Students compete in Skills USA regional at UW-Stout - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Students compete in Skills USA regional at UW-Stout


Menomonie (WQOW) - Middle and high school students from west central Wisconsin gathered at an area college Friday to show off their skills.


"Skills USA is an organization that prepares students for their future through technical education," says Kari Mattmiller with Skills USA.

Skills USA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to create a skilled work force for the future. They compete in trades like carpentry and machining, but that's not all...

"Even if you just want to better your professionalism, your public speaking skills you are still learning a lot through skills USA," Mattmiller says.

During the two day event students competed in events ranging from photography and advertising design, to cabinet making.

"It's basically just a cabinet door. Something simple easy quick that could be done in two to three hours," Harley Lang, of West Salem High School, says.

"The students had to put together a set of stairs. They were given the platform here to build off of, they were given the raw materials and this is what it was supposed to look like when they got done, and this is the first year they had to compete individually, so it was a one man team" Rick Larrabee, assistant professor of construction at UW-Stout, says.

But not all of the Skills USA categories are quite so hands on, for example team problem solving focuses on critical thinking.

"The thing I like about Skills USA is it introduces students to the construction industry. There is a huge demand for construction labor and there is a need for it right now," Larrabee says.

"There was this awesome teacher there, he told me I should go out and try for this, and I did and it turns out I'm pretty good at it," Lang says.

The competition at UW Stout provides valuable practice for students. The Skills USA state championships will be held in Madison at the end of April.


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