Georgia is now the top state in the U.S. for the number of medals awarded in a national skills competition. Georgia high school and technical college students who progressed to the 2017 SkillsUSA National Conference after winning at the state-level competition brought home a combined total of 90 medals, up from 68 in 2016 and the most awarded to Georgia competitors in recent years.
“This is an outstanding achievement, especially considering that Georgia ranks 14th in membership in SkillsUSA,” said Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia. “It speaks volumes to the exceptional quality of talent that our high schools and colleges are training to enter the workforce in our state.”
In addition, a technical college team from Georgia has been selected to compete in WorldSkills, which is held every two years. Corey Cleghorn and Joshua Whittington from Southern Regional Technical College’s 2015 Mechatronics team will compete in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in October. They will be two of 11 competitors SkillsUSA has selected to compete in 10 contests.
SkillsUSA is a national, nonprofit student organization that has developed more than 10 million workers through active partnerships between employers and educators. Hundreds of American industries have turned to SkillsUSA as the source for employees who exemplify “Champions at Work” in both skills and attitudes. Each March, SkillsUSA Georgia holds a statewide competition, the single largest construction event in the Southeastern United States. Winners go on to the national competition in Louisville, Ky. The national event will move to Atlanta in 2021.
Georgia Postsecondary, the state’s technical college contingent, sent 111 contestants to Louisville for the event, held June 19-23, and won a total of 53 medals: 24 gold, 12 silver and 17 bronze. The top three total medal recipient chapters were: Savannah Technical College (8); tied for 2nd place were Oconee Fall Line Technical College (7) and Georgia Northwestern Technical College (7); and tied for 3rd place were Gwinnett Technical College (6) and Wiregrass Georgia Technical College (6).
Top three gold medal recipient chapters were: Oconee Fall Line Technical College (7), Central Georgia Technical College (4), and tied for 3rd place were Gwinnett Technical College (3) and Georgia Piedmont Technical College (3).
The Dr. John Scott Award for highest-scoring individual competitor in Georgia Postsecondary went to Heidy Sosa from Gwinnett Technical College in the Health Occupations Professional Portfolio contest. The Curtiss Bell Award for highest-scoring team competitors in Georgia Postsecondary was a tie between the Opening & Closing Ceremonies team from Oconee Fall Line Technical College and the 3-D Visualization & Animation team from Wiregrass Georgia Technical College.
Additionally, Georgia Northwestern Technical College received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for Families and Groups. The President’s Volunteer Service Award is issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation on behalf of the President of the United States to recognize the best in the American spirit, and to encourage all Americans to improve their communities through volunteer service, and civic participation. The college was previously awarded SkillsUSA Georgia Postsecondary’s highest honor, the Chapter of Distinction award.