Five students from CCTE will head to Louisville in June to represent the District at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference after placing at the state competition.
Melanie Eddy, David Cruz, Luis Segoviano, Adrian Ruybe and Anthony Cordero will face off against 6,000 students from across the nation, who compete in more than 100 different occupational and leadership skill areas.
“I think it’s wonderful they made it to nationals. I have some really good students. They all take the competition really seriously, so I think they are going to do really well at nationals,” teacher Lee Lowers said.
SkillsUSA brings together students, teachers and industries to work together and ensure there is a skilled workforce in America. The organization provides a structured program of citizenship, leadership, employability, technical and professional skills training to improve this workforce.
At nationals students will work against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in their occupations. Each contest is run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations, so students get a real feel of what to expect when they enter the workforce.
Senior Adrian Ruybe was part of a three-person team at state, competing in automated manufacturing technology.
“It was exciting being part of team,” Adrian Ruybe said. “We sang so we could build our confidence.”
Each student on the team was responsible for a different aspect of the contest, which involved creating a blueprint, programming the codes and machining the final product. Adrian and his team created an open-ended wrench, the whole process taking more than an hour to complete.
“I have learned a lot, and I am looking forward to nationals. We are busy practicing our skills,” Adrian said.
Student Melanie Eddy put her skills to the test at the cosmetology contest, earning first place at state and securing her spot at nationals.
“I learned to have confidence in myself, and that I can do anything I set my mind to,” Eddy said. “I think nationals is going to be a very exciting experience. It’s going to help me build myself as a person and a stylist and get recognition for what I love to do.”
She hopes to one day open her own salon, but first she is focusing on studying for her cosmetology license and graduating in June.
“I thank my teacher for pushing me, even when I would complain,” Eddy said. “It was all for the better.”
Cosmetology teacher Melissa Guillen is proud of Eddy and all the other students who competed at the state SkillsUSA competition.
“I am excited for her, and I am thankful for the support of the faculty and staff here at CCTE,” Guillen said.
SkillsUSA, which serves more than 300,000 students and instructors every year, is a great platform for EPISD students to be part of a skilled workforce when they graduate.
Students are judged not only by the task completion but also by their presentation and work resume.
“This competition gives them more practice in their skills. It helps them with their licensure board and gives them a chance to really work on their resume,” Guillen said. “It prepares them for leadership and teaches them how to be professionals.”