Two T-Birds hone 'Skills' for National Competition

Published: April 16, 2014 | Category: Academics

Two SUU students earned gold in the State SkillsUSA competition and will now move on to the national Skills USA competition, in June in Kansas City, MO., where they will be tested on various trade, technical and leadership fields, up against thousands of the top engineering and technology students from across the country. 

Bruce Smalley, who finished with gold in electronic technology, will be moving onto nationals this summer. Chaz George, who was SUU's other gold finisher, in computer programming, will not be going to nationals because of a prior commitment, so SUU senior Jessica Burnett will be taking his place. Burnett finished with silver in the state computer programming competition.

Smalley, an electronic engineering technology major, said participating in these competitions has helped him develop professionally.

“I think it helps to broaden my knowledge,” Smalley said. “There are things that we focus on here at school, but [at the competition] there are things that we don’t focus in on as much. I can see different areas where I may still need more work.”

The other SUU winners at the state competition were Tyson Weeda (silver in electronics technology), Matthew Anderson (bronze in electronics technology), Justin Wilkens (bronze in computer programming) and Josh Meacham (silver in technical drafting).

Kevin Housekeeper and David Smith also attended the event from SUU.

SUU goes into national competition this summer with a strong track record for success. Last year, two students placed high at the national competition: Robert Bonds placed second in cabinet making and Cory Bulloch placed third for technical drafting.

SUU competes in state SkillsUSA collegiate competition annually. David Ward, associate professor of electronics technology and faculty advisor for SkillsUSA, said that any student could apply to compete in the state-level competition.

For more information about SkillsUSA, contact David Ward at

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