Devils Lake area students honored at annual SkillsUSA Workforce development event

Editor Special Devils Lake Journal

The following local career and technical students won one of the nation's highest awards at the 2022 SkillsUSA Championships, held in Atlanta, on June 22-23.

More than 5,200 students competed at the national showcase of career and technical education. The SkillsUSA Championships is the largest skill competition in the world and covers 1.79 million square feet, equivalent to 31 football fields or 41 acres.

* Bridgette Harkness, from Devils Lake and a student at Lake Area Career & Technology Center (Devils Lake), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Medical Terminology.

* Haley Duncan, from Devils Lake and a student at Lake Area Career & Technology Center (Devils Lake), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Nurse Assisting.

* Mattyson Ertelt, from Devils Lake and a student at Lake Area Career & Technology Center (Devils Lake), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Job Interview.

* Rebekah Widmer, from Devils Lake and a student at Lake Area Career & Technology Center (Devils Lake), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Medical Math.

Students were invited to the event to demonstrate their technical skills, workplace skills and personal skills in 108 hands-on occupational and leadership competitions including robotics, automotive technology, drafting, criminal justice, aviation maintenance and public speaking. Industry leaders from 650 businesses, corporations, trade associations and unions planned and evaluated the contestants against their standards for entry-level workers. Industry support of the SkillsUSA Championships is valued at over $36 million in donated time, equipment, cash and material. More than 1,100 industry judges and technical committee members participated this year.

The Skill Point Certificate represents demonstrated workplace readiness in the student's occupational specialty. Students can add the certificate to an employment portfolio. Skill Point Certificates were awarded to all national contestants who met a threshold contest score for their event as an indicator of proficiency. All SkillsUSA Championships competitors were honored on Friday night, June 24 at the SkillsUSA Awards Ceremony at State Farm Arena, which was sponsored by partner Frontdoor Inc. with keynote speaker Darren Keefe of HGTV.

"More than 5,200 students from every state in the nation participated in the 2022 SkillsUSA Championships," said SkillsUSA Executive Director Chelle Travis. "This showcase of career and technical education demonstrates SkillsUSA at its finest. Our students, instructors and industry partners work together to ensure that every student excels. This program expands learning and career opportunities for our members."

The SkillsUSA Championships event is held annually for students in middle school, high school or college/postsecondary programs as part of the SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference. The national, nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry is a verified talent pipeline for America's skilled workforce that is working to help solve the skills gap.