Houston SkillsUSA

(HOUSTON, Texas) – More than 200 students and faculty members from Texas State Technical College have arrived in Houston to participate in the 2024 SkillsUSA Texas Leadership and Skills Conference.

The conference began Thursday, April 18, and will end with the awards ceremony on Saturday, April 20. The event’s contests are being held at locations throughout Houston.

SkillsUSA is a professional organization focused on employability, leadership and technical skills that can help college students pursue successful careers and be part of a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA has more than 100 leadership and skills categories.

“It’s good to get our students to experience different things,” said Brian Bohannon, SkillsUSA campus coordinator and Culinary Arts instructor at TSTC’s East Williamson County location. “You get to meet industry representatives out here, and you get to see students compete against each other in their respective fields.”

The opening ceremony was held Thursday morning at the Hilton Houston Post Oak by the Galleria.

Reymundo Salinas, a Nursing student at TSTC’s Harlingen location, spoke at the opening ceremony in his role as a SkillsUSA ambassador. He is competing in three events at the conference.

Salinas said that as an ambassador he has received mentoring, recruited students, and made a SkillsUSA presentation for an audience of nationwide organization staff.

“It was a really good journey,” he said. “There were a lot of opportunities that opened up.”

Margarita De Luna, of Raymondville, is a Nursing student at TSTC’s Harlingen campus who competed on Thursday in Medical Math and will take part in the Nurse Assisting contest on Friday. She chose the contests because she is currently learning similar subjects in her program.

“I get to meet new people, especially other people who have a history in the medical field, and get their perspective,” she said.

Other contests on Thursday were Action Skills, Customer Service, and Prepared Speech.

Jacob Westbrook, a Cybersecurity student at TSTC’s Marshall location, will take part in the Telecommunications Cabling contest. He said he will make an ethernet cable, test it and take a written test.

“I decided to do SkillsUSA because I want to push myself and test my abilities on where I was at,” Westbrook said. “I chose Telecommunications Cabling because that is what I am best at.”

Jesus Noguez, of Comanche, is a Welding Technology student at TSTC’s Brownwood location. He will take part in the Welding Fabrication team event.

“We work together, and we are confident,” he said of his team.

Noguez said he is taking part in SkillsUSA for the experience.

“I want to see other people’s talents and how they create stuff,” he said.

Jeebee Villanueva, of Killeen, is a Cybersecurity student at TSTC’s Waco campus. He will take part on Friday in the Cybersecurity contest. He has worked with his instructor on Fridays to prepare.

“My instructors told me this would be a very good opportunity because there will be industries here and I can network and do hands-on work,” he said.

Other contests on Friday that TSTC students will take part in include Architectural Drafting, Carpentry, Collision Repair Technology, and Restaurant Service.

For more information on SkillsUSA Texas, go to skillsusatx.org.

For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu


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