When Wyandotte student Sam Hoover enrolled in the electrical program at Northeast Tech, he expected to work on projects ranging from wiring to robotics. Never did he anticipate that he would be competing in – and winning – the Job Interview competition at the 2017 SkillsUSA Regionals.
“It was pure excitement, and it made me feel proud coming from small town America to the big stage of SkillsUSA.” Hoover said. “I was proud for my program and to see my fellow students cheering me.”
SkillsUSA is a national student organization that offers training, career opportunities, scholarships and prizes through annual competitions. Depending on the program, students may compete at regional, state or national levels. Many of the competitions involve tests of traditional trade skills, while other areas of competition – like the Job Interview category – assess students’ readiness in soft skill areas like resume creation and interview techniques.
One of Hoover’s classmates, Marcus Higgins, also participated in the job interview competition, taking fifth place. Electrical Instructor Keith Glenn has been an instructor at Northeast Tech’s Afton Campus for almost years, and he always encourages his students to participate in the annual SkillsUSA contests.
“The main thing students gain is confidence. The competitions are volunteer, but I can’t name a student yet that has gone and said I am not going back,” Glenn said. “I just remember Sam competing last year and placing fifth in his competition and he said, ‘Mr.Glenn I am going next year and I’m going to win!’ The rest is history, and that is what it is all about for us instructors.”
As a first place finisher, Hoover advances to the SkillsUSA State Competition which will take place in Tulsa April 22-25
“I am going to work on some of the pointers the judges gave me at competition and Ms. Humble is working on more mock interviews for me,” Hoover said. “I’m going to focus on trying not to be stressed out and keeping a cool head.”
Only those who finish first at state will go on to the National SkillsUSA Competition this summer, and Hoover is hoping his hard work will earn him a trip to nationals.
“The national competition will be held at Louisville, KY, and it would be a huge honor to be from a small school and getting to compete on a national level,” Hoover said.
As one of Northeast Tech’s most popular programs, classes fill up quickly, and enrollment for next year is already underway. For more information about the Electrical Program, contact the Afton Campus student advisor at 918-257-8324.