LOUISVILLE, KY – Northeast Community College students took honors at a national career and technical education skills competition held here recently. The students competed in the 53rd National Leadership and Skills Conference, sponsored by SkillsUSA, in Louisville, KY, along with hundreds of students and advisors from Nebraska.
The SkillsUSA Championships are competitive events showcasing the best career and technical education students in the nation. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels. This is a multi-million-dollar event that occupies a space equivalent to 20 football fields. There were more than 6,000 contestants in 100 separate events. Over 1,700 judges and contest organizers from labor and management make the national event possible.
For Northeast, Bo Jensen, an auto body technology student from Atkinson, earned a bronze award in automotive refinishing technology, while Information Technology students Calvin Craig and Dylan Kudera, Norfolk, earned bronze awards in the mobile robotics technology team competition.
Other Northeast students competing in the national competition included Morgan Barnes, Cody, who placed fifth in diesel technology; Greg Kosmacek, Stanton, ninth in computer programming; James Buresh, David City, 12th in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); and Bethany Nelson, Norfolk, 23rd in drafting.
The students were accompanied by Dr. Wade Herley, dean of business and technology at Northeast, and instructors Dave Beaudette and Tom Hoile (auto body technology); Tony Milenkovich (diesel technology); Michael Holcomb (drafting); Paul Bailey and John Nelson (HVAC) and Richard Chrisman (information technology).
Herley said he was very proud of Northeast’s accomplishments at the national competition.
“SkillsUSA truly does match the best of the best against one another at the national level. You have to realize each student that reaches the national competition had to earn their spot by competing against the best in their state,” he said. “The state competitions may have two competitors or they may have fifty, so when you think of one of the competitions at nationals that has thirty competitors, most of those students had to compete against thirty in their respective states – it really clarifies how competitive SkillsUSA can be.”
The Northeast students qualified for the national competition at the SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference held this spring in Grand Island.
The philosophy of the SkillsUSA Championships is to reward students for excellence, to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance and to keep training relevant to employers’ needs. 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.
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure a skilled workforce and helping each student succeed. A national student organization that serves students in high schools and college/technical schools, it provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development.