Downey students sweep SkillsUSA competition

DOWNEY – More than 500 Downey Unified School District (DUSD) high school students traveled to Los Angeles recently to contend against high schools from Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and Orange Counties at the SkillsUSA Regional Competition. Preparing students for their prospective careers or to continue their education, this two day competition was held Jan. 24 and Jan. 31, with the first day challenging students on topics that center around “skills” while the second day focused on the “leadership” portion of SkillsUSA.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. Launched in 1967, this National Championship has grown from 54 competitors in three contests to more than 6,000 competitors in 99 hands-on occupational and leadership skill areas.

Adding contests to the championships to meet the demands of new and expanding occupations, their affiliated instructional programs represent 130 different occupational areas.

Currently with over 15,000 school chapters, DUSD is the largest chapter involved in SkillsUSA, with one or more students qualifying for Nationals every year since 2009. Last year resulted in 350 students competing in the Regional Championships, 145 qualifying for the State Championships and seven making it to Nationals.

Now having 500 compete at the Regional level, with a total of 225 high school students qualifying for the State Championship, it is DUSD’s goal to have one or more students attend the international WorldSkills Competition.

Taking home a combined total of 41 gold medals, 30 silver medals and 36 bronze medals between both Downey and Warren high schools, DUSD took this year’s SkillsUSA Regional Competition by storm.

Students competed in a variety of “skills” based contests that comprised of Principles of Engineering/Technology, Mobile Robotics Technology, Automotive Service Technology, Broadcast News Production, Digital Cinema Production, Crime Scene Investigation and Broadcast News Production.

“Leadership” contests such as Health Knowledge Bowl, Quiz Bowl, Prepared Speech and Extemporaneous Speaking, that’s focused on soft skills students need when continuing onto their prospective careers or progressing their education.

Beginning the SkillsUSA journey in 2009 with a team of four Warren High School (WHS) construction students, DUSD has grown exponentially within SkillsUSA and is dedicated to do whatever it takes to provide hand-on job related experience to students preparing them to be both globally competitive, and college and career ready, officials said.



Published: March 5, 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 47