Facebook pixel STLCC-Forest Park Hosts SkillsUSA Competition

STLCC-Forest Park Hosts SkillsUSA Competition

SkillsUSA competitorAfter two weather delays, St. Louis Community College-Forest Park welcomed high students from across the St. Louis metropolitan area to compete in the SkillsUSA competition. 

The event gave students an opportunity to not just test their abilities in several categories, but also get a firsthand look at the College. 

On March 4, approximately 75 students came to campus for a leadership competition as part of SkillsUSA. A week later, another group of 150 students came to compete in 10 fields, including first aid/CPR, IT services, computer programming and networking, automotive and customer service. 

The winner of each category earned a $500 scholarship to STLCC, the top two finishers got a spot in the state competition and the three highest places each received a medal from SkillsUSA. 

“It’s exciting to see them so enthusiastic and so focused on this competition,” said Joe Jackson, automotive technology department chair and organizers of the Skills USA events at STLCC-Forest Park. “It brings a level of intensity because they’re competing against their peers.”

Jackson has been tied with the event for years both as an organizer and as an instructor. Each year, STLCC-Forest Park enters a student or students in the college level competition. This year, freshman Eldor Tukhtakhunov finished second in the automotive division on March 11 to earn a spot in the state competition at State Technology College of Missouri in Linn, Mo., in April.

For the high school automotive contestants, they were provided eight stations at which sat one or more parts that each person needed to identify.  Each station also offered the contestants a chance to delve into a diagnostic scenario.

The students who entered the leadership event each gave presentation to demonstrate their passion for several topics and how they wanted to help others see the value in their conviction. 

SkillsUSA competitorThe competition also provides a great opportunity for the College to recruit these students. 

Sally Difani, administrator of community partnerships with the Special School District, previously served as South County Technical High School’s sponsor for SkillsUSA. This year, she helped the advisors at both North and South Tech navigate the event because they are newer to their roles.  

Difani said she is thrilled the East District of SkillsUSA and STLCC are collaborating to conduct more contests on the Forest Park campus.  

“It’s incredibly important,” she said. “That’s why we reached out to Forest Park a few years ago and asked them to do that. The community college is the logical pathway for many of our area technical students since we have so many programs in common.  

“These contests give students the opportunity to experience the campus which is very important as they begin to think about their lives after high school,” she added. “For them to be on the campus and get to experience, that is incredibly meaningful.”

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