Manatee Technical College has 24 new SkillsUSA National Champions. The students brought home 7 gold medals, 5 silver and 12 bronze medals from the 2016 National SkillsUSA Championships on Saturday. The week-long industry-sponsored event was held in Louisville, Kentucky, June 19-24.
MTC’s digital programs performed very well at the national competition. Medalists in the college division included gold medalists Jason Boone, Christian Lilly-Crum, Thomas Reese, and Zachary Richey for Broadcast News Production, and Brian Beach and Elizabeth Witter for Web Design; bronze medalists were Eduardo Santiago and Joshue Soto for 3D Visualization and Animation, Carlos Hernandez and Amity Hoffman for Digital Cinema Production, and Amber-Lyn Rodriguez for Photography.
“Competing makes you work harder; it’s a way to better yourself,” said Rodriguez. According to students who compete, the SkillsUSA Championships are like the Olympics for career and technical education. Over 6,000 of the top students from across the U.S. competed against each other and the clock in over 100 different trade, technical and leadership team and individual contests. Contest competencies are set by industry.
MTC did very well in other college-level contests also. Matthew Pryor won gold in Major Appliance Technology. Jamie Anthony, Brianna LaDere, Nyla Mitchell, and Rory Shelley took silver in Entrepreneurship. Bronze medalists include Wesley Morey for Action Skills; Silvana Alfaro Martinez, Angela Yoho and Beth Zipperer for Community Service; and Rachel Duncan, Alicia Lash and Adrian Taylor for Career Pathways Showcase-Manufacturing.
In the high school division, MTC’s Nashalye Nazario won silver in Nail Care, and the Southeast High School team won gold in Broadcast News Production.
SkillsUSA promotes excellence, employability skills and ethics to students in career and technical education to better prepare them for successful careers. The philosophy of the Championships is to reward students for excellence, to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance and to keep training relevant to employers’ needs. SkillsUSA is the largest career and technical student organization in the country.
A list of the winners are posted on MTC’s website at/about/awards/.