UVU takes top honors at statewide SkillsUSA competition


Utah Valley University students showcased their career and technical skills at the annual State of Utah SkillsUSA Championships in Salt Lake City, held March 28-29, coming away with 48 medals — including 23 gold — and ranked No. 1 among participating Utah colleges and universities.

The 23 gold medals reflect different technical contest categories. Counting gold, silver, and bronze, the 48 medals overall reflects more medals than any other postsecondary institution in the Utah.  

The gold medal winners will now advance to the SkillsUSA national competition, held in Louisville, Kentucky, this coming June 24-29.

Hundreds of students from across the state competed in nearly 100 different trade, technical, and management fields. They displayed their best practical skills and leadership talents as they worked against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations like mechatronics, carpentry, collision repair, technical computer applications, and audio/radio production. Only the gold medal winners will now advance to nationals.

“Year after year, our students are proving that they are as good as, and arguably better than, any in Utah at applying their trades and skills under the pressure of real-job situations,” said Darin Taylor, UVU professor of architecture and engineering design and UVU SkillsUSA director. “This activity speaks volumes about the quality of our students, faculty, and programs.”

The SkillsUSA program provides training, expertise, and competitions at both the high school and college levels with an emphasis on meeting ever-changing standards presented by industries and businesses, companies who are involved because they want an educated and well-trained workforce, Taylor said.

“These contests are run by industry professionals,” Taylor said. “It makes us feel good that our programs are aligned with what is going on in the real world.” UVU has finished in the top five in the nation at the national SkillsUSA competition for 19 consecutive years, often taking first.

In this year’s state competition, UVU students captured first in additive manufacturing, audio/radio production, automotive refinishing technology, collision damage appraisal and total loss evaluation, commercial baking, criminal justice, culinary arts, diesel equipment technology, entrepreneurship, firefighting, first aid and CPR, industrial motor control, mechatronics, medical math, medical terminology, photography, pin design, power equipment technology, prepared speech, related technical math, robotics and automation technology, and technical computer applications.
UVU Gold Medal Winners (State Champions):
Additive Manufacturing – Taren McNamara & Logan Sanford
Audio/Radio Production – Griffin Hall & Brady Jones
Automotive Refinishing Technology – Braden Clarke
Collision Damage Appraisal & Total Loss Evaluation – Cayden Bailey
Commercial Baking – Shelby Thorpe
Criminal Justice – Chris Elias
Culinary Arts – Erin Jones
Diesel Equipment Technology – Kyler Curtis
Entrepreneurship – Alessandra Camargo, Nicolas Camargo, McKoy Molyneaux & Karter Ockey
Firefighting – Griffin Conroy
First Aid/CPR – Thomas Wood
Industrial Motor Control – Josh DeGering
Mechatronics – Justin Hellewell & Jordan Whitaker
Medical Math – Alyssa Anderson
Medical Terminology – Gabriela Lizarbe
Photography – Nicole Hansen
Pin Design – Jordyn Tilby
Power Equipment Technology – Cameron Lawson
Prepared Speech – Blake Gneiting
Related Technical Math – Bryce Boyer
Robotics & Automation Technology – Taylor Hart & Isaac Zamudio
Technical Computer Applications – Robert Jones
Technical Drafting – Rebecca Weber