Three of Danville Community College’s precision machining students will compete at the national SkillsUSA Championships during the week of June 19 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Quin Motley of Chatham, Stephen Chambers of Axton, and Artsem Fitsner of the Republic of Belarus will make the trip following their successes in earning first place in their respective contests as part of the Virginia SkillsUSA State Championships, which were held at the Pittsylvania Career and Technical Center in April.
SkillsUSA is a partnership between students, teachers, and industry to increase the number of technically skilled individuals in the American workforce.
Motley, computer numeric control (CNC) milling specialist Virginia winner, said that he felt good about his chances in the national competition.
“I’m really excited to go back to nationals and be able to show off the skills I learned here at DCC,” Motley said, adding that this is the second time he will compete at the national level, but the first time he will compete in the CNC milling specialist category.
“I’ve been looking over some drawings from class, going over old tests to prepare for the written part, and also doing some coding on the side to prepare for the competition,” Motley explained.
Chambers, CNC turning specialist Virginia winner, said he was excited to participate in the CNC turning specialist competition.
“I hope I win it,” he said.
Chambers participated in a mock contest last year.
Fitsner, CNC technician Virginia winner, is DCC’s first international student to make it to the national SkillsUSA competition.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Fitsner said. “I feel really good about it.”
Fitsner said that he will attend the third-year capstone program in integrated machining technology at the Gene Haas Center in Danville.
Precision Machining Instructor Kevin Poole said the SkillsUSA competitions are important for students in the program.
“I believe that these competitions offer students the chance to push their knowledge and skills to their limits,” Poole said. “It tests their abilities under pressure while exposing them to a huge network of potential colleagues and employers.”
The national SkillsUSA Championships will host over 6,000 contestants in 100 separate events. More than 16,000 people, including students, teachers, judges, business partners, and spectators, are expected to attend.
Motley, Chambers, and Fitsner will graduate from DCC on Saturday, May 13.