Testing their skills against fellow state contest winners from all over the country, Alfred State College students recently ended up taking home gold and bronze medals, as well as a pair of top 10 finishes in the 55th annual National SkillsUSA Championship in Louisville, KY.
Brandon Meek, an electrical construction and maintenance electrician major from Akron, was awarded a gold medal for first place in the nation in the Electrical Construction Wiring (College) category. Receiving a bronze medal for third place in the nation in Carpentry was Mitchell Davis, a 2019 building trades: building construction graduate from Bath who has re-enrolled in Alfred State’s technology management major.
Other Alfred State students placing in the top 10 included Ryan Lee, heavy equipment, truck and diesel technician, Depew (sixth place, Automotive Service Technology) and Ryan Shipherd, masonry, Randolph (sixth place, Masonry). Rounding out the 2019 Alfred State SkillsUSA Nationals team were Justin Clark, autobody repair, Burlington Flats, who competed in the Automotive Refinishing category; Steven Mazzone, heavy equipment, truck and diesel technician, Marilla, who took part in the Diesel Equipment Technology competition; and Allan Jones, welding technology, Farmersville Station, who competed in the Welding category.
Alfred State College faculty and staff who accompanied the students to Louisville included Jeffrey Stevens, dean of the School of Applied Technology; Dr. Craig Clark, vice president for Economic Development; and Daniel Acomb, instructor in the Automotive Trades Department. During the competition, more than 6,400 students from around the country competed hands-on in 103 different trade, technical, and leadership fields. Students work against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations such as electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, medical assisting, and culinary arts.
Contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations, and labor organizations, and test competencies are set by industry. Leadership contestants demonstrate skills including extemporaneous speaking and conducting meetings by parliamentary procedure. 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.
High scorers in the contests received Skill Point Certificates. The Skill Point Certificate was awarded in 72 occupational and leadership areas to students who achieved a high score defined by industry. The SkillsUSA Championships have been a premier event since 1967.