Local high-school students compete at SkillsUSA conference

Trade and industry students from across the state attended the SkillsUSA state conference in Greenville recently.

Event competitions started in early March and concluded during the conference March 14-16.

Students displayed their intelligence, poise and leadership ability while impressing the judges in a variety of competitive events including Automotive Technology, Carpentry, Electrical Construction Wiring, Job Skill Demonstration, Machine Tool Technology, Information Technology Service, Graphics, Job Interview and Welding.

The SkillsUSA Championship started in 1967 in South Carolina with only three events.

There were 54 competitors in the first championship. South Carolina now has more than 80 skill and leadership events and over 1,000 competitors each year.

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving people who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations.

Formerly known as VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America), SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled work force.

The South Carolina association includes membership of over 3,500 students, advisors, and professionals throughout the state. It has been serving students, educators and business and industry by keeping up with both employers’ needs and education mandates and trends.

The Darlington County Institute of Technology sent 15 competitors to the state SkillsUSA competitive event. James Griggs, Jesse Flowers, Dennis Johnson, Daren McKenzie, Jack Parker, Bruce Stewart, Eric Tew and Sandra White serve as local chapter advisors.

Several DCIT students placed in the top three in their respective events.

Electrical Construction Wiring: Neil Martin (Darlington High School) – 1st
Job Demonstration A: John James (Hartsville High School) – 1st
CNC Technician: Jacob Smith (Hartsville High School) – 2nd
Electrical Construction Wiring: Micah Greenawalt (Hartsville High School) – 2nd
CNC Milling Specialist: Coleman Jordan (Darlington High School) – 3rd
Electrical Construction Wiring: Coby Byrd (Hartsville High School) – 3rd

Each student placing in the top three received a certificate and a medallion.

Not only did McKenzie’s electricity students finish in 1st to 3rd place, sweeping the podium in the Electrical Construction Wiring contest, his student Tyler Weatherford placed 4th in Electrical Construction Wiring.

In addition to receiving a medallion and certificate, by placing 1st in their respective events, John James and Neil Martin qualified to compete at the 55th National SkillsUSA conference in Kentucky in June.

Author: Rachel Howell

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