At this year’s 54th Annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skill Conference, Cuesta College Career Technical Education student Milan Tolani took home the gold in Early Childhood Education, while Cuesta College Career Technical Education student Ben Braun was awarded a bronze medal in the Information Technology Services category. The college sent 10 students to the annual conference last month in Louisville, KY, marking the 12th year in a row the college has had national SkillsUSA champions.

“It’s been 12 years running that Cuesta College has had multiple students standing on the awards podium at the national SkillsUSA competition,” said John Stokes, Cuesta College’s engineering and technology division chair, who oversees the college’s SkillsUSA team. “This year, the two students who medaled competed in rigorous competitions against students from universities and community colleges around the United States. I am extremely proud of all the students and faculty advisors who participated in the competition this year.”

This year, students competing in the Early Childhood Education category had to demonstrate their knowledge of developmentally appropriate practices and their ability to prepare and implement learning activities and lesson plans for children three to five years old. The Information Technology Services contest involved students competing in modules designed to test their knowledge as an IT services professional. Contestants had to correct end-user computing issues, configure and secure networks, manage virtual machines, and more.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives, working together to ensure a skilled workforce. Cuesta College’s Career Technical Educational programs provide the hands-on training and skills that today’s students need for the current job market.

More information about the 10 students who qualified for the 2018 national competition can be found in this Cuesta College press release.

Last year, 12 Cuesta College students qualified for the national competition; student Daniel McFarlane brought home the gold in related technical math. In August 2015, alumnus Michael Mullen competed in the WorldSkills International competition, representing the United States in auto service technology. In 2011, former Cuesta College student Daniel Lehmkuhl competed in automobile technology at WorldSkills International in London.