Record number of MnSCU students win medals in national career and technical skills competition

Posted: July 14, 2010

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

A record number of students in technical and career education programs at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities won gold, silver and bronze medals at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference held last month in Kansas City, Mo.

Overall, 31 system students won medals – eight gold, seven silver and 16 bronze – in 19 skill areas, such as crime scene investigation, power equipment technology, automated manufacturing technology, residential wiring, sheet metal, cabinetmaking and entrepreneurship. Minnesota ranked seventh in the nation in the medal count. An additional 22 system students ranked in the top 10 nationally in their competitive events.

“We are proud that our students brought home so many honors,” said JoAnn Simser, system director and state director for career and technical education. “These awards also demonstrate the commitment by faculty to make sure that students are well prepared to enter the workforce. After all, our colleges and their partner school districts provide the bulk of Minnesota’s career and technical education.”

Thirty-three students also earned Skill Point Certificates, which involves passing rigorous competency tests developed by industry representatives to document students’ knowledge and abilities in specific areas.

More than 5,600 other students took part in the national competition, which is designed to recognize the achievements of career and technical education high school and college students. Each competitor at the national conference had to have earned gold medals at the state level.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities students, including high school students who took college courses through the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options program, competed at the national level from the following colleges: Alexandria Technical and Community College, Century College, Dakota County Technical College, Hennepin Technical College, Lake Superior College, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Ridgewater College, Riverland Community College, St. Cloud Technical and Community College, Saint Paul College and South Central College.

Begun in 1967, SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working to help ensure America has a skilled work force. The organization formerly was known as Vocational Industrial Clubs of America.

Click here for a list of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities students who won medals.