Midlands Technical College’s Building Construction team placed second in the nation during the 2023 SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, TeamWorks category. Hosted at the World Congress Center , the team was composed of four MTC students: Cameron Drake, Ethan Reynolds, Angel Mendoza, and William Rodriguez.
The team’s challenge was to construct a mock-up residential house in two days fitted with electrical, plumbing, masonry, and roofing. “This is not an easy task,” said Cameron Drake, who competed for his second consecutive year. “While the technical skills we’ve learned in the classroom are essential to the competition, communication is just as important. We were under a time crunch constructing the house over a two-day period. If we didn’t effectively communicate with each other about what we are doing or the challenges we were having, we wouldn’t be second in the nation.”
“I couldn’t be prouder of these gentlemen and their accomplishment,” said Robbie Sharpe, building construction program director. “They took the skills they’ve learned in the classroom and showcased them on a national level again this year.”
This is the second year in a row the MTC Building Construction team has placed in the SkillsUSA national competition. In 2022, the team won the national championship, which marked the first time that a South Carolina technical college won a national title in the building trades.
“I have been participating with SkillsUSA at the high school level for some time, but this year is my first at the collegiate level,” said construction professor Bryan Waters. “To have counterparts I’ve known for years come up to me and commend the work that the students are doing is evidence that the MTC team is extremely talented.”
“The need for talent in skilled trades is critical,” said MTC President Dr. Ronald Rhames. “Midlands Technical College is committed to providing a high caliber education to everyone who seeks it. This recent building construction win is just another example of how the college is preparing our students to enter the workforce with a competitive edge.”
In addition to building construction, MTC student Alex Britigan showed off his craft again this year in the carpentry category, having won third nationally last year. MTC’s Welding Technology team won the state championship which enabled them to compete for the first time in the welding fabrication category at the national level.
The MTC SkillsUSA teams and MTC Foundation extend a special thanks to Mungo Homes and the Michael J. Mungo Foundation for their sponsorship of the Building Construction team and to Michelin for the sponsorship of the Welding Technology team. In addition, Stier Supply Company and Rabon Enterprises provided support. “Thank you to the sponsors of our building construction and welding fabrication teams in the SkillsUSA national championship,” said MTC Foundation CEO Nancy McKinney. “Support from the business community is essential to the programs and a wise investment in the outstanding training available at MTC.”
An estimated 6,094 students competed in this year’s national championship. Over $36 million from industries and education is invested into the 110 hands-on skill and leadership competition. Nearly 2,000 computers, 12,500 bricks, 100+ welders, and 50+ manufacturing machines help make up the competition spanning nearly 1.79 million square feet (equivalent to 31 football fields or 41 acres).
SkillsUSA is America’s proud champion of the skilled trades. It’s a student-led partnership of education and industry that’s building the skilled workforce our nation depends on with graduates who are career ready, day one. SkillsUSA has served over 14 million difference-making members since 1965. To learn more, visit www.skillsusa.org.
About Midlands Technical College
Midlands Technical College (MTC) is a six-campus, two-year comprehensive community college serving Richland, Lexington, and Fairfield counties in South Carolina. The college provides higher education opportunities that stimulate the local economy by generating a world-class workforce and enhancing the social vitality of the community. MIDLANDSTECH.EDU.
About Midlands Technical College Foundation
The Midland Technical College Foundation (MTCF) is a 501c3 organization that builds and sustains relationships resulting in charitable gifts that support MTC. Gifts and grants to the MTCF help ensure access to quality education and training, enhance facilities and equipment, and improve the lives of students, faculty and staff, and the broader Midlands community. More at MIDLANDSTECH.EDU/foundation.
SCBIZtv is part of the SC Biz News family, serving 100,000 high-level business execs throughout South Carolina. Click for more from SCBIZtv.