SkillsUSA is a nationwide nonprofit partnership of students, teachers and industry professionals working to help youth obtain the necessary skills to be successful workers, leaders and citizens. Founded in 1965 as Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, Inc., SkillsUSA currently has over 13,000 chapters serving more than 250,000 students in all 50 states and four territories. Students range in age from middle to high school and beyond. Over 1,100 corporations, trade associations and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA on a national level through financial aid and in-kind contributions and many more work directly with state associations and local chapters.
At the 2013 SkillsUSA Utah Championships, held March 28 and 29 in Salt Lake City, DXATC Chapter students competed in Diesel, Welding, Residential Construction Wiring, Carpentry, Team Works and Community Service contests and earned a top award in each. Justin Bissell won the Diesel competition, Jacob Hansen took second place in Carpentry and Chad Hustead won Residential Construction Wiring, a highly involved contest requiring study of the 1000-page International Electrical Code and eight hours of hands-on work. Carpenter Josh Nielsen, mason Zack Faucett, electrician Drayton Burgess and plumber Ryan Friedel joined forces in the Team Works contest to construct a fully functioning “mini-house” in 13 hours. The chapter leadership team, Amanda Bartholomew, Rudy Ashford and Kade McKean, took first place in the Community Service competition for their service project assisting the Fackrell family, victims of the September 2012 Santa Clara flood disaster.
“To have garnered such tremendous success at a nationally recognized competition establishes a standard by which DXATC can be measured,” DXATC Director of Industrial Programs and SkillsUSA advisor Greg Bartholomew said. “This accomplishment embodies the vision of DXATC to be a top technical training institution.”
“It means a lot to win. It was a great experience,” Ashford, 15, said. “This program is something I’ll be able to use in the future. It’s a chance to always learn something new and a very good building experience.”
“We had an outstanding project that brought the community together,” McKean, 17, said. “Our team was willing and able to work hard and work together, and I believe that’s why we won.”
Along with over 5,000 students from across the country, the DXATC team will represent Utah at the SkillsUSA National Conference Championships in Kansas City, Mo., from June 24 to 28. The cost of sending the students to the finals is estimated at $20,000 and DXATC is actively seeking sponsors. Interested parties are asked to contact Bartholomew at email@example.com.
“Many, many hours of work by the DXATC faculty go into preparing students to compete at the highest level in technical and leadership competitions,” Bartholomew said. “As representatives of DXATC, their success at nationals will help identify the school as one of the best in the state with quality students, quality programs and quality graduates.”
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