Kishwaukee College students competed in the National SkillsUSA Leadership Conference and SkillsUSA Championships held in Louisville, Kentucky, on June 20 to 24. Five of the six students who earned first-place honors at the Illinois statewide SkillsUSA Competition in April competed at the national championship against first-place finishers from across the country.
Tim Stewart of Franklin Grove placed ninth in the nation in Power Equipment Technology; Alex Romanelli of Chicago placed 11th in the nation in Customer Service; and the team of Ashely Heithoff of DeKalb, Darby Fisher of Sycamore and Xica McClain of DeKalb placed 10th in the nation in Crime Scene Investigation. Jacob Felz of Dixon, was the Illinois state first-place finisher in Technical Drafting/CAD but was unable to attend the national competition.
Attending the competition with the students were Dave Dammon, criminal justice instructor, and Greg Brink, collision repair technology instructor and faculty adviser to the Kishwaukee College SkillsUSA chapter.
Brink said the multi-day national competition included a keynote address by Kayleen McCabe, host of the TV show “Rescue Renovation” on the DIY cable network, and Mike Rowe, host of “Dirty Jobs” on the Discovery Channel. Rowe’s organization, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, is a supporter of SkillsUSA and provided funding to assist 89 SkillsUSA students with financial barriers to attend the national competition this year.
“It was a great experience, and I am very proud of our students,” Brink said in a news release. “To compete against the top students in their fields from across the country and place in the top 12 is a great accomplishment.”
SkillsUSA is a national, state, regional and local organization for technical, skilled, health and personal service occupations’ students in high school and college. SkillsUSA has more than 320,000 members at more than 3,600 chapters in 54 state and territorial associations including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. In Illinois, there are seven regions with about 3,500 members organized into 125 chapters across the state.
For information on SkillsUSA at Kishwaukee College, contact Greg Brink at 815-825-9416 or firstname.lastname@example.org.