A TSTC Welding Technology student practices constructing a barbecue pit in preparation for the 2024 SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary Leadership and Skills Conference. (Photo courtesy of TSTC.)

(MARSHALL, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Marshall location is sending 26 students to the 2024 SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary Leadership and Skills Conference from Thursday, April 18, to Saturday, April 20, in Houston.

The SkillsUSA competition is a great opportunity for our students to not just put their talents to the test, but to learn from other competitors and build connections that can lead to a terrific career,” Bart Day, provost at the Marshall location, said.

SkillsUSA is a professional organization focused on employability, leadership and technical skills that help college students pursue successful careers and be part of a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA has more than 100 categories in which students can compete, from 3D Visualization and Animation to Welding Sculpture.

Cybersecurity student Austin Stowe, of Marshall, competed in Information Technology Services in 2023, earning a gold medal in Houston. This year he is competing in both Cyber Security and Customer Service, hoping eventually to earn a medal at nationals.

“I came from a poor family, so completing school is something that I really take pride in,” Stowe said when asked why he wanted to represent TSTC. “TSTC gave me the opportunity where not many others would have.”

Drafting and Design student and first-time SkillsUSA competitor Tarren Harvey, of Monroe, Louisiana, will compete in Architectural Drafting. TSTC’s Marshall location has not had a student to compete in that category since 2019.

“I’ll be kind of like the torchbearer for whoever wants to compete next year,” Harvey said. “I will be able to tell them what to expect.”

Calvin Groom, of Marshall, is one of seven Welding Technology students heading to Houston from TSTC’s Marshall location. He will compete in Welding and recommends the competition to students who are looking to improve their resumes.

“It gives me the opportunity to go out there, meet people for employment purposes, add stuff to my resume and earn scholarships,” Groom said.

Gold medalists at the state level are eligible to compete at the 60th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference to be held from Monday, June 24, to Friday, June 28, in Atlanta, Georgia.

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

Registration for TSTC’s summer and fall semesters is underway. For more information, go to tstc.edu.

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