JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP — It is has been a very busy month at Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus. On April 15 and 16 students from around the state gathered in Columbus to show off their talents and skills at the state competition for SkillsUSA. SkillsUSA is a national organization that holds competitions for high school career technology programs. One of the unique aspects about SkillsUSA is that it brings together students who are mastering their technical skills, educators and members of the community who are already experts in their fields. The competition is held at the Columbus Convention Center, a large event building that hosts a variety of events from conventions to nationwide professional acts.
Students from all over the state come together with only one goal in mind - to win. Although the competition is the main focus for the two-day event, there are many other benefits for all involved. The event allows students to discuss their field with experts from around the state, and professionals are able to give back to the community by sharing their passion with young people who are interested in working in their field.
Senior Public Safety student Luis Castrillon said, “I met many professionals that gave me a lot of information about my field during my trip to Columbus. Hopefully, these contacts will help me in the future if I ever plan to move somewhere else in the state if I need to find a job.”
It is a significant event for the students that compete because they can be a part of something much bigger than succeeding in their school environment.
Senior masonry student Michael Hussing said, “Coming to Columbus really pushed me to improve my skills. It was a great trip and I met a lot of new people that I can keep in touch with after high school.” You can just see the feelings of pride, accomplishment and passion on their faces. Even if the student did not win there was still mutual respect and sportsmanship among the competitors.