Career Pathways-Natural Resources-Agriculture- Food (College Team)
Kaylee Bowlin and Ethan Sprinkle – 2nd place (Silver)
Welding Fabrication Team (CCP) – Luke Blackburn, Clint Jones, Ryan O’Grady – 4th place
Wilkesboro, N.C. – Wilkes Community College SkillsUSA students brought home two silver and four bronze medals from the 55th Annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) in Louisville, Ky., on June 24-28, 2019. WCC was represented by 27 student competitors and 17 advisors. The students qualified to participate in the national competition because they won first place gold medals in the April statewide competition in Greensboro, N.C.
The opening ceremony, co-sponsored by Snap-On Inc. and Toyota America, was held on Tuesday, June 25. More than 25,000 students, teachers, education leaders, and representatives from 600 national corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions participated. The highlight event was the annual SkillsUSA Championships held on June 26-27 with 106 hands-on skill and leadership competitions.
Among the more than 8,000 student competitors, 9 of the 27 WCC students showcasing their knowledge and skills placed in the top 5 positions, 19 in the top ten and 25 in the top twenty.
Wilkes Community College and Career & College Promise (CCP) students competed and finished in the following areas:
Makayla Sloop- 3rd place (Bronze)
Architectural Drafting – Serlina Francisco – 6th place
The Skill Point Certificate, introduced at the 2013 competition, recognizes SkillsUSA members achieving national industry-defined scores at the national competition. The award is the pinnacle achievement in the Work Force Ready System for SkillsUSA students. To earn the certificate, students participated in authentic assessments demonstrating in real time their knowledge and hands-on abilities. Each of the 27 WCC students received 27 Skill Point certificates.
“A trip to the SkillsUSA national competition is life-changing for students. They are recognized as the best of the very best students in the country – they are champions. This success doesn’t come easily; it requires vigorous hard work and dedication,” said Hardin Kennedy, WCC SkillsUSA advisor and Transportation Technology chairperson.
Beyond the competitions, students enjoy networking opportunities that can help set the path for their post-college careers. In fact, hundreds of the country’s leading employers attend the national conference to scout for new talent to join their companies.
With our college’s consistent presence and continued top ranking at the national conferences, Wilkes Community College is recognized as a national leader in post-secondary and secondary education.
“While not everyone can come home with a gold, silver or bronze medal, the Skill Point Certificate proves that a student has mastered his or her trade and is ready to enter and succeed in industry,” explains Kennedy. “This year, North Carolina dominated the competition taking home the most medals in the nation with 78 medalists,”
The college thanks the following sponsors: WCC faculty and staff, Adams Oldcastle, Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone Auto Parts, Blevins Building Supply, Blue Ridge Tractor, Tom and Karolen Bowman, Carolina West Wireless, Colors Edge, Empire Chevrolet, Empire Chrysler Dodge Jeep, Flowers Auto Parts, Hughes Supply, Impact Collision, Arnold and Becky Lakey, Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse, Millers Creek Fire Department, North Carolina Association of Electrical Contractors, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, Pardue’s Welding, Bobby and Susan Phillips, Pine Hall Brick, Plumbing-Heating-Cooling-Contractors of N.C., Inc., The Record of Wilkes, Kathie Rider, Sylvia D. Robinson, Snap-on, Specialty Fabricators, Statesville Brick, William Stroud, The Welding Company, Town of North Wilkesboro, Tractor Supply Company of Wilkesboro, Western Carolina Electric, Weyerhaeuser, Wilkes County Sheriff’s Department, Wilkesboro Fire Department, Yadkin Well Company, Inc., and Window World, Inc.
Contributions to the WCC Annual Fund-SkillsUSA may be sent to WCC Foundation/Annual Fund, P.O. Box 120, Wilkesboro, NC, 28697.
Wilkes Community College, a member of the North Carolina Community College System, is a public, two-year, open-door institution serving the people of Wilkes, Ashe and Alleghany counties and beyond. Established in 1965, WCC continues to build on a strong history of meeting the educational needs and cultural interests of our students, community and workforce. WCC prepares learners for success in a dynamic world.
About WCC Skills USA Club
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled work force. It helps each student excel. SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including health occupations.
While the highlights of the club’s year are the state and national competitions, students work year-round to prepare for competition and to promote SkillsUSA. Most recently, WCC hosted the Region 7 SkillsUSA Conference and Career Showcase on February 26, 2018. This annual educational and professional development activity is open to all SkillsUSA members and advisors, high school Career and Technical Education students, business and industry partners, and educational partners. The event included SkillsUSA competitions and the opportunity for high school students to explore the many career training opportunities available to them at WCC.
In 2005, Transportation Technology chairperson Hardin Kennedy organized and developed the Wilkes Community College SkillsUSA Club. In 2006, Wilkes Community College was represented at the state and national competition in its first year of competing with 12 students from various engineering technology disciplines. Each year, participation in the SkillsUSA Club grows as students and faculty learn the benefits of being involved.
This active club operates with significant support from local individuals, businesses and organizations. The assistance helps to offset the cost of hosting events and traveling to competitions. For more information about supporting SkillsUSA, contact Hardin Kennedy at 336-838-6219 or firstname.lastname@example.org.