Attending the 2019 National SkillsUSA Championships (from left) are Dylan Hardy, Drew Abner, Joshua Campbell, Madison Qualls and instructor Kevin Poole.

Special to the Register & Bee

Precision Machining students from Danville Community College and Pittsylvania County Schools attended the National SkillsUSA Champions at Work conference in Louisville, Kentucky, from June 24 to 28 to compete and demonstrate their technical skills and knowledge at the national level.

The SkillsUSA Championships are comprised of a wide variety of competitive events showcasing the best career and technical education students in the nation. Through an investment from business and industry partners of about $36 million, the National Leadership and Skills Conference event occupies a space equivalent to 20 football fields. The competitions align to 11 sectors and ensure students are developing the personal, workplace and technical skills needed to become job-ready Day One.

This year’s event boasted 103 leadership, occupational and skilled and technical competitions, the most ever. As SkillsUSA membership continues to grow, so does the number of competitors. In 2019, nearly 6,500 students — another record — faced off at the SkillsUSA Championships.

The SkillsUSA Championships typically begin in 24,000 local student chapters across the country. Chapters are formed at the middle-school, high-school and college/postsecondary levels. Students in local chapters are first evaluated through a series of hands-on competitive events on the competencies they’ve gained through their CTE programs.

Winners advance to district or regional competitions, where they test their skills against a broader range of competitors from other schools in their state. First-place district or regional winners advance to state competitions, and those gold medalists move on the national level at the SkillsUSA Championships. Selected national medalists may earn the opportunity to compete internationally on the WorldSkills USA team.

Attending from Pittsylvania Career and Technical Center dual enrollment Precision Machining program were Trent Oswald, milling specialist, secondary; Adam Ilconich, technician, secondary; Jacob Edwards, turning specialist, secondary; and Justin Owen, precision machining instructor.

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