A Cuesta College welding student was among the medal winners at the annual SkillsUSA conference in Missouri — a showcase for the nation’s best two-year college and high school career technical education students.

Simon Rowe received a bronze medal at the conference held June 23-27 in Kansas City. Cuesta sent a team of six students and five faculty members to the conference that attracted more than 5,600 career and technical education students — all state contest winners — who participated in hands-on competitions in 94 trade, technical and leadership fields.

“Cuesta College is providing the stepping stones for my future in becoming a welder,” said Rowe, 24. “All of the instructors here have industry experience, and they put that right out on the table for you and provide a great learning experience.”

It was the second trip to Kansas City for the San Luis Obispo resident, who grew up on Marrowstone Island near Port Townsend in the northern portion of Puget Sound, Wash. In 2011, Rowe won a gold medal for automotive collision repair.

Other Cuesta finishers and their competitions included:

• Doug Allred, Steven Cox and Kyle Peterson were the fifth-place team in welding fabrication.

• Maile Kahn placed 13th in culinary arts.

• Eva Saucedo placed 20th in commercial baking.

Working against the clock and each other, contestants proved their expertise in job skills for occupations as diverse as electronics, technical drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts. There were also competitions in leadership skills, including extemporaneous speaking and conducting meetings by parliamentary procedures.

SkillsUSA is the national organization for students in trade, industrial, technical and health occupations education. It sponsors the SkillsUSA Championships annually to recognize the achievements of career and technical education students and to encourage them to strive for excellence and pride in their chosen occupations.

Contact: Jill Beck
(805) 546-3108

Released Aug. 7, 2012