April 25, 2019 – Davidson County Community College student Chris Cooper placed first in the SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships CNC Machining competition. The SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships, held in Greensboro, took place April 9-11 at the Greensboro Coliseum and Koury Convention Center.
Cooper is a senior at Yadkin Valley Regional Career Academy. During the state competition, he and other students worked against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in their chosen occupations. All contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations, technical experts and test competencies that are set by industry. Over 100 industry partners, such as Lowe’s, Irwin Tools, 84 Lumber, ASE and more, help support the competitive events.
“I was surprised and excited when I was told I had received first place,” Cooper said. “I was competing against 150 students from across the state. But I just did what I came to school to learn.”
On top of his school work, Cooper is also employed in his industry at Ingersoll Rand in Mocksville. He plans to go down the machining pathway and continue his education to become a mechanical engineer.
“I was honestly interested first in automotive technology,” Cooper said. “My grandpa always said I should pick up a trade. And now with a degree in machining under my belt, job offers before graduating from high school, and a pathway to become a mechanical engineer, I consider myself very lucky.”
The conference was the largest showcase of Career and Technical Education in North Carolina with more than 2,500 students competing in over 120 hands-on trade, technical and leadership contests. These contests span more than 95 trade areas from construction, automotive and welding to drafting, public safety, culinary and cosmetology.
DCCC students Logan West and Zane Rodman also competed in the conference. West placed third for CNC Lathe with Zane Rodman also competing for CNC Milling. West is employed at C & S Custom Motorcycles in Mocksville. Rodman is employed at RCR Racing.
The SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships are for middle school, high school and college-level students who are members of SkillsUSA. First place winners earn the right to compete in the National SkillsUSA Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, alongside more than 7,000 other competitors from across the country in more than 100 contests.
“I’ve been lucky to have supportive people in my life and the chance to take every opportunity that has come my way,” Cooper said. “I’m just doing the best I can with the hand I was dealt.”
About Davidson County Community College
Founded in 1963, Davidson County Community College is a fully accredited, multi-campus college where students of all ages and backgrounds pursue academic and career-focused education in order to build successful futures. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, DCCC offers more than 40 degree and professional certificate programs to students in Davidson and Davie counties, as well as affordable college-credit coursework to students who plan to transfer to 4-year universities. With a mission to serve the changing needs of students competing in a global environment, DCCC is committed to quality education, innovative and equitable learning experiences, training, and support across a wide range of 21st-century career fields. Visit Davidson County Community College at DavidsonCCC.edu.
SkillsUSA (formerly known as Vocational Industrial Clubs of America or V.I.C.A.) is a national partnership of students, teachers and industry, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce by providing students with the opportunities to gain personal skills, workplace skills, and technical skills grounded in academics. SkillsUSA chapters help students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations excel. SkillsUSA has more than 350,000 students and instructors as members at the national level.
Davidson County Community College