Three Rend Lake College students will advance to the 40th SkillsUSA National Championships in June after each claimed first-place finishes in competition at the state level.
Beginning in February with the Illinois state qualifying exams, Rend Lake College’s SkillsUSA members were required to take written exams in their specific contest areas. Students statewide who scored high enough on their exams were invited to compete at the Illinois SkillsUSA Championships held April 22-24 in Springfield.
Rend Lake College students participating at the Illinois State Championships were Tim Clayton (Freeburg, Diesel Equipment Technology), Luke Wiskamp (Freeburg, Diesel Equip. Tech.), David Gramenz (Steeleville, Diesel Equip. Tech.), Jeremy Reeves (Mulberry Grove, Diesel Equip. Tech.), William Dailey (Mt. Vernon, Welding), Chris Wright (Pinckneyville, Advertising Design), Tiffany Beckman (Mt. Vernon, Advertising Design), Amber Hill (Galatia, Architectural Board Drafting), Chris Culli (Mt. Vernon, Architectural CAD Drafting), Corey Harris (Mt. Vernon, Architectural CAD Drafting), Jamie Marlow (Mt. Vernon, Architectural CAD Drafting) and Brian Rick (West Frankfort, Architectural CAD Drafting).
The state competitions in all of the skill areas began the morning of Friday, April 23, and many of them lasted 4 to 8 hours. The contestants were scored by specific skill area judges and then ranked for the awards ceremony the following morning.
Rend Lake College students winning awards at the 40th annual Illinois SkillsUSA Championships were: Chris Wright, First Place -- Advertising Design; Jamie Marlow, First Place -- Architectural CAD Drafting; Amber Hill, First Place -- Architectural Board Drafting; Tiffany Beckman, Second Place -- Advertising Design; Corey Harris, Third Place -- Architectural CAD Drafting; Brian Rick, Fourth Place -- Architectural CAD Drafting; William Dailey, Fourth Place -- Welding; and Chris Culli, Fifth Place -- Architectural CAD Drafting.
The Illinois State Competition first-place winners -- including RLC’s Wright, Marlow and Hill -- advance to the 40th SkillsUSA National Championships, to be held June 21-26. Approximately 10,000 high school and college students from across the nation as well as the Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico will converge on Kansas City, Mo., for the competitions. In 2003, there were over 4,100 contestants in 75 separate events. Nearly 1,500 judges and contest organizers from labor and management will make the national event possible.
This is a competition of the best of the best students who will eventually enter the nation’s workforce. The SkillsUSA National Competition occupies the space of eight football fields, costs approximately $20 million dollars to put on and includes corporate sponsors such as Irwin Tools, Dewalt, Rubbermaid, Harley-Davidson, Chevrolet, Ford and Chrysler.
RLC’s SkillsUSA chapter was formed during the Fall 2000 semester for students with a common bond in trade, industrial, technology and health occupations. SkillsUSA prepares America’s high performance workers. It allows students to develop leadership abilities through participation in educational, vocational, civic, recreational and social activities and instills pride in the dignity of work.
More specifically, the SkillsUSA-VICA Post-Secondary Division allows for participants from both two- and four-year colleges and universities in numerous areas, including Extemporaneous Speaking, Prepared Speech, Quiz Bowl, Photography, Advertising Design, Architectural Drafting (CAD & Board), Automated Manufacturing Technology, Automotive Service Technology, Aviation Maintenance Technology, Carpentry, Collision Repair Technology, Commercial Baking, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Computer Maintenance Technology, 3D Visualization and Animation, Diesel Equipment Technology, Cosmetology, Graphic Communications, HVACR, Internetworking, Preschool Teaching Assistant, Residential Wiring, Welding, Practical Nursing, Basic Health Care Skills and Health Occupations.
Anyone interested in joining the SkillsUSA-VICA chapter at RLC should contact SkillsUSA Coordinator Kevin Weston at (618) 437-5321, Ext. 1816, or call toll-free (in-district only) at 1-800-369-5321.