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Hobbs team earns silver at SkillsUSA nationals

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Hobbs team earns silver at SkillsUSA nationals

Andy Brosig/News-Sun

A group of SkillsUSA students from Hobbs captured silver medals recently at the organization’s national convention and competition.
CTECH students Arick Serrano, Ray Stover and Leo Jaquez finished second in the Career Pathway Showcase Business, Management and Technology competition during the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, June 19-23, in Atlanta, Ga. The Career Pathway Showcase challenges students to develop projects to benefit local industry, their school or community.

The project must focus on the training they receive at CTECH, according to an overview of the competition from SkillsUSA. Students created an exhibit to explain both their training and the resulting project to the community.

The competition judging evaluated “mastery of their training, its application, the project benefits to the community and (the student’s) display and presentation techniques,” according to the overview.

Projects were evaluated by a panel of judges selected from business, labor, education and government entities. Points were awarded based on what the students learned, technical skills, presentation skills and how the projects integrates business and industry based on both community impact and the overall effect of the project.

This was just the second time a Hobbs SkillsUSA team has earned a medal at the annual competition, said sponsor Juan Carlos Medina. Local students earned a bronze medal in competition in 2019, he said.

“The 2023 silver medal is the highest we’ve gotten,” Medina said. “It’s only the second time we’ve been recognized on the national stage, as far as medals go.

“This means we’re doing the right thing, that what we’re doing is working … that we are competitive at the national level. It’s showing (Hobbs) students are at the top of their class, really. When we’re comparing our new (CTECH) center to technical centers that have been around for decades, going head to head with them, it shows we’re doing something right.”

Hobbs SkillsUSA took 65 students — its largest group of students ever — to the New Mexico state SkillsUSA convention and competition earlier this spring. Out of that, 25 students qualified to compete at the national level, one of the largest groups ever, Medina said.

For the third time in its recent history, the Hobbs SkillsUSA program also earned special recognition as one of the to 24 programs in the country, Medina said. Dubbed a Model of Excellence chapter, Hobbs earned the honor through a competitive application-based process, where a national panel of judges from industry, education and more looked at multiple projects submitted by the club to determine that status out of more than 3,000 SkillsUSA chapters nation-wide.

Miranda Perez, a culinary student at CTECH, was also recognized for her efforts, earning a Skill Point Certificate in Restaurant Service at the competition. The certificates are awarded to students who meet or exceed a set minimum score in their respective contests. They represent workplace readiness in the student’s speciality and can be added to student’s portfolios to demonstrate their proficiency to prospective employers.

“More than 6,000 students from every state in the nation participated in the 2023 SkillsUSA Championships,” Chelle Travis, SkillsUSA Executive Director, was quoted in the release outlining the awards. “This showcase of career and technical education demonstrates

SkillsUSA at its finest. Our students, instructors and industry partners work together to ensure that every student excels. This program expands learning and career opportunities for our members.”

The SkillsUSA Championships event is held annually for students in middle school, high school or college/postsecondary programs as part of the SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference. The national, nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry is a verified talent pipeline for America’s skilled workforce that is working to help solve the skills gap.

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