two men working in a electromechanical lab

(ABILENE, Texas) – When college students begin competing at the 2024 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference on Monday, June 24, Texas State Technical College’s West Texas locations will be well represented.

Five students, representing TSTC’s Abilene, Breckenridge and Sweetwater locations, will be in Atlanta, Georgia, along with fellow state gold medalists. TSTC’s students are ready for the weeklong event, which runs through Friday, June 28.

“I am looking forward to competing and representing not only Texas, but TSTC,” said Aulton Lira, a Wind Energy Technology student who will compete in Electronics Technology.

During the competition, Lira, of Ozona, will have different sections to complete, according to the SkillsUSA website. The sections include a written exam, soldering, breadboarding and troubleshooting.

Toby Styron, an Electromechanical Technology student from Roscoe and a Facilithon competitor, is not only representing TSTC.

“I am also looking forward to representing my family, who will be supporting me back home,” he said.

Both students, who will represent the Sweetwater location, have been working with instructors to prepare for the national event.

“The instructors have been creating different scenarios I could see at nationals,” Styron said.

According to the SkillsUSA website, Facilithon assesses the competitor’s problem-solving skills, ability to quickly execute the best response to challenges, ability to accurately digest complex situations, and convey related solutions to the field of facility management.

The team of Dave Aman, of Abilene, and Hunter Spohn, of Eula, will compete in Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Spohn won the event at the state level with classmate Joshua Rains. Rains was unable to participate in the national competition, so Aman stepped in. Aman is currently a Paramedic student and Spohn is an Emergency Medical Technician student at TSTC’s Abilene location.

“We had to get our schedules lined up so we could practice for the competition,” Aman said.

Spohn said winning at the state level will prepare him for the next stage.

“There were so many people with so much more experience than me at state,” he said. “That helped me with my confidence so that I will be able to compete at the national event.”

The EMT event will simulate situations encountered by emergency medical professionals that include either a medical or trauma scenario. Each scenario will require the use of critical thinking skills, communication, and demonstration of professionalism.

Kimberly Lozano-Ryman, a Vocational Nursing student from Albany, will represent TSTC’s Breckenridge location in the Medical Assisting event. She will be judged on her skills, speed, use of correct safety measures and the ability to interact personally with patients.

Lozano-Ryman said she will lean on her experience as a medical assistant and what she has learned at TSTC at the national conference.

“My instructor gave me the material on what I could expect to see when competing,” she said.

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.

Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. Learn more at

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