Preparing Tomorrow’s Skilled Workforce Today - Local Students Declared New York State SkillsUSA Champions

WSWHE BOCES CTE students which includes the Early College Career Academy (ECCA), a partnership with SUNY Adirondack, participated in the SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Championships from April 12 to 22, held virtually. CTE is a hands-on program. Although the students could not compete against their peers in person, they used a high level of skill to perform tasks in their classrooms under strict rules. Some competitions were recorded and some were livestreamed with judges attending from all over New York State. 

Out of the 600 students in New York State who competed, nine WSWHE BOCES CTE/ECCA students earned the title of New York State SkillsUSA Champion in their respective fields as follows:

  • Brendan Lee, a senior from Salem who is in the Construction Trades program, won first place in Carpentry. The contest assesses accuracy, workmanship, the ability to read and interpret blueprints, and the proper use of tools and equipment. Contestants are required to frame walls using wood studs; cut and install common, hip and jack rafters; stair stringer and install drywall, siding, sheathing, baseboard molding and window trim. Contestants submit a written cost proposal of the project with current cost of material.

  • ECCA Business Program seniors Justin Garfolo (Saratoga Springs), Elizabeth Radyn (Lake George), Aeryn Brewer (Corinth) and Ella Crossman (Glens Falls) won first place in Entrepreneurship (Team of 4). This contest evaluates the 4-member team’s success to formulate a business plan, present business presentations and respond to changes that may occur during operation. Participants include a Resume, Business plan, and Oral Presentation. 

  • Brandon Coulter, a junior from Queensbury in the ECCA IT Essentials Program won first place in Job Interview. The contest is conducted in three parts: Resume, completion of an employment application, and an interview with industry professionals. 

  • Tyler Brooks, a junior from Whitehall in the ECCA IT Essentials Program won first place in Job Skill Demonstration Open (Team of 2). His helper was Mathew Richard, a junior from Lake George. This contest evaluates each contestant’s ability to demonstrate and explain an entry level technical skill used either in the occupational area for which he or she is training or outside the training area.

  • Patrick Fayette, a senior from Queensbury in the Culinary Arts program won first place in Restaurant Service. The competition focuses on guest service and guest relations in the dining room and “front of the house” skills of guest hospitality and food and beverage services. 

Twenty students earned second and third place at the state competition. Click here for the individual awards received at the competition.

Elizabeth Maxwell, Culinary Arts I student from North Warren, was elected to the NYS Area III Vice President position.

Click here for photos of our winners!

First place winners are eligible to represent the F. Donald Myers Education Center and the Southern Adirondack Education Center at the 2021 National Leadership and Skills Conference which will be held virtually June 24-28.  State officers are required to attend.

The National Leadership and Skills Conference showcases career and technical education students. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It has an applied method of instruction for preparing America’s high performance workers in public Career and Technical Education programs. SkillsUSA provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship, and character development. It emphasizes total quality at work – high ethical standards, superior work skills, life-long education, and pride in the dignity of work. SkillsUSA also promotes understanding of the free-enterprise system and involvement in community service.

Every year, CTE students compete in local SkillsUSA competitions at the F. Donald Myers and Southern Adirondack Education Centers in order to earn the chance to compete at the SkillsUSA Regional, New York State, and National competitions. WSWHE BOCES is one of the top New York schools in terms of medal counts at the SkillsUSA State Championships. 

Each competition measures a student’s hands-on skills in his or her chosen field of study including nursing, baking, welding, auto repair, and carpentry as well as interviewing for jobs and public speaking. Students are given an assignment that must be completed within a set time frame. Business and industry leaders judge the competitions. Students prepare for the competition for months, often staying after school to be coached by their teachers, and the prizes are well worth the effort. Some students receive scholarships and awards as a result of their exceptional performance at a competition.

SkillsUSA, a national nonprofit organization, is devoted to rewarding students for excellence, for involving industry in directly evaluating student performance, and for keeping career training relevant to employers’ needs. To learn more, click here.