ATLANTA — Three Waldo County career and technical students won one of the nation’s highest awards at the 2022 SkillsUSA Championships, held in Atlanta last month. More than 5,200 students competed at the national showcase of career and technical education.

The following local students earned Skill Point Certificates:

Eric Braley of Knox, a student at Waldo County Technical Center in Waldo, was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in related technical math.

Kricket Thompson of Brooks, also a student at WCTC, received a Skill Point Certificate in culinary arts.

Joshua Carter of Frankfort, a student at United Technologies Center in Bangor, earned a Skill Point Certificate in plumbing.

Students were invited to the event to demonstrate their technical skills, workplace skills and personal skills in 108 hands-on occupational and leadership competitions including robotics, automotive technology, drafting, criminal justice, aviation maintenance and public speaking.

Industry leaders from 650 businesses, corporations, trade associations and unions planned and evaluated the contestants against their standards for entry-level workers. Industry support of the SkillsUSA Championships is valued at over $36 million in donated time, equipment, cash and material. More than 1,100 industry judges and technical committee members participated this year.

The Skill Point Certificate represents demonstrated workplace readiness in the student’s occupational specialty. Students can add the certificate to an employment portfolio. Skill Point Certificates were awarded to all national contestants who met a threshold contest score for their event as an indicator of proficiency. All SkillsUSA Championships competitors were honored on Friday night, June 24, at the SkillsUSA Awards Ceremony at State Farm Arena, which was sponsored by partner Frontdoor Inc. with keynote speaker Darren Keefe of HGTV.

The SkillsUSA Championships event is held annually for students in middle school, high school or college/postsecondary programs as part of the SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference. The national, nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry is a verified talent pipeline for America’s skilled workforce that is working to help solve the skills gap.