Locals win first place at SkillsUSA event

Elliott Newlon and Kodi McCauley took first-place honors at the recent SkillsUSA state event at Fairmont State University. From left are Jon Lambert, Newlon, McCauley and Chad Smith.

ELKINS — A pair of Elkins High School students will be headed to Louisville, Kentucky, to compete in the national SkillsUSA competition in June after winning the SkillsUSA West Virginia Leadership and Skills Competition hosted recently at Fairmont State University.

SkillsUSA is a national partnership of teachers, industry leaders and students working as one to ensure the United States has a skilled workforce by supporting technical and professional training. The organization serves more than 300,000 middle school, high school and college/post secondary students that are preparing for technical, skilled and service occupation careers. The organization has more than 14,000 professional members.

SkillsUSA competitions are held throughout the United States to showcase the best career and technical education students in the nations. They begin at the local level and move to the national level. Nine students from Randolph County competed at the state level after winning local competitions at the beginning of March at the Randolph County Vocational Center.

Elliot Newlon and Kodi Mccauley both placed first in their divisions at the state competition. More than 1,200 competitors from across the state competed in this year’s competition in various divisions.

“It’s a big honor for the kids to participate in the competitions,” said Chad Smith, industrial maintenance instructor at the Randolph Vocational Center.

Others that competed at the event were: Kidman Arbogast in residential wiring, Caleb Bailey in rotating motor devices, Austin Davis in job skills A, Hali Newlon in crime scene investigation, Brooke Floyd in crime scene investigation, Jacob Judy in crime scene investigation and Beau Bright in automotive services.

Newlon, a senior at Elkins High School, took first place in power equipment systems with his small engine repair trouble shooting presentation. This will be Newlon’s second time going to compete at nationals.

McCauley, a sophomore at EHS, took first place in the jobs skills open category. Mccaulley demonstrated a presentation in proper valve adjustments on a four-stroke engine.

“The school is really proud of all of our local and state competitors,” Smith said.

“There has been a rise of skilled jobs nationally,” Smith added. “Career and technical education is a great place to get skills.”

The SkillsUSA National Championship is scheuled for June 21-22 in Louisville, Kentucky. More than 6,000 state winners from across the country will compete in over a 100 different trades, leadership set and technical divisions under the roof of a building that is the size of 16 football fields. Winners for nationals will go on to the World SkillsUSA Championship.