Written by Isaiah Morrow
Nine RCC students qualified for the SkillsUSA state competition after participating in the regional competition on Jan. 30 held on the Riverside City College campus.
Seeking more than fame and medals, ten RCC students competed against multiple other students varying in education level. Participating in categories ranging from graphic design to auto service technology, students took a written examination as well as produced timed projects to test their capabilities.
An excellent opportunity to not only test a student’s skills, but also gain experience in an professional environment. SkillsUSA is a national convention focused on testing and highlighting the aptitude of students.
Patrick Scullin, associate professor of Applied Digital Media, explained the importance of undergraduates competing in SkillsUSA.
“Students get to take part in skill based competition that matches their profession, from carpeting, to welding, to graphics” Scullin said. “Each state sends a delegation of qualifying students, California sending around 1,000 last year alone.” Participants in this event surrender week’s worth of time in order to prepare for the intensive examination and timed projects.
“They need to become very comfortable with all aspects that they could be tested on” Scullin said. “These competitions at state and national level are operated by Industry professionals working for real companies.” Companies such as Xerox, Heidelberg, Rincoh, help to fund these events and scout out potential employees.
Tiffany Vang won a bronze medal in the Advertising Design category, but was unable to qualify for state level. “I am proud to study and compete alongside my colleagues” Tiffany stated, “RCC’s program is one of the best in the country, this competition is a team effort, we all represent our school.”
Last year, Tiffany had taken gold in Graphic Communication at the national level of SkillsUSA, her banner and medal on display with the many others in the Technology B Building located on the RCC campus.
Kristina Loverso who was awarded gold for graphic communications will be advancing to state level along with Daniel Gonzalez who was awarded Silver.”Last year I fell short a few medals” unable to win nationals last year, Kristina is aiming for gold at this year’s national convention.
“It’s a great opportunity to drive yourself further, both professionally and for what you enjoy”, Loverso explained. “This sort of competition makes our resumes look awesome”.
Professionals from multiple disciplines give advice and help students with their overall portfolios at these events and this tells future employers if a student is showing aptitude of a valuable employee.
Not only Kristina, but others who qualified to move onto the state level had something more to take from their experience, each student had an overall aim other than just achieving an award whether that be for personal experience or to test their skills. Mason Rosenquist participating in 3D design said that his drive wasn’t focused around portfolios or bringing back medals, but this type of competition is about, “competing against yourself to be the best you can be.”
The State SkillsUSA competition will be held at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego on March 31 through April 3.