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Automotive group at nlsc set

Students compete at SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference

Four Yakima Valley College students competed at the 2023 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Atlanta in June. Students who represented YVC and competed in the category of leadership include Isaac Rivera (job interview), Cathryn Elkins (prepared speech) and Antonio Birrueta (job demonstration). Student Josh Hellums competed in a skills competition (8 hours, Automotive Service Technology, ASE A1- A8).

While none of the students placed, Automotive Service Technology Instructor Murray Ruggles noted that two students earned honors for scores above the industry set standard for average.

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for these students,” said Ruggles. “They met and increased their network with students across the country as well as potential employers from the automotive industry who were sponsors of the national conference.”

SkillsUSA includes over 80 trades and 20 leadership competition categories, from 3D animation to welding. YVC students had the opportunity to network with representatives of sponsors such as ChryslerStellantis, BMW, Mercedes, Honda, Lucid, Toyota, Nissan, Volvo Heavy Duty, Caterpillar, John Deere, United Rentals, Penske, Ryder and International, along with equipment companies representing light-duty, heavy-duty, agriculture and commercial transportation and equipment.

“Providing students with the opportunity to compete and travel for this event is important because it expands their awareness of themselves and their community, quantifies their efforts, and develops their knowledge and skills to improve future employment opportunities,” Ruggles said.