Wilkes Community College hosted the SkillsUSA Northwest Region Rally & Career Showcase on February 26, 2018. This annual educational and professional development activity is open to all SkillsUSA members and advisors, Career and Technical Education (CTE) students, business and industry partners and educational partners.

“This year’s event was the largest in our history of hosting the regional rally,” says Hardin Kennedy, SkillsUSA college advisor. “We had over 900 high school students, advisors and industry partners participate in this year’s rally. Of those, 437 students competed in the skills contests. Over 75 business and industry representatives were on site to participate in or view the contests. Elected officials from the local, regional and state level also attended to watch the competitions. I want to extend a special thanks to Dion Stocks, principal at Wilkes Central High School for allowing us to use his welding facilities at the high school for the welding fabrication contest. We feel like things will continue to grow from this point forward as information about our event continues to spread throughout the region.”

There were 75 contests offered at the WCC competition. High schools from Alexander, Alleghany, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Davie, Forsyth, Iredell, Lincoln, McDowell, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin counties, as well as the Home School Association of North Carolina and Christian schools participated in this event.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It helps students excel in their respective trade areas. SkillsUSA provides an opportunity for students to showcase the skills they received at their educational institution and see how their education compares to other schools in our state and nation. 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.

In addition to the competition, students also explored career opportunities with the Career Showcase segment of the event. This aspect is designed to increase student awareness of the programs offered at Wilkes Community College and to encourage students to take advantage of Career & College Promise high school course offerings that will lead to college certificates and degrees.

Students not involved in competitions were able to meet with WCC representatives and tour four areas of the college that focus on direct classroom-to-careers programs. They had the opportunity to ask questions and see demonstrations as they visited various areas on campus.

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. The college thanks the following sponsors: WCC faculty and staff, Adams Oldcastle, Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone Auto Parts, Blevins Building Supply, Blue Ridge Tractor, Tom and Karolen Bowman, Carolina West Wireless, Colors Edge, Empire Chevrolet, Empire Chrysler Dodge Jeep, Flowers Auto Parts, Hughes Supply, Impact Collision, Arnold and Becky Lakey, Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse, Millers Creek Fire Department, North Carolina Association of Electrical Contractors, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, Pardue’s Welding, Bobby and Susan Phillips, Pine Hall Brick, Plumbing-Heating-Cooling-Contractors of N.C., Inc., The Record of Wilkes, Kathie Rider, Sylvia D. Robinson, Snap-on, Specialty Fabricators, Statesville Brick, William Stroud, The Welding Company, Town of North Wilkesboro, Tractor Supply Company of Wilkesboro, Western Carolina Electric, Weyerhaeuser, Wilkes County Sheriff’s Department, Wilkesboro Fire Department and Yadkin Well Company, Inc., Window World, Inc., sponsored the building construction luncheon and showcased their custom designed motorcycle at the motorcycle service technology competition.

For more information about the SkillsUSA program, contact Hardin Kennedy at 336-838-6219 or hardin.kennedy@wilkescc.edu. To learn about the college-to-career programs, contact WCC Student Services at 336-838-6135.

Opening Ceremony

Masonry Competition

Welding Competition