Downey students sweep SkillsUSA regionals

DOWNEY -- Nearly 300 Downey Unified students competed against high schools from Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and Orange Counties at the SkillsUSA Regional Competition last month.

Preparing students for their prospective careers or to continue their education, this two-day competition was held Jan. 23 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.

Currently with over 15,000 school chapters, Downey Unified is the largest chapter involved in SkillsUSA, with one or more students qualifying for Nationals every year since 2009. Last year resulted in 500 students competing in the Regional Championships, 225 qualifying for the State Championships, 26 making it to Nationals and ultimately culminating with having four finish as national champions.

This was the first year for Downey Unified to have students from the middle and adult education levels competing in the SkillsUSA Regional Competition. Students from the Downey Adult School Vocational Nursing Program swept the competition in Practical Nursing, taking bronze, silver and gold medals.

The Stauffer Robotics Club, along with up-and-coming engineers from Stauffer Middle School, competed in Mobile Robotics Technology and Team Engineering Challenge, bringing home all three medals in both competitions. 

Downey Unified students brought home a combined total of 77 gold medals, 48 silver medals and 34 bronze medals between Downey High, Warren High, Stauffer Middle and Downey Adult School.

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, focused on soft skills students need when moving onto their prospective careers or progressing their education.

Downey Unified students swept, taking bronze, silver and gold medals in the following competitions: Health Science, Creed, Criminal Justice, Customer Service, Electrical Construction Wiring, Esthetics, Masonry, Mobile Robotics Technology (both at the high school and middle school levels), Practical Nursing, Quiz Bowl, Related Technical Math and Team Engineering Challenge.

Approximately 300 students from within Downey Unified will be traveling to San Diego at the end of March to compete in the SkillsUSA State Competition where students from all over California will come together to compete in skills and leadership contests.
Beginning the SkillsUSA journey in 2009 with a team of four Warren High School construction technology students, Downey Unified has grown exponentially within SkillsUSA and is dedicated to do whatever it takes to provide technical skills and leadership experiences to students, preparing them to be globally competitive and college and career ready.

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.