MnSCU career and technical education students capture 21 medals in national job skills competition

Posted: July 22, 2011

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Students in technical and career education programs at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities won 21 gold, silver and bronze medals at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference held last month in Kansas City, Mo.

Overall, 21 system students won medals – eight gold, four silver and nine bronze – in 13 skill areas, such as Marine Service Technology, CNC Turning, Mechatronics, Residential Wiring, Customer Service and Machine Machining Technology. All 21 students received their Skill Point Certificate, which recognizes outstanding talent beyond those who earn the gold, silver or bronze medals. This is a significant achievement that documents their knowledge and hands-on abilities.

“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.”

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, Anoka Technical College, Century College, Dakota County Technical College, Hennepin Technical College, Hibbing Community 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 to view list of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities students who won medals.