Mid-State students stand out at national SkillsUSA competition
Mid-State Technical College students Josh Levoy, Marshfield, and Erich Vanblargan, Plover, earned national recognition at the 57th annual 2021 SkillsUSA® Championships held virtually throughout June.
Levoy and Vanblargan were among 6,000 students in the annual workforce development event, which showcases career and technical education. This is Levoy’s first year competing at the national level. His third-place finish and overall score in the event’s Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) Turning Technician competition also earned him a Skill Point Certificate from SkillsUSA. Vanblargan, also a first-time competitor, earned an 11th place finish for his welded art sculpture entry.
According to Mike Berry, Mid-State machine tool technician instructor and SkillsUSA advisor, the virtual format for both the state and national contests this year added another level of difficulty. “These students have worked very hard to hone their skills, especially in this challenging year,” Berry said. “We couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments and the way they have represented Mid-State on the national stage.”
To qualify for a spot in the national competition, competitors need to be first-place finishers in their events at the state competition, held in late April in Wisconsin. This is the seventh consecutive year Mid-State has sent qualifiers to the national competition, totaling eight qualifiers to date, from five unique events: Automotive Service, Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician, CNC Milling, CNC Turning, CNC Technician and Welded Art Sculpture.
“The experience our students gain from the SkillsUSA competition goes beyond demonstration of the hands-on skills they have mastered, as it provides invaluable experience in working productively and actively under pressure,” said Deb Stencil, Mid-State vice president of academics. “Successfully competing at the state SkillsUSA competition, earning their spot at nationals and performing so well demonstrates that Mid-State students have the skills they need when they enter the workforce. I am so proud of our students and faculty and their involvement in SkillsUSA.”
The national nonprofit SkillsUSA is a “partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce,” according to the organization’s website. Berry’s leadership continues to grow Mid-State’s investment in SkillsUSA and the number of students competing at the state and national levels. Named 2018 SkillsUSA Wisconsin State Advisor of the Year, Berry was also recently named associate state director of post-secondary for SkillsUSA Wisconsin.
To learn more about Mid-State’s advanced manufacturing programs and transportation programs, visit mstc.edu/programs.