Ҵý Well Represented at SkillsUSA Nationals

July 8, 2024

Six Ҵý students earned top 10 placements at last month’s SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Atlanta.

The SkillsUSA championships are the nation’s largest hands-on workforce development event for middle school, high school and college and postsecondary students enrolled in career and technical education programs.

Trevor Brown (left), who is majoring in the heavy equipment operator technician (HEOT) program at Ҵý-Hastings, won a silver medal in the college heavy equipment operation competition.

“Trevor taking second place at SkillsUSA nationals is truly an historic moment for our program,” said Jason Baker, HEOT instructor who traveled with Brown to Atlanta. “Congratulations to Trevor for a phenomenal accomplishment. Success is definitely in his future as an operator.”

Brown received an associate of applied science degree in May and is employed by Adams Construction, which sponsored him while he was at Ҵý.

Taking home a bronze medal in the college additive manufacturing competition was the team of Riley Mason (right) and Landon Nelson (left). Additive manufacturing is the process of designing an object in a solid modeling software and using a 3D printer to make the object. 3D printers build the part by building layers of material one layer at a time as opposed to cutting away at a solid block until the final product is complete. Both Mason and Nelson are in the drafting and design technology program at the Hastings Campus.

“I am very proud of Riley and Landon for their accomplishments, hard work and dedication,” said Brian Davis, drafting and design technology instructor. “I commend both of them for not only competing in the SkillsUSA national competition, but also in their journey in completing dual degrees with advanced manufacturing design technology.”

The team of Hunter Fowler, Anna Katen and Frankie Maulucci finished in ninth place in the college crime scene investigation competition, which lasted five hours. Criminal justice instructor Connie Hultine, who was in Atlanta for the conference, said there were five scenarios and one was quite challenging. The scenario was a kidnapping that involved a vehicle and they had to collect evidence from the trunk.

“The ninth-place finish was so impressive,” Hultine said. “From the state competition to the national competition, there were a lot of changes, and I think the students and us as advisers learned a lot about how we can be better prepared.”

All three students are sophomores majoring in criminal justice. Fowler is interning with the Hastings Police Department while Katen is an intern for the Grand Island Police Department.

More than 16,000 students, teachers, education leaders and representatives from 850 national corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions participated in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.