View Full Version : Skills USA Excellence

Errol Groff
03-29-2011, 07:59 PM
I am very pleased to announce that one of my students, Ben Barbeau, has won firs place in the Precision Machining catagory at the recent Skills USA competition here in Connecticut. Ben is now eligible to go to Kansas City in June for the national competition.

I have to recognize however that Ben is a highly motivated young man and has probably learned more on his own and at his work study job than I have taught him over the past four years. Ben's hobby, with his Dad, is lawn tractor pulling competitions.

Work study, for those not familiar with the term, is a program that allows Junior and Senior (grade 11 and 12) students to work during the school day at shops in the trade. Ben is working full time at Slater Hill Tool in Purnam CT. He is doing CNC milling center work and plans on going on to college next year.

Skills USA: http://www.skillsusa.org/

Way to go Ben I am incredibly proud of you!

03-29-2011, 08:10 PM
Way to go!!! I had a student win the state Skills USA contest and compete in Kansas City last year.

I have another one that is getting ready to compete at state next week. He beat the one that competed in the nationals at the regional level last month to make it to state.

Highly motivated students make teaching fun!

03-29-2011, 08:16 PM
It's really good to hear of programs like this. With American industry hardly hiring apprentices any longer it's good to see that young men still have a way to train and learn these skills.

03-29-2011, 08:38 PM
Congrats to your student and to you.
Teaching any type has its ups and downs and this is one of the rewards.

I think there is far more value in this sort of work experience when compared to some I have heard of for similar ages. One does wonder sometimes why apprenticeship programs for "trades" has declined to the level it has...IMO all kinds of social woes could be linked.

03-29-2011, 10:31 PM
Congratulations to both of you, Errol!

Well done!

03-29-2011, 11:24 PM
Way to go Ben!

Dr Stan
03-29-2011, 11:29 PM
When I taught at the Vo-tech I had several students win at the district level and place at state. I never did have any or any farther. Congrats to both you and your student and enjoy the trip to KC.

03-30-2011, 02:58 AM
Give him a pat on the back from a former Skills competitor. I won my state contest 4 times in welding (3 times in secondary, once in post secondary). As far as I know that's a record.

Biggest thing at the nationals is to be prepared, be on time, and relax. Tell him that if he doesn't understand something, he needs to ask. We had prints that were missing info one year. Everyone winged it and the judges decided which way was correct after the contest. They should have just not judged that aspect to be fair to all.:mad:

03-30-2011, 01:39 PM
Pass along my congratulations as well.

03-30-2011, 02:20 PM
CONGRATS!! As a former member of Skills USA ( Back then known as VICA) and then Later a teacher who endorsed and encouraged Skills USA competition, I can attest to the level of dedication and proficiency needed to achieve that level of success. There is nothing more rewarding than being held to a higher standard by your peers. They are, after all, your most fickle critics.

Congratulations to you and Ben.


Errol Groff
06-30-2011, 04:19 PM
Skills USA is done for another year. My student, Ben Barbeau, placed 10th in the nation and if he wanted to stay in the Kansas City area he had several job offers on the spot.

Very proud of his achievment and wish him well in the future.

Errol Groff

Lew Hartswick
06-30-2011, 09:13 PM
We had prints that were missing info one year. Everyone winged it and the judges decided which way was correct after the contest. They should have just not judged that aspect to be fair to all.:mad:
I helped monitor and grade one a few years ago and was severely
disappointed that the drawing was in error. ie. it was not shown in
the right projection. Wonder where that dwg. came from?