Photo by Diana Conard. Cory Ross, Haywood Community College electrical systems technology student, was awarded third place in the Electrical Construction Wiring event at the national SkillsUSA competition held in Louisville, Kentucky recently. He is pictured right with instructor Jennings Sizemore.

Cory Ross, Haywood Community College electrical systems technology student, was awarded third place in the Electrical Construction Wiring event at the national SkillsUSA competition held in Louisville, Kentucky recently.

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

To be eligible to compete in the national competition, Ross participated in the SkillsUSA state competition earlier this spring where he won first place.

This is Ross’ second showing at the both the state and national events. Last year, he won the state level but did not win a medal at the national competition. As a result of this year’s wins, Ross was awarded a large collection of tools in addition to his medals.  

Although he was already employed in the electrical field, the additional training at HCC has helped Ross, a resident of Cherokee, to be promoted to field superintendent.

HCC’s electrical systems technology program is offered in the evening to accommodate students, like Ross, who work full-time. According to Jennings Sizemore, Electrical Systems Technology Instructor, “Electrical workers are so desperately needed that most students become employed before completing their diploma.”  The companies employing these students are so pleased with their skills that these companies often make accommodations so that students can complete their schooling while working.

 “These students work hard,” he explains. “The curriculum is designed with live, hands-on projects throughout the semester. Going to SkillsUSA is a way for them to apply what they’ve learned. It’s a good evaluation of what they know. It’s a place for them to meet other students across the state and nation, get ideas from them and share what we’re doing.”    

HCC’s electrical systems technology program includes instruction that can be applied to a variety of careers in the design-construction industry, including employment with architectural and engineering firms, residential and commercial builders/contractors, and other construction-related occupations. The curriculum is designed to provide training for persons interested in the installation and maintenance of electrical systems found in residential, commercial and industrial facilities.

Graduates qualify for a variety high-demand and high-wage jobs in the electrical field. Students can earn a certificate in as little as one semester or a diploma in one year. Students completing the Electrical Systems Technology Diploma are credited with 500 hours toward their electrician’s license.

For more information on enrollment, programs of study or financial aid, contact the College at hcc-advising@haywood.edu, 828-627-2821, or visit haywood.edu.