ATLANTA, GA. – Twelve Fred W. Eberle Technical Center students recently competed in the 2023 SkillsUSA National Championships in Atlanta, Georgia. Four of those students placed in the top ten leaders in the country within their respective programs of study.
SkillsUSA is a national student organization with a mission that “empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens,” according to the SkillsUSA West Virginia website. “SkillsUSA WV improves the quality of our nation’s future skilled workforce through the development of framework skills that include personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics.”
The 2023 Fred Eberle Technical Center SkillsUSA National Championship placeholders are as follows:
- Lucas Queen – 7th Place – Electrical Construction Wiring
- Miles Harman – 6th Place – Information Technology Services
- Collin Heavner – 10th Place – Information Technology Services – Post Secondary
- Lauren Carpenter – 5th Place – Medical Assisting
FETC SkillsUSA advisor Robert Lowther expressed to My Buckhannon Friday that many preparations for the national championship began with the local competition at Fred Eberle in February. Students who placed in the local competition then moved on to the state competition held at Fairmont State University in March. Those twelve students who placed at the state competition then tested their skills against students from across the United States in Atlanta, Georgia, from June 19-23.
“In my electrical program – and I think the majority of the instructors at Fred Eberle do the same thing – I try to pattern the local [skills testing] from the national [skills testing]. Essentially, the students are preparing for the nationals competition from the time they start at the local level,” Lowther said. “We want our students to succeed, so we try to put all the tools and all the knowledge in front of them that we can to make that happen.”
Any prospective students of Fred W. Eberle Technical Center or becoming SkillsUSA members are encouraged by Lowther to “go for it.”
“We offer the students – on a local level – a lot of leadership positions [within SkillsUSA]. If a student thinks they want to become a leader in the student youth organization then they can run for a local office in our school,” Lowther said. “It’s a pretty intense year for the officers, but by the end of the year, they can look back and realize they have learned a lot of soft skills that can help them in their future careers.”
Like fellow FETC instructors and administration, Lowther is extremely proud of all competing students.
“In order to make it to that national level, the students had to make it through a local contest and a state-level contest. Those are two pretty good hurdles to jump,” Lowther said. “Regardless of where they placed at the national level – it’s tough competition – we’re super proud of all of them just for making the effort to go. It’s not a vacation for them. When they go [to nationals], they’re basically going to work.”