“I was nervous, but I think I did good,” Nicholson said. “I’ve always liked makeup, and it clicks for me.”
Students from 23 high schools across Northwest Georgia came together to test their talents in the SkillsUSA Region 1 competition. The 294 students competed in 32 different skills categories including carpentry, engine building, quiz bowl and cosmetology.
The SkillsUSA organization focuses on testing students in occupational skills and leadership positions. The top two finishers in each category qualified for state competition to be held in Atlanta in March. Winners from that event will go on to nationals.
Barry Webb, instructor for cabinet making and carpentry at GNTC, kept a judging eye on a carpentry group racing against the clock to build a wall frame out of 2-by-4 planks in the span of two hours. He said students thrive off the gladiator-like environment where they strive for quality and precision.
“It allows them to reassess who they are and is this the right skill for them,” said Webb.
Bright sparks bounced off the facemask of 16-year-old Daniel Totherow of Gordon Central High School as he directed a plasma cutter to carve a hole in a carbon steel plate in his first-ever welding competition. Following in his dad’s footsteps, Daniel said he appreciates the concentration that welding requires.
“I like welding,” Daniel said. “I stay focused because if you mess up you can’t go back and fix it.”
The community reached out to support the event, with many local businesses donating materials for plumbing, masonry and other events. More than 150 judges and facilitators took time from their specialized fields to oversee the students’ work, according to SkillsUSA Region 1 Chairman Chesley Chambers.
“We’ve had a good response,” Chambers said.
Click here to see a PDF listing winners.
Click here to see a photo gallery from the SkillsUSA Region 1 competition.