It’s that time of year again: this past Saturday was the State Competition for SkillsUSA. For those of you who don’t know, Skills “empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. SkillsUSA improves the quality of our nation’s future skilled workforce through the development of Framework skills that include personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics.”

Although Central Indiana IEC helps judge the Teamworks, Electrical Wiring, and Motor Controls competitions every year, don’t think that it’s just the skilled trades represented. The State Fairgrounds Western Pavillion was packed end-to-end with every skill imaginable: cosmetology, EMT, crime scene technology, IT, masonry, face painting, and more.

Saturday morning we were there bright and early to set up. On site we had volunteer coordinator Jim Meyer, and assisting us was instructor Ryan Noyes, Alan Parish of AMPED Electrical Services, and apprentices Shawn Rodriguez (Maxwell Electrical), Jacob Yonts (Zionsville Schools), Dereck Dyer (Re-Volt), Donnie Riggs (Belcher Electric). We even had a recent IEC grad, Mike Shockley there to help judge as well!

A few of our volunteers: 3rd year apprentice Dereck Dyer, 4th year instructor Ryan Noyes, and 4th year apprentice Jacob Yonts. 

To kick off the competition, the high school students had to review the format and the rules: there was a written portion, a conduit bending portion, a wiring component, and they were to use only what was given to them, with no outside assistance from instructors, their phones, or their neighbors. This was followed by the now-traditional art of the selfie replacing the shotgun start.

So they set off to work, completing their assignments at breakneck speed compared to previous years.

The students did an incredible job, and the top from each competition will be going to the national Competition in Louisville, KY the week of June 25th.