GCHS CTC students earn honors in SkillsUSA competition

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The Grant County Schools Career and Technology Center (CTC) is in its second year and the students are making a big impression in regional and state SkillsUSA competitions!


SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry working together to to develop a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA hosts a series of competitions designed to showcase the best career and technical students in the nation. Contests begin locally and continue through state and national levels. The events are varied and include a large number of industry representatives to ensure the quality of the competition.

 The Grant County High School Career and Technical Center had seven students who, based upon their regional SkillsUSA finish in February, qualified for the state competition recently in Louisville.

The students competed in Welding Art/Sculpture, Electric Technology, Industrial Motor Controls and Welding Fabrication.
• Tailor Gilbert won first place in region and first place in state for her rooster made of silverware. She was also awarded $15,000 in scholarship opportunities.
• Kevin Hamblin won second place in region for his guitar.

The Welding Art/Sculpture Competition provides an opportunity for students to showcase their artistic abilities as well as their welding skills. Previously welded sculptures are brought to the event where they are evaluated on workmanship and design. The participant is also required to display his/her notebook to provide evidence of original work, and is interviewed regarding aspects of design and creation of the piece.

The Electronics Technology contest is divided into five sections: customer service exam, written exam, soldering, breadboarding and troubleshooting. Contestants are required to demonstrate their knowledge of analog and digital circuitry; ability to troubleshoot electronic circuits; ability to construct and text experimental circuits; and the ability to design and select circuit components.

• Shon Nathaniel Smith placed first in regional competition. At the state event, his assignment, to build an LED Digital Roulette, earned first place honors.

• Chris Back competed in the Industrial Motor Control event in which students demonstrate their skills and abilities by performing a task assigned at the event. Back was required to properly wire a motor control board with associated enclosures, raceways, pilot devices and circuitry. Back’s finished product earned first place at the regional level and a third place finish at state.

• Grant County’s three-man welding fabrication team, Jake Meece, Dylon Vance and Brent Hedgespeth, also arrived at the event before knowing their assignment.
Welding fabrication competitors are required to build a previously unannounced project from materials and blueprints provided. Each team is required to be skilled welding and cutting processes.  They must also be proficient in using the common tools of the workshop. Upon completion, the project is judged upon adherence to specs and workmanship.  The trio earned first place in regional competition for their cooking grill and fourth place in state competition for their woodstove.