National Skills USA Competion

Skills USA is an organization that helps students succeed in their chosen industry. At this time there are over 100 different job fields that Skills USA is involved in throughout America. In order to achieve this huge undertaking, it takes people from the various industries, instructors, and students.

This year, 55 students (both college level and high school) competed in the Power Equipment Technologies for Gold, Silver and Bronze positions at the national Skills USA competition in Kansas City, Kansas. Each level had a prize package attached to it from various tool companies like Snap-on and Irwin. B3C Fuel Solutions also offered each winner a Gasoline Fuel Tester tool box.

The students came from all over the country to compete at the national level. In order for them to get here, they had to compete at various levels including state and local competitions. Each competition is different in that the students have to perform different tests at the different levels.

For the Power Equipment Technologies (PET), at the national level, there were 13 different skill tests that had to be performed. These tests vary from a written knowledge test, to performing a specific skill like diagnosing a fuel injection system or an electrical system. Manufacturers and their representatives from around the country helped out not only with providing equipment for the students to test on but also their leadership and more importantly their time. Other people also helped out within the PET from within the industry as well.

One of the issues that I learned about is that not all of the students are treated equally. Each state is different in how they treat the students. Some students have their entire trip to the national level paid for by the state/local Skills USA chapter or by the state/local school district itself. Unfortunately, some students have to pay their own way. I met one student from Alaska who had to pay his own way to get to the national Skills USA championship. He was not alone. Others had to have fund raisers to earn the money and what they did not raise, they had to come up with themselves.

I strongly encourage any person, organization, or company to help the Skills USA any way they can. This can be from a simple donation of any dollar amount, a donation of a prize of some kind, or a sponsorship of a student. I am fortunate that B3C Fuel Solutions not only donated some of the Gasoline Tool Boxes but it also allowed me to attend the national competition as a judge and a member of the technical committee.