East Mississippi Community College student Fallon Traweek of West Point took first place in the Job Skills Demonstration Open category during the Mississippi SkillsUSA Championships in Jackson. She will compete in the national competition in Louisville, Ky., in June.
East Mississippi Community College student Fallon Traweek of West Point took first place in the Job Skills Demonstration Open category during the Mississippi SkillsUSA Championships in Jackson. She will compete in the national competition in Louisville, Ky., in June.
East Mississippi Community College students competing in the Mississippi SkillsUSA Championships in Jackson earned one bronze, three silver and nine gold medals.

Students enrolled in career technical programs from community and junior colleges across the state competed in the event that took place April 9-10 at various locations in Jackson. Gold medal winners earned state championship titles and will advance to the national championships during the 55th National Leadership and Skills Conference June 24-28 in Louisville, Ky.

EMCC students representing the Automotive/Diesel Technology, Engineering Technology/Drafting & Design and Welding Technology programs brought home medals. Welding students from both the Scooba and Golden Triangle campuses competed at the state championships.        This marked the first year that welding students from Scooba participated.

 “I am really proud of our kids,” EMCC Scooba Welding instructor Shane McDaniel said. “They did really well.”

Here is a list of the EMCC students who won medals, the categories in which they competed and the programs they represented at the competition:

Cody Allen of Louisville, first place Motorcycle Service Technology (Golden Triangle campus, Automotive/Diesel)

Kyle Bluitt of Columbus, first place Job Skills Demonstration (oil change) (Golden Triangle campus, Automotive/Diesel)

Dylan Copeland of Nanih Waiya and Isiah Woods of Louisville, first place Chapter Display (team welding) (Scooba campus, Welding Technology)

Neil Dowty of Madison, second place Diesel Technology (Golden Triangle campus, Automotive/Diesel)

Jared Fitzhugh of Jackson, third place Power Equipment (Golden Triangle campus, Automotive/Diesel)

Cameron Hitt of Eupora, first place Automotive Technology (Golden Triangle campus, Automotive/Diesel)

Bryson Jenkins of DeKalb, first place Welding Sculpture (Scooba campus, Welding Technology)

Levi Linton of Webster County, first place Welding Technology (Golden Triangle campus, Welding Technology)

Wyatt Miles of Meridian, first place Marine Service Technology (Golden Triangle campus, Automotive/Diesel)

Tyler Ruiz of Starkville, second place Technical Drafting (Golden Triangle campus, Engineer Technology/Drafting & Design)

Patrick Stewart of West Point, second place Welding Sculpture (Golden Triangle campus, Welding Technology)

Fallon Traweek of West Point, first place Job Skills Demonstration Open (Golden Triangle campus, Automotive/Diesel)

Traweek, who is enrolled in the Automotive and Diesel Technology Program at EMCC with an eye towards eventually opening her own four-wheeler and motorcycle repair shop, beat out five competitors in the Job Skills Demonstration Open category to take the state championship title. Traweek, who demonstrated front brake pad replacement, competed against students enrolled in a variety of career technical programs who demonstrated skills in their respective fields of study.

“I wasn’t really nervous,” Traweek said. “I was more excited to just to get to compete and be there to experience it. I am really looking forward to the national championships but I am a little bit more nervous about that.”

More than 6,000 students, all state champions, will compete in 100 different trade, technical and leadership categories for national championship titles in June. This will be the last year the event will take place in Kentucky. Next year, the nationals move to Atlanta.

“We are going to be working really hard to prepare for the nationals,” EMCC Automotive/ Diesel lead instructor Dale Henry said. “If we can win a medal at the nationals this year, it will give us a five-year sweep where we have brought home medals at the nationals in Louisville.”

Linton, who will compete at the nationals in Welding Technology, took first place at the state championships by proving his skills in all phases of welding. Competitors had to follow a blueprint to construct an L-shaped face plate using all five welding processes that include gas tungsten arc welding, shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, flux core welding and oxy-fuel cutting.

“It was a little nerve wracking at first but once I got into it I just did what I knew I had to do,” Linton said.

Golden Triangle Welding instructor Cliff Sanders said there was no room for error.

“The students were limited on tools,” Sanders said. “They were limited on prints and they were limited on steel. They got their parts and that is all they got so they had to make sure everything was done right on the front end.”

Some of the more elaborate projects, such as those in the Welding Sculpture category, were completed prior to the competition and submitted to the judges. Jenkins, who earned first place at the state championships, fabricated a miniature Taylor Machine Works forklift. Stewart, who earned second place, crafted a mock-up of Spider Man flying through Manhattan, complete with buildings a spider web and the Marvel Comics character.

“I am proud of our students from EMCC and of those from our competitors,” EMCC Welding Technology instructor Gary Gammill said. “We go to not only to represent our programs but to represent our colleges as well. This year was special in that for the first time we were able to represent programs on our main campus at Scooba and those on our Golden Triangle campus as well.”

Linton said he plans to do his best to prepare for the nationals.

“I am ready to work hard, get some more skills under my belt and go compete,” Linton said.