FETC students take on National Competition

Amanda Chidester (right), Cosmetology student from FETC who placed 5th in Nationals with teacher Mary Hull (left) PHOTO SUBMITTED

BUCKHANNON — Local students from Fred Eberle Technical Center (FETC) recently competed at the 58th Annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skill Conference. Students headed to Atlanta, Ga. from Monday June 20 through Friday, June 24. The event was held between two locations including the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) and the State Farm Arena. Over 6,500 students attended the competition, all state winners, to compete hands-on in 108 different trade, technical and leadership fields.

Director of FETC Rebecca Bowers-Call provided the following names of students who attend FETC that went on to compete in the national competition. 

Amanda Chidester- Cosmetology (post-secondary) – 5th place

Nathan Perry (Buckhannon-Upshur High School) - Industrial Motor Control (secondary) - 12th place

Jacob Bailey (Buckhannon-Upshur High School) - Diesel Equipment Technology – 9th place

Lucas Queen (Lewis County High School) - Electrical Construction Wiring – 21st place

Bryce Manolidis - Electrical Construction Wiring (post-secondary) – 7th place

Emily Felton (Lewis County High School) - Medical Assisting - 11th place

Timothy Wood - Welding (post-secondary) – 14th place

Hanna Wolford, Gretel Schroeder, Harley Davis (team)- Welding Fabrication (post-secondary) – 8th place

According to SkillsUSA, “Students work against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations such as electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts. Contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations, and test competencies are set by industry. Leadership contestants will demonstrate skills including extemporaneous speaking and conducting meetings by parliamentary procedure.”

SkillsUSA also noted that “before the conference officially begins, experiences for students and advisors include Leverage, Activate and Engage. Intense and rewarding, these three events cover individual, group and interactive leadership training.” Students and educators are given a variety of opportunities to network and learn during the week-long competition. It was also noted within the media kit from Skills USA that attendance totaled more than 12,000 which included students, teachers, education leaders, and representatives from 650 national corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions.

The 2022 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills
Conference officially kicked off on Tuesday, June 21, at 7 p.m. in the State Farm Arena with Nicholas Pinchuk, Snap-on Incorporated CEO and chairman of the Board who was the keynote speaker. During the recognition session that occurred on Wednesday June 22the audience was treated to a headlining performance by entertainer Flo Rida. On Friday, June 24 the Awards Ceremony took place at 5 p.m. in State Farm Arena which was honored to have Darren Keefe from HGTV’s relaunch of  Extreme Makeover: Home Edition serve as the keynote speaker. 

Chelle Travis, SkillsUSA Executive Director said, “Through the challenges of the past two years, (students) demonstrated to the nation just how essential the skilled trades have been and always will be. By embracing the SkillsUSA Framework of
Personal, Workplace and Technical Skills Grounded in Academics, you’ve exemplified the aspirational value of career and technical education as we work to create the next generation of skilled workers, leaders and people our country desperately needs.”

Amanda Chidester, Cosmetology student at FETC commented on the experience of going to nationals. Chidester said, “The Skills USA National competition was a great experience that taught me a lot about what I am strong at and what I need to work on in my trade as a cosmetology student! One thing I would say to future trade students in any field is take the opportunity never limit your success!”

Congratulations to everyone who competed at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference! 


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