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Tri-County Technical Center hosts SkillsUSA competition Jan. 24

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DEXTER — SkillsUSA is a national organization endorsed by manufacturers, business leaders, and many companies throughout the United States. With SkillsUSA, students at CTE (Career and Technical Education) schools have the opportunity to compete within their program areas on a local, state, and national level to show their mastery of industry-based standards they have learned.

On Thursday, Jan. 24 from 4-7 p.m. Tri-County Technical Center (TCTC) students from the six area high schools (Nokomis, PCHS, Dexter, Foxcroft Academy, Greenville, and Penquis Valley), will participate in the local SkillsUSA competition. Instructors from the 12 programs, along with advisory board members and practitioners in the field, will judge students’ skills based on particular national standards that are exercised in the workforce every day.

Students from local and state competitions make it all the way to center stage at the national competition where they are awarded the gold, silver, or bronze medal in their field. TCTC often sends students to the national competition, and the center has had winners in each category over the years. That medal is also tied to tool or financial aid and scholarships where winners go home with substantial prizes at being the best in their field.

One of the biggest proponents of SkillsUSA is television personality Mike Rowe from “Dirty Jobs.” He is often the major speaker at the national competition held in Kentucky every mid-June of each year. Rowe has been an advocate for careers and technical training for years. He often spends time going to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of the House and Senate, advocating to provide more funding for CTE training at both the secondary and post-secondary levels.

Technical programs at TCTC include Culinary Arts, Metals Manufacturing, CAD, Health Occupations, Technical Foundations, EMS, Criminal Justice, Automotive Technology, Commercial Truck Driving, Graphic Design & Communications, Multi-Media, and Building Trades. Each program allows students an opportunity to certify in that field and even gain college credit through articulation agreements within the Maine Community College System. When they leave TCTC, students have entry-level job qualifications and business and industry recognized certifications.

Come visit TCTC Jan. 24 to see what local students are doing, and join the awards ceremony at 7 p.m. that night to celebrate the students’ success.

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