Dean Technical High School sent 19 students to the regional Skills USA competition on March 10th, and three students returned winners, pushing them to the state competition in April. The competition was held at McCann Technical School in North Adams, Massachusetts, and Dean competed against seven other schools from the region.
Out of the 450 competitors, Dean’s Adeline Skuse won a silver medal for cabinet making, Hector Cabrera won gold for Diesel Technology, and Anthony Skuse won gold in Sheet Metal Fabrication. If they medal at the state competition, where they will compete against students from the entire state of Massachusetts, they will move on to the national competition later this year.
Last year Dean Tech students attended the Skills USA competition as delegates, but this year was the first time in 14 years that Dean students were able to participate in the competition as a result of reenergizing the Skills USA relationship in the 2013-14 school year and a renewed focus on achieving excellence in technical education.
This year, sophomores attended as delegates to get a better understanding of the competition, and juniors and seniors were allowed to fully compete. Their recent success proves that Dean students are more than prepared to participate and compete at the highest level in these important professional development events.
Skills USA is one of the country’s largest CTSO (Career Technical Student Organizations), and it serves high school and collegiate vocational education programs. Skills USA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry workers who have come together to guarantee that those who have a passion for these careers are represented and well-qualified to pursue jobs in these fields. Skills USA helps each student excel, providing educational programs, events and competitions that support career and technical education (CTE) in the nation’s classrooms. Using these skills also helps students gain access to jobs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields, which are in high demand.
The competition requires students to perform tasks and answer questions about their particular field, which the students choose based on their classes and training. For example, the cabinet making competition requires the building of a small cabinet from materials and drawings supplied. Students must read the drawings, lay out and cut the parts using various tools provided at the competition. They must also demonstrate knowledge of OSHA standards as part of the oral examination.
Since the success at the competition, Dean students have become energized and are already taking steps to succeed at the state competition. They have started a Skills USA club where they formally practice for their specific competitions, and they have been practicing learning OSHA protocol to ensure they are well prepared for the oral examinations in the next competition.
We wish the best of luck to Adeline Skuse, Hector Cabrera, and Anthony Skuse at the upcoming state competition and are so proud of these Dean students!