Two DCIT students bring home state championships from 2019 SkillsUSA conference

Two DCIT students bring home state championships from 2019 SkillsUSA conference
Posted on 04/18/2019
Neil Martin and John JamesDARLINGTON, S.C. – John James and Neil Martin, students at the Darlington County Institute of Technology, clinched state championships during competition at the recent SkillsUSA state conference in Greenville.

Martin, whose home school is Darlington High, earned first place in the Electrical Construction Wiring competition. John James, whose home school is Hartsville High, took first place in the Job Demonstration competition.

By winning their events, James and Martin qualified to compete at the 55th National SkillsUSA Conference in Louisville in June. More than 16,000 students, teachers and business partners are expected to participate in the national conference.

Four other DCIT students just missed earning state titles in their respective events. In fact, DCIT students swept the podium for Electrical Construction Wiring. The students from DCIT who placed are:

• John James, Hartsvile High – Job Demonstration, 1st place
• Neil Martin, Darlington High – Electrical Construction Wiring, 1st place
• Jacob Smith, Hartsville High – CNC Technician, 2nd Place
• Micah Greenawalt, Hartsville High – Electrical Construction Wiring, 2nd Place
• Coleman Jordan, Darlington High – CNC Milling Specialist, 3rd Place
• Coby Byrd, Hartsville High – Electrical Construction Wiring, 3rd Place

Trade and industry students from across South Carolina attended the SkillsUSA state conference from March 14-16. Event competitions began in early March and concluded during the conference. Students participated in a variety of competitive events including Automotive Technology, Carpentry, Electrical Construction Wiring, Job Skill Demonstration, Machine Tool Technology, Information Technology Service, Graphics, Job Interview, and Welding.

The Darlington County Institute of Technology sent a total of fifteen competitors to the state event. DCIT instructors James Griggs, Jesse Flowers, Dennis Johnson, Daren McKenzie, Jack Parker, Bruce Stewart, Eric Tew and Sandra White serve as local chapter advisors.

The South Carolina chapter includes membership of more than 3,500 students, advisors, and professionals. The organization aims to serve students, educators and industry by keeping up with both employers' needs and education mandates and trends.

The SkillsUSA Championship began in 1967 in South Carolina with just three events. There were 54 competitors in the first championship. South Carolina now has more than 80 skill and leadership events and more than 1,000 competitors each year.

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving people who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. Formerly known as Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled work force.

Neil Martin and John James
Jacob Smith and Coleman Jordan
Coby Byrd and Micah Greenawalt