The Perry Community School District and Des Moines Area Community College Perry VanKirk Career Academy sent 21 students to this year’s 52nd annual SkillsUSA national competition in Louisville, Ky., June 18-24.
The Perry-area young people were among some 6,000 national qualifiers who vied in a variety of activities during the week-long skills conference. SkillsUSA tests students’ competence is 100 different skilled careers.
“PHS and DMACC students represented Iowa quite well in this highly competitive event,” said PCSD Superintendent Lynn Ubben. “Congratulations go to Devin Patrick in plumbing, Lauren Benjamin in photography, Jacob Quijas in motorcycle technology, Jacob Murillo in masonry, Gabe Ridnour in technical drafting, Maggie Lamphier in early childhood development, Gage Welch and Tony Le in digital cinema production, T. J. Sheehy and Sadee Whitfield in promotional bulletin board, Emilo Gonzalez in job skill demonstration, Madyson Hill in criminal justice, Daniel Brinton in customer service and Dax Kresse, Jairo Murillo, David Santacruz, Kaitlyn Barr and Patience Galivan in the Quiz Bowl.”
Three students from the DMACC Perry VanKirk Career Academy participated in the welding competition, Ubben said, and PHS graduate Connor Sackett competed in automotive service technology contest.
Highlighting this year’s Kentucky event were Kayleen McCabe, host of DIY Network’s “Rescue Renovation,” and Mike Rowe, host of the Discovery Channel series “Dirty Jobs.” The featured speakers reminded the attendees of the importance of a skilled workforce.
SkillsUSA is a partnership bringing together students, teachers and industry to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps all students excel in their training and future technical, skilled and service careers, including health occupations.
Nationally, SkillsUSA serves more than 372,354 high school, college and middle school students and their chapter advisors, who are professional members.
Ubben also said she was grateful to PHS faculty advisors Curt Cornelius, Calvin Smith and Steve Brinton and volunteers Bill Ridihalgh and Chris Creason for making this year’s national competition a rewarding event.