New York Students Honored at National SkillsUSA Championships for Skilled Work Force

Jonathan Maragni with his gold medalStudents from New York high school and college technical education programs won the nation’s highest awards at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. Industry leaders representing over 1,100 businesses, corporations, trade associations and unions recognized the students for their demonstrated excellence in 94 hands-on occupational and leadership contests, such as robotics, criminal justice, aviation maintenance and public speaking. All contests are designed, run and judged by industry using industry standards.

Top student winners received gold, silver and bronze medallions. Many also received prizes such as tools of their trade and/or scholarships to further their careers and education. The SkillsUSA Championships is for high school and college-level students who are members of SkillsUSA.

In addition, high scorers in the contests received Skill Point Certificates. The Skill Point Certificate was awarded in 86 occupational and leadership areas to students who achieved a high score defined by industry. The SkillsUSA Championships have been a premier event since 1967. The Skill Point Certificates were introduced in 2009 as a component of the SkillsUSA Work Force Ready System.

The following students received both medallions and Skill Point Certificates:

  • Jacob Wozniak, from Springville and a student at Cattaraugus BOCES North (Ellicottville), was awarded the high school gold medal in Cabinetmaking.
  • Jacob Hartman, from Elmira and a student at GST BOCES - Bush Campus (Elmira), was awarded the high school gold medal in Internetworking.
  • Tyler Tornstrom, from Fairport and a student at Eastern Monroe Career Center (Fairport), was awarded the high school silver medal in First Aid-CPR.
  • Jaysen T Henderson, from Queensbury and a student at Southern Adirondack Educational Center (Hudson Falls), was awarded the high school silver medal in Photography.
  • Kayla Stock, from Colombus and a student at The Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park), was awarded the college/postsecondary gold medal in Culinary Arts.
  • Gina D'Onofrio, from Middleport and a student at Orleans Career & Technical Educational Center (Medina), was awarded the high school bronze medal in Preschool Teaching Assistant.
  • Benjamin Provenzano, III, from Lockport and a student at Orleans Career & Technical Educational Center (Medina), was awarded the high school gold medal in Electronics Technology.
  • Kenny Lopez, from Woodhaven and a student at Aviation Career & Technical Education High School (Queens), was awarded the high school gold medal in Aviation Maintenance Technology.
  • Team O (consisting of Christopher Mellott, Nick Hawkins, Alexander Burns), from Niagara Career and Technical Center (Sanborn), was awarded the High School Bronze medal in Automated Manufacturing Technology.
  • Team I (consisting of Inna Boyko, Nataliya Voronina), from We-Mo-Co Career and Education Center (Spencerport), was awarded the High School Bronze medal in Outstanding Chapter.
  • Jonathan Maragni, from Ithaca and a student at Alfred State School of Applied Technology (Wellsville), was awarded the college/postsecondary gold medal in Electrical Construction Wiring (pictured above pointing with his gold medal).
  • Jacob Shuster, from Seacliff and a student at Barry Tech (Westbury), was awarded the high school gold medal in Pin Design.
  • Team R (consisting of Rodolfo Soto, Gianni Almanzar, Ixcel Del-Rosario), from Roosevelt High School (Yonkers), was awarded the High School Bronze medal in Community Service.

The following students are Skill Point Certificate recipients:

  • Luke Kniskern, from Marathon and a student at Broome Tioga BOCES (Binghamton), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Power Equipment Technology.
  • Caleb Stewart, from Vestal and a student at Broome Tioga BOCES (Binghamton), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Masonry.
  • Team S (consisting of Kylie Kaiding, Kristi Bourgeois, Elizabeth Sears, Nichole Sears, Brenna Galligan, Amber Case, Alexis Charbonneau), from Adirondack High School (Boonville), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
  • Hussein Abdul, from Bronx and a student at High School of Cumputers & Technology (Bronx, ), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Job Skill Demonstration Open.
  • Jonathon Cusimano, from Vestal and a student at Suny College of Technology-Delhi (Delhi), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Carpentry.
  • Team O (consisting of Becca Zamorski, Abby Hemmer), from W D Ormsby Center, Erie #2 (East Aurora), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Nail Care.
  • Benjamin Winters, from Forestport and a student at H G Sackett Tech Center (Glenfield), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Collision Repair Technology.
  • Megan Dockweiler, from Levittown and a student at Gerald R. Claps Career & Technical Center (Levittown), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Commercial Baking.
  • Elixandria Brienza, from Glen Oaks and a student at Queens Vocational & Technical High School (Long Island City), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Electrical Construction Wiring.
  • Miguel Garcia, from Jackson Heigh and a student at Queens Vocational & Technical High School (Long Island City), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Residential Systems Installation and Maintenance.
  • Sharon Husung, from Medina and a student at Orleans Career & Technical Educational Center (Medina), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Health Occupations Professional Portfolio.
  • Team U (consisting of James Kane, Joseph Bedard, III, Joshua Schmitt, Zachary Wodo), from Orleans Career & Technical Educational Center (Medina), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in TeamWorks.
  • Team U (consisting of Tylar Ledoux, Alyssa Kruppenbacher, Joshua Richards), from Dutchess County BOCES (Poughkeepsie), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Crime Scene Investigation.
  • Michael A Swift, from Gansevoort and a student at F Donald Myers Educational Center (Saratoga Springs), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Culinary Arts.
  • Katieann Wherry, from Coram and a student at Newfield High School (Selden), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Cosmetology.
  • Christopher Zimmermann, from Williamville and a student at We-Mo-Co Career and Education Center (Spencerport), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Carpentry.
  • Lenny Fike, from Tonawanda and a student at Kenton Career & Technical Center Erie 1 BOCES (Tonawanda), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Automotive Refinishing Technology.
  • Kacie George, from Holland and a student at Alfred State School of Applied Technology (Wellsville), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Commercial Baking.
  • Olivia Barszczewski, from Greenport and a student at Alfred State School of Applied Technology (Wellsville), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Automotive Refinishing Technology.
  • Sebastian Puerta, from Port Washington and a student at Barry Tech (Westbury), was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Action Skills.

"Over 5,900 students from every state in the nation came to compete in the SkillsUSA Championships this week," said SkillsUSA Executive Director Tim Lawrence. This is the SkillsUSA partnership at its best. Students, instructors and industries are working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce and every student excels. These students prove that career and technical education expands opportunities."

According to the U.S. Department of Education, students who take three or more career and technical education (CTE) programs in high school are more likely to attend college and stay there to graduate. In fact, 79% of CTE concentrators enrolled in postsecondary education within two years of high school graduation. And, students in CTE programs have a higher-than-average high school graduation rate. The average high school graduation rate for students concentrating in CTE programs is 90% compared to an average national freshman graduation rate of 74.9%.

Industry support of the SkillsUSA Championships is valued at over $35 million in donated time, equipment, cash and material. All contests are run and judged by industry experts using industry standards for employment. Contests assess hands-on, employability and academic skills. Over 1,700 industry judges and technical committee members participated this year.

The SkillsUSA Work Force Ready System was developed as an extension of the SkillsUSA mission and supported by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The System recognizes students for excellence in occupational training; it assesses and documents the entry-level technical proficiency and cumulative experiences of candidates. For more information about the SkillsUSA Work Force Ready System, visit www.workforcereadysystem.com.

SkillsUSA helps students discover and grow their career passions. As a nationwide partnership of students, instructors and industry working together, SkillsUSA works to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It helps every student excel. The nationwide career and technical education (CTE) student organization serves more than 320,000 high school, college and postsecondary students and their instructors in technical, skilled, and service occupation instructional programs. CTE is learning that works for America. SkillsUSA has the active support of more than 1,100 corporations, trade associations, business and labor unions at the national level. Over 10.5 million people have been annual members of SkillsUSA since its founding as The Vocational Industrial Clubs of America in 1965. SkillsUSA programs teach leadership, citizenship and character development to complement technical skill training. The organization emphasizes respect for the dignity of work, ethics, workmanship, scholarship and safety.