On April 11th, more than 1,600 students from across the state participated in Grand Island at the Heartland Events Center and Fonner Park to compete in the 2024 SkillsUSA Nebraska Championships. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. The organization serves middle school, high school and college students in programs preparing them for technical, skilled, and service careers. It was originally founded as Vocational Industrial Clubs of America in 1965 and in 2004, the name changed to SkillsUSA. Since 1965, the organization has served more than 14 million members. SkillsUSA enhances the lives and careers of students, instructors, and industry representatives as they strive to be champions at work.

Students compete in over 100 career and technical competitions including architecture &; construction, arts, audio/video technology, business management & administration, education, health science, public safety, hospitality & tourism, leadership, manufacturing, science, technology, engineering & math, information technology, transportation and more! Each year the state competition is a showcase of students who have worked throughout the year improving their skills and exploring their future careers in the technical trades.

Hershey Public School participated in the 2024 SkillsUSA Nebraska Championships. Six students participated in the following competitions.

Drew Hoelscher: Welding individual 12 th

Rhys Edelman: Welding individual 40th

Braidyn Boggs: Welding fabrication 11th

Charlie Koch: Welding fabrication 11th

Jarrett Vanarsdall: Welding fabrication 11th

Riggin Hutchison: Welding Sculpture 7th

The state championships showcase the best career and technical students in Nebraska. All contests run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations, and test competencies set by national industry standards. All competitions offer free public viewing. The skills gap in the United States is a growing crisis for our nation. Hundreds of thousands of the highly skilled technical jobs our economy increasingly depends on are available right now, and industry is desperate to fill them. Unfortunately, workers equipped with the necessary skills are in short supply. SkillsUSA is a talent pipeline and a solution provider considered vital to solving America's growing skills gap. The SkillsUSA Framework complements technical skill training with instruction and implementation of the employability skills that make a well-rounded worker and citizen. Our program emphasizes high ethical standards, superior work skills, lifelong education, and pride.

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