BRATTLEBORO -- Students from the Windham Regional Career Center journeyed to Burlington recently to compete at the SkillsUSA Vermont state conference. This is a yearly event, enabling students from career centers around the state to demonstrate the skills they are learning in their technical programs. The SkillsUSA Vermont Championships have grown to over 1,000 members and over 50 hands-on skill and leadership contests.

SkillsUSA is a national, non-profit organization for high school and college students enrolled in various technical, industrial and health occupations programs. It was founded in 1965 as an effort to address America’s need for a globally competitive work force.

The local students fared very well, earning awards in five different technical areas. Leon Ogden, a Guilford junior, earned a silver medal in Technical Drafting. Trevor Houle, a Brattleboro junior, earned a bronze medal in Fire Fighting. Una Oarcea, a Brattleboro senior, Joshua Parro, a Vernon senior, and Jeffery Harlow, a Putney senior, won the team silver medal in Crime Scene Investigation. Adam Richter, a Wilmington junior, won the bronze in Architectural Drafting, Jacob Harne, a Hinsdale senior, along with Matt Forrett, a Brattleboro senior, won the gold in Mobile Robotics, while Jonah Koch, a Townshend sophomore, earned the silver in the same event.

Jacob shared that he’s always known that he wants a career in robotics. "Winning this event made me realize that I’m ready for the next stage of growth in this field."

Amy Anthony, one of the Career Center’s SkillsUSA advisors, teaches the Center’s Robotics courses along with other engineering related coursework. She viewed the conference as a terrific experience for students.

The Career Center’s Mobile Robotics team will be representing the state of Vermont at the national SkillsUSA competition this June in Kansas City. They will be fundraising to earn the money needed to travel to this event.