The winners of the annual SkillsUSA Championships in Automated Manufacturing Technology were announced June 27 at the Awards Ceremony of the National Leadership and Skills Conference. The Conference was held June 23 - June 27, 2012 at the Municipal Auditorium, the Kemper Arena, H. Roe Bartle Hall, the downtown Marriott and the downtown Crowne Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. Over 5,600 outstanding career and technical education students joined in the excitement of hands on competition in 94 different trade, technical, and leadership fields.

Working against the clock and each other, the participants proved their expertise in job skills for occupations such as electronics, technical drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts. There were also competitions in leadership skills, such as extemporaneous speaking and conducting meetings by parliamentary procedures.

SkillsUSA is the national organization for students in trade, industrial, technical and health occupations education. It sponsors the SkillsUSA Championships annually to recognize the achievements of career and technical education students and to encourage them to strive for excellence and pride in their chosen occupations.

The contests are planned by technical committees made up of representatives of labor and management and are designed to test the skills needed for a successful entry level performance in given occupational fields. Safety practices and procedures - an area of great concern to labor and management alike - are judged and graded and constitute a portion of a contestant’s score. A short video about the National Leadership and Skills Conference is available online at http://tinyurl.com/7rbzc96.

The Automated Manufacturing Technology contest evaluates teams for employment in integrated manufacturing technology fields of computer aided drafting/design (CAD), computer aided manufacturing (CAM), and computer numerical controlled machining (CNC). CAD operators construct the part geometry; the CAM operator generates the tool paths; and the CNC operator sets up and machines the part. Plotting is not a scored event, but the contestants must be able to generate a plot file that will be used to send their data to the plotter.

Members of the national technical committee for Automated Manufacturing Technology include Chair Rob Clarke, intelitek, Inc. (N.H.); Jeffrey Fischer, Fischer EDM Inc. (Minn.); Terry Graham, DEPCO, LLC (Kan.); Dan Hanson, Honeywell Inc. (Mo.); Stephanie Holmquist, Holmquist Educational Consultants (Fla.); Terry Johnson, R T Johnson Co, Inc (Fla.); Rick Knisely, AZTECH Educational Resources (Ariz.); Dick McManus, AZTECH Educational Resources (Ariz.); Angela Miner, intelitek, Inc. (N.H.); Jess Mooney, Honeywell Inc. (Mo.); Dan Newby, CNC Software, Inc. (Wash.); Mike Ogilvy, Educational Stem Solutions, LLC (N.H.); Brenda Quinn, intelitek, Inc. (N.H.); Ben Richardson, Learning Labs, Inc. (Ga.); Matt Selter, Honeywell Inc. - FM&T (Mo.); Rob Smith, DEPCO, LLC (Ohio); Dustin Spieth, CNC Software (Kan.); and, Jeff Stone, intelitek, Inc. (N.H.).

A national education team assists the national technical committee. Members include Chair Don Block, Rolla Technical Institute (Mo.); Samuel Dolson, Manteca High School (Calif.); Rick Huddleston, Tulsa Technology Center (Okla.); Jonathan Morgan, South Central College (Minn.); and, George Skena, Norfolk Technical Center (Va.).

Other supporting organizations include Dassault Systems SolidWorks Corporation and Ranken Technical College.

SkillsUSA helps students discover and grow their career passions. As a nationwide partnership of students, instructors and industry working together, SkillsUSA works to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It helps every student excel. The nationwide career and technical education (CTE) student organization serves more than 320,000 high school, college and postsecondary students—and their instructors—in technical, skilled, and service occupation instructional programs. CTE is learning that works for America. SkillsUSA has the active support of more than 1,100 corporations, trade associations, business and labor unions at the national level. Over 10.5 million people have been annual members of SkillsUSA since its founding as The Vocational Industrial Clubs of America in 1965. SkillsUSA programs teach leadership, citizenship and character development to complement technical skill training. The organization emphasizes respect for the dignity of work, ethics, workmanship, scholarship and safety.

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