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Students to Compete in National SkillsUSA Competition

Thursday, March 28, 2013
By Eladio Jaimez

SkillsUSATruth be told, most of them don’t know what to expect.

A group of 13 students from Texas State Technical College will be travelling to Kansas City, Missouri in June to compete in the Skills USA national competition from June 23-29.

They earned their trip to nationals by taking first place at last week’s state competition in San Antonio. Several of the competitors from TSTC medaled at the event but only the 13 who took a first place medal move on to compete at Kansas City.

Skills USA regional director and TSTC instructor Isaac Gonzalez said the competition is a great way to prepare the students for the workforce and industry once they graduate.

“They’re going to compete against colleges from all over the country,” Gonzalez said. “Competitions like these will get our students ready for the real world. They’ll be ready to go into industry and be productive.”

The first couple of days of the national competition will consist of leadership workshops. Those will be followed by three days of competition and an awards assembly on the final day.

Gonzalez said the students learn from the competition and the other students they meet during the state and national meets.

“Any college that’s willing to participate can compete,” Gonzalez said. “You have everyone at these competitions from technical schools to the University of Texas.”

For Shane Leach, going to nationals is something new and is excited about the opportunity to compete with others across the country.

Leach is a student in the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology program and will, among other things, install air conditioning systems and replace compressors as part of his competition.

“I’m just trying to figure out what to expect,” Leach said. “I don’t know too much about what goes on at nationals. I’m a little excited… it’s just a lot of mixed emotions right now.”

Marisol Rico will be competing in Technical Computer Applications. Rico’s competing entails installing viruses and deleting them using different programs.

It’s her first time qualifying for nationals and she is excited about the trip to Missouri.

“I never expected to go nationals,” Rico said. “This is an amazing experience. Especially with me always being in love with computers, this is a big step for me. I’m excited for what’s in store for me.”

Machining student Victor Perez is also a first-timer to nationals and will be required to write programs that will design machining products using only a blueprint given to him the day of the competition.

“This is going to be a great experience,” Perez said.

2013 SkillsUSA State Winners

Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Technology
First place: Shane Leach

Automotive Repair Service
First place: Richard Fernandez

Competed in Technical Computer Applications
First place: Marisol Alexa Rico
Second place: Clemente Rodriguez

Technical Drafting
Second place: Alex Campos

Architectural Drafting
Third place: Julian Jimenez

Engineering (team)
Second place: Jacob De la Cruz, Mechatronics Technology: David Quiros, Chemical/Environmental Technology; Xavier Triejo, Machining Technology

Sustainability Solutions (team)
First place: Jacob De la Cruz, Mechatronics Technology; David Quiros, Chemical/Environmental Technology; Xavier Triejo, Machining Technology

CNC Milling
First place: Victor Perez

CNC Turnining
Harold Briones

Precision Manufacturing Technology
First place: Travis Taylor
Second place: Victor Perez

Automated Manufacturing Technology (team)
First place: Andres Gracia, Machining Technology; Raul Morales, Machining Technology; Alex Campos, ADEG Technology

Job Skills Open
Third place: Jody Galvan

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