Technically Skilled

Utah Valley University’s ‘dynasty’ at skills comp

Photo-UVU-logoThe annual SkillsUSA competition wrapped up at the end of June in Louisville. Reflecting its organizational mission, this competition is split into three umbrella categories: ‘Leadership Development’, ‘Occupationally Related’, and ‘Skills and Technical Sciences’. Subcategories include industrial motor control, fabrication, winding, additive manufacturing, automation technologies, electrical construction wiring, engineering, building maintenance, and electrical technology.

One particular college seems to have this competition mastered: Utah Valley University. It just won this year’s title, completing a three-year run of titles, which, as Barbara Christiansen of Provo’s Daily Herald points out, would be considered a “dynasty” in any other collegiate forum, namely athletics. Call it a “three-peat” for UVU.

Representatives from the school medaled in 13 different categories, including Engineering Technology-Design; Industrial Motor Control, Architectural Drafting, Firefighting, Internetworking, Motorcycle Service Technology, and Carpentry. Utah Valley’s Engineering Technology-Design Team consisted of Brayden Stevens, Kendrick Begay, and Cody Pitts, while Trever Parker took home the award for Industrial Motor Control. A list of all the medalists is available on the SkillsUSA website.

UVU students celebrate the 2015 title.—Utah Valley University photo

UVU students celebrate the 2015 title.—Utah Valley University photo

Not only has UVU won the championship three years in a row, the university has finished in the top three in the nation for the last 16 years. This show of consistency and duration merits the dynastic reference.

These stats are staggering.

The SkillsUSA organization brings together students, teachers, and industry representatives in an effort to further the skilled American workforce, with an emphasis on “careers in technical, skilled, and service occupations” according to its website. More than 300,000 students and advisors join SkillsUSA each year, through over 18,000 sections and 52 state and territorial associations. The organization has served more than 12.2 million members since its founding in 1965.

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