Alfred State College students once again held their own as they went head-to-head against competitors from around the country in the annual National SkillsUSA Championship in Louisville, KY, coming away with two medals and four top-10 finishes.
The 54th annual intercollegiate national competition took place from June 25-29. Alfred State’s Anthony Black, autobody repair, Bergen, was awarded a bronze medal for third place in the nation in Automotive Refinishing. Mitchell Davis, building trades: building construction, Bath, was awarded a silver medal for second place in the nation in Carpentry.
Other Alfred State students placing in the top 10 included Michael Felts, heavy equipment, truck and diesel technician, Ballston Lake (fifth place, Diesel Equipment Technology) and Christopher Stevenson, masonry, Binghamton (fifth place, Masonry). Rounding out the 2018 Alfred State SkillsUSA Nationals team were Caryl Koch, motorsports technology, Cuba, who competed in the Automotive Service Technology category; Matthew Scheffler, electrical construction and maintenance electrician, Lake View, who took part in the Electrical Construction Wiring competition; and Isaac Cline, welding technology, Homer, who competed in the Welding category.
This year, more than 6,300 students from around the country competed in 102 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.
The students compete to national standards with other students from all 50 states. The competitions are set up and judged by industry representatives. Over $20 million is donated in time and equipment to the weeklong event.
SkillsUSA is a vital solution to the growing US skills gap. This non-profit partnership of students, instructors, and industry insures America has the skill workforce it needs to stay competitive. Founded in 1965 and endorsed by the US Department of Education, the association serves more than 360,000-member students and instructors each year in middle schools, high schools, and colleges. This diverse talent pipeline covers 130 trade, technical, and skilled service occupations, the majority of which are STEM-related. More than 600 corporations, trade associations, businesses, and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA at the national level.
SkillsUSA programs are integrated into career and technical education through a framework of personal, workplace, and technical skills grounded in academics. Local, state, and national championships designed and judged by industry set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide needed recognition to its students. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and other workplace credentials. For more information, visit www.SkillsUSA.org.
Alfred State College faculty and staff who accompanied the students to Louisville included Dr. Craig Clark, vice president for Economic Development; Bradley Smith, assistant professor, Automotive Trades Department; and C.J. Tremper, instructor, Automotive Trades Department.
Those interested in forming chapters at other NYS colleges should contact Clark, the NYS College and Postsecondary SkillsUSA director, at 607- 587-3102. Program information regarding technical areas of education should be directed to 1-800-4-ALFRED.