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The Student News Site of Quakertown High School

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The Student News Site of Quakertown High School

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The Student News Site of Quakertown High School

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Building the Future Workforce: A Look at the SkillsUSA District Competition

This year’s SkillsUSA winners from Upper Bucks County Technical School show their school pride and excitement during the annual competition on January 24.

Allowing students to compete with the skills they are passionate about, the Upper Bucks County Technical School and other technical schools in the area competed in the SkillsUSA districts competition on Wednesday, January 24. SkillsUSA describes itself as the “United States career and student organization” allowing students to enroll in “trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including health occupations.” The student organization offers events ranging from cosmetology, culinary, first responder, and tradesmen skills for students to compete in. This year, many students were able to qualify for the national competition. 


Mentors and volunteers around the competition areas provide students with opportunities to showcase their skills in practical and cognitive tests within a supervised environment. Students are ranked based on specific guidelines related to their area of focus. Within each program, there are qualified judges there to adjudicate.


In support of the competitors, Quakertown Community High School Principal Mattias Van’t Hoenderdaal attended the competition along with Superintendent Dr. Matthew Friedman and several high school teachers. All contacts had very positive feedback about the convention including several words of admiration including that the students’ efforts were “inspiring” and “truly amazing.” 


Quakertown students have reported that their experience at the SkillsUSA competition was very insightful and a great opportunity. Ethan Covelens, a high school junior, detailed that he gained a lot of experience by competing in this event. “I can gain more knowledge on the subject and practice the skills I enjoy,” said Ethan. He participated in the event including industrial motor controls and described his practical task as “running wires into disconnects and an on/off button.” Even though he won first place with an outstanding performance, qualifying him for the national competition, Ethan noted that he still thinks he has room to improve. 

Another student, Troy Hangey, who is a high school student at Upper Bucks County Technical School, described all of his peers as exceptionally nice and his experience as “really fun.”  He expressed that although he took first place for his action skills, he wishes that everyone could have won something- an inspiring answer from a high school student. He divulged that like other students, “[he has] been preparing for a couple of months” and all his hard work paid off as he now represents SkillsUSA action skills. 


Students like Ethan and Troy were able to compete in other skills events including welding, carpentry, and electrical. Others were able to compete in culinary competitions including cooking and baking, as well as cosmetology skills including hair, makeup, and nail design. Students aspiring to be first responders were able to showcase their skills in practical tests including mock interrogations and clinics. In addition to the practical tests, subject and content exams were also given. For example, an electrical exam included a labeling section where students were required to label different parts of a specific gadget. Students competing in the healthcare field were required to know various terms related to their chosen area of expertise. 


Talking to Quakertown Community School District administrators from the competition allowed for the following observation: The Skills USA competition represents an opportunity for a group of amazing students. This competition focuses on allowing students to showcase their talents and is creating the future of society’s workforce and doing an amazing job.

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About the Contributor
Maggie Wilson
Maggie Wilson, Staff Editor
Maggie Wilson is a sophomore at Quakertown High School. This is her first year as a PawPrints staff editor. Maggie likes to read and write and other than that loves to dance. She is very excited to write for the paper this year because she wants to be a journalist!

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