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RCCC students shine at skills competitions

KANNAPOLIS — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College SkillsUSA students recently won numerous awards in state-level competitions. During the competition, students worked against the clock and each other to prove their expertise in occupations like electronics and precision machining.

SkillsUSA is a dynamic and career-oriented leadership organization focused on individual success at home, the classroom, the community and the workplace. For the majority of students, SkillsUSA is their first professional organization. The experiences and knowledge gained provide an excellent platform for career development and success.

“College is about more than just the classes. At Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, students are encouraged to get involved in activities and organizations beyond the classroom that take their education to the next level, organizations like SkillsUSA,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

This year, students at the SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships, held in Greensboro, competed in two categories: Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration (AHR) and Automotive and Welding Technologies. The conference was the largest showcase of career and technical education in North Carolina with more than 1,700 students competing in more than 100 hands-on trade, technical and leadership contests.

Students in the AHR program and Chillers Club, a Rowan-Cabarrus organization that aims to broaden horizons of those educating and learning in the AHR field, competed in the following:

  • Brandon Martin – Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (second consecutive state championship)
  • Steven Hepler – Major Appliance and Refrigeration Technology (third consecutive state championship)
  • Robert Brown – Sheet Metal (second consecutive state championship and current national champion)
  • Michael Ferguson – Plumbing (Rowan-Cabarrus first year competing in this event)

Automotive and Welding Technologies students and prizes included:

  • Kyle Harmon – first place in Welding Art/Sculpture
  • Eli Brandt – second place in Computer Numerical Control Technician
  • Felton Donnell – fourth place in the Automotive Refinishing Technology
  • Dan Burns – second place in Power Technology Equipment
  • Team: Chase Wilhite, Carson Branham and Stephen Brown – second place in the Automotive Skills Showcase

The four AHR state champions and the first place Welding Technologies student will go on and compete in Louisville at the 2015 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference where more than 16,000 people – including students, teachers and business partners – are expected to participate in the weeklong event. They will join more than 6,000 other competitors in more than 100 contests.

“The students have learned a lot about growth and development. That’s what our extracurricular activities at Rowan-Cabarrus are all about,” said Jon Crockett, instructor in the college’s Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration program and lead advisor for the Chiller Club and SkillsUSA initiatives. “We want them to learn things through experiences that they wouldn’t be able to really learn inside the classroom.”



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