By Paige Houpt
Mason Times staff writer
More than 60 high school students represented the Capitol Area Career Center, in addition to students from more than 13 counties in Michigan including Ingham, Eaton and Clinton.
SkillsUSA is a national organization serving more than 300,000 high school and college students and professional members who are enrolled in training programs in technical, skilled, service and health occupations.
“ SkillsUSA gives students an opportunity to see how their skills and abilities measure up to other students,” said Jack Brown, assistant principal at the Capitol Area Career Center, and adviser for Region 1 competitions.
Students began competing as early as 9 a.m. and worked through the afternoon.
Competitors were required to do basic skills assessments in their choice of study. Some skills included shooting and editing photographs, reading blueprints to build small structures, wiring and welding.
The students final projects were graded by volunteers who are experts and professionals in Ingham County.
Capital Area Career Center students are not required to participate in SkillsUSA but are encouraged throughout the year by advisers and mentors, according to Brown.
“While we are the 2011 host school, only a portion of nearly 40 competitions will be held at the Capital Area Career Center,” Brown said. “ The rest of the competitions will take place throughout out region at other schools.”
Mallory Flinn, Lenawee Intermediate School District Tech student, took third place in prepared speech on Saturday.
“I kind of crammed it in at the last minute, but it obviously turned out really well,” Flinn said.
The speech competition required students to write a speech promoting SkillsUSA and how it benefits students’ future endeavors.
Students who placed in the regional competition are invited to compete in the statewide competition where students are eligible to receive national attention and scholarships.
Nikki Adams, Capital Area Career Center photography adviser and new-media instructor, said she enjoys seeing students progress through the new-media program. SkillsUSA gives students a chance to promote skills and see what they are up against for future employment, Adams added.
“I like the fact that the students get to see other students work from other regions,” Adams said.
Students who medaled at the Region 1 competition will compete at the state competition April 15 – 17.