven minutes in length. Speeches must relate to a common theme chosen by national championship organizers.

Contestants spoke on the theme "SkillsUSA: Champions at Work," and were evaluated on their ability to present thoughts relating to a central theme clearly and effectively. Judges also assessed voice, mechanics and platform deportment.

Helper resident and CEU student Jeremiah Garcia received a silver medal in welding at the national event.

"CEU welding has represented the state of Utah at the national competition for five of the last six years, never before placing better than fourth or worse than seventh nationally," said Russel Goodrich, dean of career and technical education at the college in Price. "This year, Jeremiah Garcia pushed us over the hump by bringing home the silver medal in welding."

Goodrich explained that Garcia earned 2,259 points and was just two points behind the gold medal winner.

Students from high school and college technical education programs won the nation's highest awards at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Mo.

Industry leaders representing more than 1,000 businesses, corporations, trade associations and unions recognized the students for excellence in 84 hands-on occupational and leadership contests.

Examples include robotics, criminal justice, aviation maintenance and public speaking.

"Over 4,700 students from every state in the nation came to compete in the SkillsUSA Championships this week," said SkillsUSA executive director Tim Lawrence.

CEU sent three other students to the national competition.Garrett Harrison placed ninth in automotive service technology and Joseph Stout placed eighth in the nation in job skills demonstration. Kaylynn Cornett was eliminated in the preliminary rounds in the job interview category.

All five CEU students placed first in the state SkillsUSA competition.

"This is the SkillsUSA partnership at its best. Students, instructors and industry are working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce and every student excels. These students prove that career and technical education expands opportunities," pointed out Lawrence.

"Survey data tells us that 75 percent of these students will go on to higher education and 40 percent will be attending college and working at the same time. Of those graduating from school this year, 76 percent will work in the field for which they've trained. They're the future employees industry wants to hire and promote," concluded Lawrence.

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