LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — A career and technical student from Crawfordsville won one of the nation’s highest awards at the 2019 SkillsUSA Championships, held in Louisville, Ky., on June 26-27. Jacob Swank, a student at West Central Indiana Career &Tech Education Crawfordsville, placed fifth and was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Sheet Metal.

Skill Point Certificates were awarded in 72 occupational and leadership areas to students who met a threshold contest score defined by industry. The Skill Point Certificate is a component of SkillsUSA’s assessment program for career and technical education. 

“More than 6,500 students from every state in the nation participated in the 2019 SkillsUSA Championships,” said SkillsUSA executive director Tim Lawrence. “This showcase of career and technical education demonstrates our SkillsUSA partnership at its finest. Our students, instructors and industry partners work together to ensure that every student excels. This program expands learning and career opportunities for our members.”

Swank won the state contest in April to qualify for nationals. 

“My class does extensive sheet metal duct fabrication along with HVAC theory, so this contest aligns well with my program,” said Mark Garing, Crawfordsville High School teacher. “Jacob worked very hard in preparing for this contest in Louisville. We spent several days between graduation and the event at the school practicing and studying as his project that he is expected to fabricate is not known until contest time.”

Students were invited to the event to demonstrate their technical skills, workplace skills and personal skills in 103 hands-on competitions including robotics, automotive technology, drafting, criminal justice, aviation maintenance and public speaking. Industry leaders from 600 businesses, corporations, trade associations and unions planned and evaluated the contestants against their standards for entry-level workers. Industry support of the SkillsUSA Championships is valued at over $36 million in donated time, equipment, cash and material. More than 1,100 industry judges and technical committee members participated this year.

The SkillsUSA Championships event is held annually for students in middle school, high school or college/postsecondary programs. The national, nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry is a verified talent pipeline for America’s skilled workforce that is working to help solve the skills gap. 

For more information, visit www.skillsusa.org.

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