WILKESBORO, N.C. – Wilkes Community College (WCC) students were one of the leading schools in the state in overall medal counts at the 58th Annual SkillsUSA North Carolina Leadership and Skills Conference on April 18-20, 2023, with the Awards Ceremony for college held on April 19th and high school on April 20, 2023.
Wilkes Community College’s 104 student competitors, including 58 Career & College Promise high school students, brought home 45 medals: 17 first-place gold medals, nine second-place silver medals, six third-place bronze medals, seven fourth-place, and six fifth-place finishes. Of the 104 WCC competitors, 45 placed in the top five, and everyone placed in the top ten in the state. WCC was named as part of the North Carolina SkillsUSA Elite 100 Club, which means WCC has had over 100 students enrolled for the last five years.
WCC students’ Top 5 results were as follows:
- Advertising Design: Maggie Spears (CCP), first place
- Architectural Drafting: Luke Isenhour, second place
- Career Pathways Showcase Ag/ Natural Resources: Abigail Mullins, Madison Starnes, Danielle Starnes, first place team
- Carpentry: Brian Tyler first place
- Collision Damage Appraisal: Logan Stuckey, second place; Lucas Delp third place
- Computer Programming: Isaiah Cox second place; David Woodson fourth place
- Diesel Equipment Technology: Braden Harbour (CCP) first place; Blake Shinn (CCP) second place; Carson Smith fourth place; Matthew Johnson fifth place
- Early Childhood Education: Madison Coe (CCP), third place
- Internet Working: Bryan Villa-Villalobos fourth place
- Pin Design: Christopher Lachapelle fourth place
- Power Equipment Technology: Matthew Rivera (CCP), first place; Daniel Caudill (CCP), second place; Matthew Blankenship, first place.
- TeamWorks: Evan Jonathan Lopez, Bryson Calloway, Hayden Williams, Zechariah Wright, first-place team; Will Cockerham, Israel Lopez, Eli Scott, Jonathan Tomko second place team
- T-Shirt Design: MacKenzie Johnson, third place; Lacey Church fifth place
- Welding: Anthony Sangeam Garcia third place
- Welding Fabrication College Teams: Jake Davis, Elijah Ledford, Jarren Parks first place team
- Welding Fabrication CCP Teams: Alleghany High School CCP Julio Perez, Babie Sutherland, James Valdez first place team; Wilkes Community College CCP Austin Watts, John Wilkerson, Isaak Wolcott second place; Alleghany High School CCP Hogan Dillard, Luke Evans, Landan Stevens third place; East Wilkes High School CCP Brennan Arnder, Brody Martin, Ayden Smoot fourth place; Gavin Dowell, Joshua Key, Luke Macemore fifth-place team
The 17 first-place winners will now represent North Carolina and Wilkes Community College at the 58th SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Atlanta, Ga. June 19-24, 2023.
“It feels great to be a part of the Wilkes Community College faculty and staff and Wilkes County School System. We have a group of the absolute best students in the state, and they proved that at the SkillsUSA state competition,” said advisor Jamie Reavis. “During the awards ceremony, it was apparent to everyone that WCC, our students, and the faculty and staff lead North Carolina in education and leadership skills. Everyone is to be commended for their accomplishments, including this community that so wholeheartedly supports Wilkes Community College and Wilkes County Schools.”
“In addition to their awards and recognition, our students can be proud that they were awarded the opportunity to receive scholarship monies, tools, and equipment from sponsoring vendors to further their education,” adds Reavis. “These students have proven that they have the skills needed to succeed in the workplace and are willing to take a step outside of the normal box, building a stronger workforce for this region. Still, many of them may elect to go on to expand their skills. So, these prizes will help those students achieve that ambition.”
Wilkes Community College is proud to host the SkillsUSA Northwest Region Rally and Career Showcase and appreciates the community support that goes into this annual event and the help from WCC’s SkillsUSA club. Community support is vital to the WCC SkillsUSA club, and its members and advisors want to thank local sponsors for their continued support. The college would like to recognize and thank the following sponsors: WCC faculty and staff, Adams Old Castle – Williams Roberts, Blevins Building Supply, Blue Ridge Tractor, McNeill Nissan, Flowers Auto Parts, HD Supply, High Country Paint, Home Builders Association of Wilkes and Yadkin, Impact Collision, John Deere with James River Equipment, Kris Dell Applied Software, L & A Emergency, Inc., Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse, ARC 3 Welding Supply, Mike’s Body Shop, Millers Creek and Wilkesboro Volunteer Fire Departments, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, Payne Power Equipment, Pine Hall Brick, Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors of NC, Inc., Snap-on Tools, Specialty Fabricators, Statesville Brick, The Welding Company, Triad Freightliner, Western Carolina Electric, Weyerhaeuser, and Yadkin Well Company, Inc.
Additional monetary donations were given by Duke Energy, Town of North Wilkesboro, NC Community Colleges Foundation, Inc., Window World, Inc., Wilkes County Home Builders Association, Evan and Victoria Handy, George and Nancy Koen, Arnold and Becky Lakey, Ann Parsons, Mac and Lisa Warren, and Window World, Inc.
In addition, contributors to the WCC Annual Fund Drive can designate that their donation be applied to the WCC SkillsUSA club. Allison Phillips, executive director of the WCC Foundation stated, “We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the donors that have contributed to the SkillsUSA club with their gift to the Annual Fund Drive. Through their generosity, we can continue to provide the much-needed financial assistance for WCC students to participate in the State and National SkillsUSA Competitions in Greensboro, N.C., and Atlanta, Ga. On behalf of myself and the WCC Foundation, we wish our students the best of luck at Nationals.”
About WCC Skills USA Club
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce and helping 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 28, 2022, which turned out to be the largest gathering in the state as well as the largest in WCC’s history of hosting the regional gathering. 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. That assistance helps to offset the cost of hosting events and traveling to competitions. For more information about supporting SkillsUSA, contact Jamie Reavis at 336-838-6192 or [email protected].
For more information on donating to the WCC Foundation or the Annual Fund, contact the Wilkes Community College Development Office at 336-838-6491. Contributions may be sent to WCC Foundation, 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.
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