Haywood Community College students recently competed in SkillsUSA NC where they brought home four awards. HCC Electrical Systems Technology student Dakota Payne won second place, HCC Electrical student Andrew Shelton won third place, HCC Building Construction Technology student Damon McDaniels finished in third place, and HCC Building Construction Technology student Wes Sears came in fourth place. The event was held in Greensboro.

SkillsUSA NC is the largest showcase of Career and Technical Education in North Carolina. This annual leadership and skills conference brings together more than 1,900 North Carolina high school and postsecondary students to compete in over 100 hands-on trade, technical, and leadership contests. These contests span more than 95 trade areas from construction, automotive, and welding to drafting, public safety, cosmetology, and more. More than 100 business and industry partners support the contests. The support of industry members as judges and contributors is essential to the students having the most accurate real-world experience possible.

When Shelton came to HCC, he already had a job in the electrical field. He worked full-time while attending classes in hopes of improving his chances at raises and promotions. Shelton says the HCC program allows students to work on actual projects which reinforces what is taught in the classroom. “Competing in SkillsUSA NC was an awesome experience. I was able to put to use what I learned in the classroom. I was thrilled to come in third place.”

The SkillsUSA NC electrical competition required participants to complete several tasks such as completing a written NEC code exam and wiring several circuits running conduit and NM cable. Examples of the requirements for those in the building construction competition were to build a replica of a house using a set of plans and build stringers for a set of steps. Competitors are graded on their attention to detail and the accuracy of their work.

“SkillsUSA NC is an opportunity for students to show what they have learned in class and the skills they have developed over the course of the year,” explains Jennings Sizemore, HCC Electrical Systems Technology instructor. “It gives them the opportunity to apply these competencies in a different environment. As an instructor, I love this event because I get to see that what I am teaching them pays off in a real world experience.” 

For more information about HCC’s Building Construction Technology or Electrical Systems Technology program, please call 828-565-4070.