On To Nationals

Two students at the Warren County Career Center took top honors in the SkillsUSA state competition in Hershey on April 3 – 5, and will continue on to the national championships in Kansas City, Mo. in June.

There will be 50 entrants in each competition, one from each state.

Jacob Devereaux, a senior at Eisenhower won his gold medal in Electronics Technology. He said, “I was nervous until I got to the table where my test was laid out, but then I knew when I saw it I was going to do well.” He added, “It was quite a fun event, and I had a good time. We had the first day to ourselves, competed the second day, and there was a ceremony on the third day.” He estimated that 1,000 people participated, including students, advisors, and others. When asked about competing in the nationals he would only say, “I’ve never been on an airplane.” He won a $2,500 scholarship to PennTech, but he is planning on attending Penn State in Harrisburg, and it is not transferable.

Another EHS senior, Jason Clever took his gold medal in Carpentry, competing against 11 other carpentry students, framing a section of a house including a floor, wall, and rafters. He said of Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, “It’s a real nice hotel and there is lots to do,” but added that his competition ran late and he missed out on a tour of Hershey World. In addition to his gold medal, Clever won a DeWalt drill impact set, an Irwin tool bag and a $2,500 scholarship to PennTech.

Daniel Henry, a junior at Warren Area High School took a bronze medal in Automotive Technology and earned a $1,000 scholarship to the Pennsylvania College of Technology, another $1,000 scholarship to the Automotive Training Center, and a $5,000 scholarship to the University of Northwestern Ohio. He said he enjoyed the experience and was amazed that “the streets were paved with brown and the whole place smelled like chocolate.”

Two other students won medals. Paul York of WAHS received a silver medal in Motorcycle Service Technology, and Ryan McShane of Youngsville High School earned a bronze in Marine Service. They were absent on Wednesday and missed being interviewed

Things get underway on Tuesday, June 24, with contestant orientation meetings, a mikeroweWORKS Foundation competitors luncheon, and a three-day-long TECHSPO and Career Fair.

The mikeroweWORKS Foundation has partnered with Scholarship America to establish the mikeroweWORKS Foundation Education Scholarship Program. The total amount to be distributed this year is $250,000, and the program is set up to award individual scholarships to applicants who meet the eligibility requirements for an amount up to $2,500. The Education Scholarship Fund is designed for those looking to explore a career in the skilled trades.

The TECHSPO includes manufacturers and companies that run displays, exhibits and contests featuring their products as they apply to the trades represented in the competitions.

On Wednesday, June 26, the championships, which are open to the public, will begin. There will be a SkillsUSA Amazing Race, an interactive experience for both the exhibitor and competitor. The participant will be challenged to perform various tasks and quickly move throughout the TECHSPO territory in order to win prizes.

The following day, championship competiton will continue, and a SkillsUSA Night Worlds of Fun with music, food, and prizes for students and advisors.

Friday will finish the week with an awards ceremony at 6 p.m.