Sixteen of Cuesta College’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) students have qualified for the SkillsUSA California 47th Annual State Leadership and Skill Conference, scheduled to take place in April. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. This is the most students Cuesta has ever sent to the state competition since the college began participating in 2006.

“SkillsUSA not only teaches the technical skills that are required for employment, but also teaches the character, or ‘soft-skills,’ that are required in the workplace in order to keep a job,” said John Stokes, Cuesta’s engineering and technology division chair, who oversees the college’s SkillsUSA team. “Our CTE instruction here at Cuesta College is, and has for some time been, top shelf.”

The 16 qualifying students are:

Collision Refinishing - Gold, Austin Feavel

Automotive Service Technology - Gold, Matt Matson

Commercial Baking - Gold, Grace Stokes, Silver, Marina Perry

Computer Maintenance Tech - Gold, David Dynes

Culinary Arts – Gold, Noah Yoshida

Electrical Construction Wiring - Gold, Armando Minctar

Restaurant Service - Gold, Victoria Wilson

Prepared Speech - Gold, Grace Stokes

Technical Drafting - Gold, Simon Rowe

Digital Cinema Production - Gold, Team of Loren Acosta & Michael Silva

Welding - Gold, Bradley Stanton, Silver, Joey Grant

Welding Fabrication - Gold,team of Ryan May, Tyler Grossi, & Patrick Hickey

The state competition will be held April 24-27, 2014, in San Diego at the Town and Country Convention Center.

The national championships, where all state gold medalists will be invited to compete, will be held June 23-27, 2014, in Kansas City, Missouri. In 2013, Cuesta College sent five students to the national championship and all five earned medals. Three of those five medal-winners are returning to the state championship this year: Simon Rowe, who took home gold in welding, and Ryan May and Patrick Hickey, who took home bronze in the team welding fabrication competition.

The next WorldSkills International competition, which will feature more than 60 countries, is set for August 11-16, 2015. For the first time ever, Cuesta College will be sending one of its students to compete; Michael Mullen, who will go for the gold in auto service technology. Mullen also serves as California’s Post-Secondary President of the organization.

Lauren Milbourne / (805) 546-3108 / / Posted: 3/21/14