On April 4 and 5, SkillsUSA Missouri’s State Leadership & Skills Conference was held on the campus of the State Technical College of Missouri.
According to Joey Baker, executive director for SkillsUSA Missouri, “The conference was an amazing success with more than 3,000 participants---students, teachers and industry partners. The event is a showcase of Career & Technical Education in Missouri. Students participated in more than 130 hands-on and leadership competitions, including our automotive refinishing technology, collision repair technology, and collision estimating competitions.
“There is a solution to the current and future demand for a skilled workforce. Jobs are available right here in our state; they are waiting for people with the right skills. Those people are graduating from career and technical education programs all over the state. Above the technical competencies being tested, SkillsUSA prides itself in ensuring our students graduate proficient in the workplace, personal, AND technical skills to be successful in their workplace and beyond.”
Each contest was run with the assistance of industry experts, trade associations and labor organizations with competencies set according to professional industry standards. Energetic students excitedly competed against one another and within a set amount of time to demonstrate their expertise in their chosen category, showing their confidence, passion and dedication to their chosen fields.
Baker stated, “These students demonstrated more than just their skills; they proved that our workforce is prepared to lead the way in every technical area our country needs to maintain a strong global economic presence. Our students aren’t just known for their technical skills though; they graduate job-ready day one through the integration of workplace and personal skill development into their classroom curriculum. We are very proud of this talented group of students who are true champions dedicated to excellence in their trades.”
The 2019 winners in the automotive refinishing technology category, post-secondary division, were Devin Gieselman (Ozarks Technical Community College), Wayde Parman (Northwest Technical School), and Michael Pettit (Ozarks Technical Community College). In the secondary school division, the winners were Tyler Hemmelgren (South Technical High School), Judd Donaldson (Franklin Technology Center), and Chandler Crawford (Moberly Area Technical Center).
In the collision damage appraisal category (secondary only), the winners were Breana Miller (Franklin Technology Center), Brooklynn Robertson (Franklin Technology Center), and David Ley (Four Rivers Career Center).