Students Bring Home the Gold at SkillsUSA

If you happened to be at the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) campus on April 25-26, you might have wondered why there were so many students walking around wearing red jackets.  WATC was the host for the 2012 SkillsUSA State Competition. A red blazer is part of the official attire for SkillsUSA, a national organization serving more than 280,000 high school and college students and professional members who are enrolled in training programs in technical, skilled, and service occupations, including health occupations.

SkillsUSA prepares America’s high performance workers. It provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development. It builds and reinforces self-confidence, work attitudes and communications skills. It emphasizes total quality at work, high ethical standards, superior work skills, life-long education and pride in the dignity of work. SkillsUSA also promotes understanding of the free enterprise system and involvement in community service activities.

SkillsUSA was originally VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America) and started nationwide in 1966. Wichita Area Technical College first hosted the State Competition (also known as the State Conference) beginning in the early 1970’s, and it has involved a wide ranging number of volunteers from WATC faculty and staff throughout the years.  One of the longest serving volunteers was Terry Smith, the WATC Department Chair for Manufacturing, Automotive and Design Technology who served as a SkillsUSA Advisor for the past 37 years and was on the SkillsUSA State Board of Directors for the last five years.  Terry recently retired from WATC and SkillsUSA this January, 2012, but still lent his time to unofficially help with organizing the 2012 SkillsUSA State Competition.

Wichita Area Technical College had quite a few students participate in the State Competition which earned WATC trophies for Largest Overall Membership, Largest Combined High School + College/Postsecondary Chapter and Recognized for Membership Increase in High School + College/Postsecondary Chapter. The WATC students competed to win an overall total of 18 medals.

The categories and placing of Wichita Area Technical College students are as follows:

  • Architectural Drafting:
    Nathan Lemmons – 2nd
  • Automated Manufacturing:
    Michael Fox, Robert Magner, Jeramy Lamar – 1st
  • Automotive Refinishing Technology:
    Jarrod Martin – 1st
    Brandon Vilaysing – 2nd
  • Aviation Maintenance Technology:
    Sid Dorsey – 2nd
    Adrian Ibarra-Solis – 3rd
  • Collision Repair Technology:
    Benjamin Burbank – 2nd
    Austin Reed – 3rd
  • Extemporaneous Speaking:
    Zachariah Breth – 2nd
  • Precision Machining Technology:
    Jeremiah Rempel – 3rd
  • Quiz Bowl:
    Remple, Snided, Breth, Echols, Santos – 3rd
  • Technical Drafting:
    Paul Mosqueda – 3rd


Wichita Area Technical College
4004 N Webb Rd
Wichita, Kansas, 67226
Phone: 316-677-9400