WCC 2019 National SkillsUSA Team – Students and Advisors

Wilkes Community College SkillsUSA students brought home two silver and four bronze medals from the 55th Annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) in Louisville, Ky., on June 24-28, 2019. WCC was represented by 27 student competitors and 17 advisors. The students qualified to participate in the national competition because they won first place gold medals in the April statewide competition in Greensboro, N.C.

The opening ceremony, co-sponsored by Snap-On Inc. and Toyota America, was held on Tuesday, June 25. More than 25,000 students, teachers, education leaders, and representatives from 600 national corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions participated. The highlight event was the annual SkillsUSA Championships held on June 26-27 with 106 hands-on skill and leadership competitions.

Among the more than 8,000 student competitors, 9 of the 27 WCC students showcasing their knowledge and skills placed in the top 5 positions, 19 in the top ten and 25 in the top twenty.

Wilkes Community College and Career & College Promise (CCP) students competed and finished in the following areas:

Action Skills
Kane Exposito – 6th place
Architectural Drafting
Serlina Francisco – 6th placeCareer Pathways-Natural Resources-Agriculture-Food Team (College) Kaylee Bowlin and Ethan Sprinkle – 2nd place (Silver)
Career Pathways – Natural Resources-Agriculture-Food Team (CCP)
Jonathan Smith – 8th Place
CNC Turning Specialist (CCP)
Dylan Pearson – 21st place
Cyber Security Team
Hattie Cox and Eric Lunsford – 6th place
Diesel Equipment Technology (College)
William Chapman – 7th place
Diesel Equipment Technology (CCP)
Tyler Whisnant -34th place
Health Knowledge Bowl
Brittany Johnson, Abbie Kenley, John Douglas Shephard, Makayla Sloop- 3rd place (Bronze) Job Skill Demonstration A – Collison Repair
Cole Adams – 10th place
Pin Design (CCP)
Cortlyn Blythe – 23rd place
Power Equipment
Phillip Benfield – 15th place
Teamworks Team (College)
Christopher Dixon, Aaron Haymore, Grant Mitchell, Justin Shepherd – 12th place
Welding Fabrication Team (CCP)
Luke Blackburn, Clint Jones, Ryan O’Grady – 4th place
Welding Fabrication Team (College)
Ranson Dyer, Grant Line, Jesus Salazar – 10th place

The Skill Point Certificate, introduced at the 2013 competition, recognizes SkillsUSA members achieving national industry-defined scores at the national competition. The award is the pinnacle achievement in the Work Force Ready System for SkillsUSA students. To earn the certificate, students participated in authentic assessments demonstrating in real time their knowledge and hands-on abilities. Each of the 27 WCC students received 27 Skill Point certificates.

“A trip to the SkillsUSA national competition is life-changing for students. They are recognized as the best of the very best students in the country – they are champions. This success doesn’t come easily; it requires vigorous hard work and dedication,” said Hardin Kennedy, WCC SkillsUSA advisor and Transportation Technology chairperson.

Beyond the competitions, students enjoy networking opportunities that can help set the path for their post-college careers. In fact, hundreds of the country’s leading employers attend the national conference to scout for new talent to join their companies.

With our college’s consistent presence and continued top ranking at the national conferences, Wilkes Community College is recognized as a national leader in post-secondary and secondary education.

“While not everyone can come home with a gold, silver or bronze medal, the Skill Point Certificate proves that a student has mastered his or her trade and is ready to enter and succeed in industry,” explains Kennedy. “This year, North Carolina dominated the competition taking home the most medals in the nation with 78 medalists,”
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, Yadkin Well Company, Inc., and Window World, Inc.

Contributions to the WCC Annual Fund-SkillsUSA may be sent to WCC Foundation/Annual Fund, 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.

Career Pathways-Natural Resources-Agriculture- Food (College Team)
Kaylee Bowlin and Ethan Sprinkle – 2nd place (Silver)

Welding Fabrication Team (CCP) – Luke Blackburn, Clint Jones, Ryan O’Grady – 4th place