ST. GEORGE – Dixie Applied Technology College students brought home gold and silver medals from the SkillsUSA Utah State championship competition held at Salt Lake Community College March 28.
SkillsUSA is nationwide nonprofit partnership of students, teachers and industry professionals working to help students obtain the necessary skills to be successful workers, leaders and citizens.
Founded in 1965 as Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, Inc., SkillsUSA currently has more than 13,000 chapters serving more than 250,000 students in all 50 states and four territories.
More than 1,100 corporations, trade associations and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA on a national level through financial aid and in-kind contributions and many more work directly with state associations and local chapters.
Eleven DXATC students competed in multiple contests at this year’s event, including electrical construction wiring, plumbing, welding, HVACR, CNC milling, and information technology.
“This is great,” Curt Crofts, director of construction technology at DXATC, said.
“This contest is a showcase of talent. The best contestants from all around the state gather for it. We had the honor of taking some of our best and brightest students and they did a fantastic job. It’s also a tribute to their instructors that have led the way,” he said.
“There is a real skills gap in America, with the baby boomers retiring at a greater rate than millennials coming forward to fill their open positions. It’s placed a real strain on employers,” Croft said. “DXATC is doing its part to fill that gap,” Crofts said.
During the competition, Gordon Zitting received a gold medal in electrical construction wiring, attracting a crowd that watched in awe as he completed a complex electrical challenge, and finished an hour before the next closest competitor.
High school student Thomas “Ike” Urquhart earned a gold medal in CNC milling, competing against adult students.
Samuel Lytle won a silver medal in HVACR. Both Zitting and Urquhart have qualified to compete at the SkillsUSA National competition in June in Louisville, Kentucky.
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