In just over a month, hundreds of students across Indiana will be showcasing the skills of their chosen trade in the SkillsUSA state competition happening at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Apr. 14-15. Getting to the state level is no easy feat, and dozens of local students recently competed for a chance to snag a spot at state during two different regional competitions at Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne.
“SkillsUSA is a trifecta of educators, business and industry leaders, and students working together to close a skills gap we’re seeing nationwide,” says Kelley Baker, the Indiana State Director for SkillsUSA. “It gives students the chance to showcase their learned skills and allows them to network with professionals in their chosen trade.”
Through this national competition, middle school, high school, and postsecondary students can win scholarships and trips to competing locations to further develop their craft. SkillsUSA promotes skilled trade education throughout the US and works with WorldSkills International to shine a light on these individuals.
Thirty-six high schoolers competed to see who has the skills needed to become an outstanding technician during Regionals for the Automotive Service category.
“The SkillsUSA program is a great opportunity for local high school students to show off their skill sets within the automotive trade,” says Nick Goodnight, Ph.D., assistant department chair of Automotive and Diesel Technology. “The automotive profession is a great industry to get in and creates a great career.”
The top five students of each regional competition move on to the next round. The winners were chosen based on how well they performed in the various categories. Students competed in skills like electrical soldering and meter usage, HVAC identification, automotive transmission and engine component identification and application, and braking and suspension systems diagnosis.
Automotive is just one of 88 trade areas that compete. Ivy Tech Fort Wayne also played host to the Baking and Pastry Arts competition. Snider High School and Anthis Career Academy Senior Celeste Julian placed second in the competition.
The culinary competition requires students to make clear soup, fabricate a chicken, cook chicken breasts, make sauces, and cook vegetables. Thirteen culinary students were competing, but only the top six move on to the state finals.
With any SkillsUSA competition, students have the chance to move from regionals to state to nationals and then possibly to worlds. The national competition for every program is happening June 19 through the 23 in Atlanta, GA.
Anyone interested in future competitions can visit the SkillsUSA website to see the exciting opportunities available. Again, this is open to middle schoolers, high schoolers, and postsecondary students.