Noble, White grab gold at SkillsUSA state competition, now heading to nationals
Date: July 21, 2014
Students Alex Noble and Kevin White grasp their fields of study well, and they demonstrated that fact recently at the 2014 SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference and Career Expo. Both Athens Technical College students captured gold medals in their respective categories of the state-wide competition held March 13-14 in Atlanta.
Mr. White, a Drafting Technology student, won gold in the Architectural Drafting division. Mr. Noble, for the second year in a row, took the top award in the Electronics field. By exhibiting their prowess and besting competitors from around the state in their areas of expertise, the two students won the right to compete in the national SkillsUSA conference June 23-27 in Kansas City, Missouri.
The SkillsUSA national network serves as a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. The organization has helped develop more than 10 million workers through active partnerships between employers and educators.
SkillsUSA Georgia is the career and technical student organization for students enrolled in architecture, construction, communication and transportation (ACCT); cosmetology; and public safety pathways in Georgia's secondary schools. Both the state and national conferences offer excellent exposure for the students, according to Tonya Trapp, program chair for Drafting Technology at Athens Technical College.
“It helps students because employers are there and can see who wins and which students are the best in the state for certain skills,” she said. “And those students who win at state get to go to the nationals for even greater exposure — it’s a great resume builder.”
Mr. White, who is working on his associate degree in Drafting Technology, has been a good student and excelled in the area of computer software used in drafting, Ms. Trapp said. Mr. White’s background was in cabinetry. Now he will be able to work with architectural engineers and custom create designs for cabinets, windows, doors, molding and other architectural designs.
Winning the gold medal for Architectural Drafting & Design at the SkillsUSA competitions was an honor, Mr. White said.
“Placing first in my competition stirred a wave of emotions inside of me, and its meaning is that my applied skills reflect the education that I have received here at Athens Tech,” he said. “I absolutely love my school, and I will be proud to one day say that I am an alumnus.”
He added that being cross trained in the applied sciences of architectural drafting and mechanical drafting and design, he has been using both skill sets in offering freelance drafting and design, and he is working on his first patented idea.
Mr. Noble has been an exemplary student, said Ken Roberts, program director for Electronics Technology at Athens Technical College.
“Alex is an outstanding student who learns everything he can about furthering his education by delving into the details of the work, which is required for an electronics technician,” Mr. Roberts said. “He became a certified electronics technician last year when he passed his CET exam at the SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City and that is one of the highest achievements of our profession.”
More recently, Mr. Noble started his own company as a technician/designer where he personally builds, troubleshoots and designs industrial circuit board technology, essentially serving as a consulting firm for a manufacturing/processing company, Mr. Roberts said.
Mr. Roberts said he never doubted that his student was going to win the state competition again, and he believes that Mr. Noble has the opportunity this year to win the national competition due to his abilities and discipline in the field of Electronics Technology.
Mr. Noble, who last year placed fourth nationally, shares his instructor’s optimism.
“I am hoping this year, knowing what I didn’t last year, that I’ll be able to bring home the gold,” said Mr. Noble.
Also, Mr. Noble looks forward to obtaining additional knowledge and information from the event in Kansas City.
“(Winning) this (state) award means a second opportunity to have the amazing experience of nationals,” he said. “(Last year) was an amazing learning experience that I believe everybody who loves the field in which they are studying should have.”
The national SkillsUSA conference showcases more than 6,000 of the country’s best career and technical students who attend community colleges and high schools. The students compete against the clock and each other nearly 100 different technical, trade, and leadership fields ranging from electronics, to medical assisting, to culinary arts.
Photo caption: Left to right, Alex Noble and Kevin White each won a gold medal in the state-level SkillsUSA competition and will go on to vie for awards on the national level in June.