Four Whitehall students will be competing in the regional SkillsUSA competition Wednesday, March 16, in Schenectady.
The four students, who attend the the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES’ Southern Adirondack Education Center
Winners head for regional competition in Schenectady on March 16 also placed second or third in the local competition to earn entry into the regionals,
Marsha Ellis placed second in culinary arts. Diamon McNamara was second in criminal justice, Cody Cenate was third placing third in outdoor power and equipment and Clayton Ryder tied for third in heavy equipment.
During the local competition, held from Feb. 16 to 18 at the center, students vied for top spots by demonstrating hands-on skills in their various career choices such as auto technology, culinary arts, and horticulture.
The four students are now qualified to go up against students from six other BOCES at the regionals on Wednesday, March 16, at Schenectady County Community College and the Stratton Air National Guard Base, both in Schenectady.
At the competition, students are assigned a task to complete within a designated time. The process and the outcomes will be judged by professionals in the industry.
Regional winners will then go on to compete on the states in Syracuse and, perhaps, nationals in Kansas City.
In recent years, WSWHE BOCES has produced several state and national winners who are offered prizes and scholarships for their skills.
The SkillsUSA competition is open to any students enrolled in the career and technical e
ducation courses at BOCES. In addition to auto technology, culinary arts, and horticulture, students study and can compete in nursing, graphic design, heavy equipment, criminal justice, forestry and conservation, cosmetology, and HVAC.
The students prepared for months, often staying after school to be coached by their teachers. The regionals are on par with a highly competitive high school athletic event on the sectional level.
SkillsUSA, a national nonprofit organization, is devoted to rewarding students for excellence, for involving industry in directly evaluating student performance and in keeping career training relevant to employers’ needs.