ECCC Hosts Skills USA

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High school students showed off their skills during a Skills USA competition at East Central Community College.

Those skills might very well come in handy one day when they head into the workforce.

Skills USA is part of a national leadership and skills organization for students, who are enrolled in career tech programs at high schools and community colleges.

"In Mississippi, we have over 3,000 students, nationally, over 300,000 students. And these students, it gives them the opportunity to practice their leadership skills and also to compete in these competitions and the trades that they are learning," said Andy Sims, state director of Skills USA.

One of those trades they're competing in is carpentry.

"It's one of these trades that going out and not many people know how to do stuff, and in the future we will be able to keep this trade going," said student Keifer Wolf.

Fredrick Lyons an instructor at ECCC. He says this trade goes way back.

"They are learning a trade to go out and be able to make a living for their family," said Lyons. "And I always tell my students, this is a special trade here; and I even bring up the Bible on them. I said the Lord Jesus learned carpentry when he was growing up."

"East Mississippi is one of five of our host regional conferences that we have in the state," Sims said. "Each of those conferences host the high school part of our program and those students will advance to state, where along with our community college students, have the opportunity if they win first place to advance to our national competition in Kansas City, Missouri."

The students who came to the regionals were all looking to get the gold Skills USA medal, and move to the state competition.