SkillsUSA is a statewide and national organization whose main goal is to prepare the generation of today for careers in trade, technical, and skilled service occupations. It is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry representatives who work together, ensuring America a bright future, with a skilled work force. Once a year, Lewiston High School LRTC program takes some of their best students to SkillsUSA and has them compete against each other in various occupation related contests. This year, seven students from Lewiston’s program walked away with a medal and the teachers could not be more proud of any of their kids.

SkillsUSA took place on March 9 and 10 in Bangor at the United Technology Center. This contest is very professional and specific, “A very respected industry,” Ms. Crystal Morris says, an LRTC teacher at Lewiston High School. This year, Governor John Baldacci and Senator George Mitchell were there to speak to the students.

Just getting the opportunity to compete is an honor and here is a list of the very best students asked to compete at SkillsUSA on behalf of Lewiston’s LRTC program this year, and the occupation they competed in: Katrina Messenger, automotives; Nathan Lavoie, carpentry; Ray Blais, computer technology; Ericka Nadeau, architectural drafting; Ben Grenier and Ian Smedley, TV/video production; Heather Avery, food and beverage; Victoria Eustis, commercial baking and John Collette, electronics technology.

The students who placed were Matt Conklin, third place in computer application technology; Joshua Dow, first place in intern networking; Marissa Jalbert, second place in prepared speech; Brent Bowen and Brandon Dubois, third in robotics and automation; Victoria Colby, third place in preschool teaching assistant; David Johnson, third in culinary arts, and last but not least, Nicole Becker, who placed first in job skills demonstration and is the only one going to the national competition in Kansas City, Missouri.

“I look towards this as an opportunity of a lifetime,” states Victoria Colby, a third place medal winner. All in all, it was just a lot of fun for the students and the teachers. “We had a good time. It’s a wonderful learning experience,” states Ms. Morris. And congratulations goes out to all who participated, you are making Lewiston High School proud.