SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College SkillsUSA students recently won several awards in state level competitions.

SkillsUSA is a dynamic and career-oriented leadership organization focused on individual success at home, the classroom, the community and the workplace. For the majority of students, SkillsUSA is their first professional organization. The experiences and knowledge gained provide an excellent platform for career development and success.

“College is about more than just the classes. At Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, students are encouraged to get involved in activities and organizations beyond the classroom, like SkillsUSA, that take their education to the next level,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

During the competition, students worked against the clock and each other to prove their expertise in occupations like electronics and precision machining. Top student winners received gold, silver and bronze medallions. Many also received prizes such as tools of their trade and/or scholarships to further their careers and education. The SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships are for 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, KY alongside more than 7,000 other competitors from across the country in more than 100 contests.

The SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships were held in Greensboro at the Greensboro Coliseum and Koury Convention Center. The conference was the largest showcase of Career and Technical Education in North Carolina with more than 2,250 outstanding career and technical education students competing in over 100 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, cosmetology, and more.

The Rowan-Cabarrus winners include:

  • Jacob Rife of Salisbury placed first in the SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships Marine Service Technology competition.
  • William Almon of Concord placed first in the SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships  competition in Major Appliance & Refrigeration Technology, his second consecutive state championship.
  • Zachary Donahue of Mooresville placed first in the SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships competition in Sheet Metal, his second consecutive championship.
  • William Bullard of Salisbury placed first in the SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships competition in HVACR, his first state championship.
  • Jeff Johnston of Concord placed second in the SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships competition in HVACR.
  • Nichole Magnuson of Charlotte placed third in the SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships Dental Assisting competition. Nichole was the first student from the College’s Dental Assisting program to compete in this very competitive contest at the state level.
  • Mario Amaya, a second year student, placed third in the SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships Electrical Construction Wiring competition.
  • Tomas Adame, a second year student, placed third in the SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships Industrial Motor Control competition.
  • Larry Newcomb of Concord placed fourth in the SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships competition in Plumbing.
    At the competition, Rowan-Cabarrus was presented a plaque in appreciation for hosting the SkillsUSA NC Region 6 Rally in February and recognized as one of the top ten member chapters at the state conference.

The College’s SkillsUSA Automotive Section earned the Silver Chapter of Distinction Award in the SkillsUSA Chapter Excellence Program, which is the second highest honor a chapter or section can receive from SkillsUSA.

“We were the only community college to receive this award this year in North Carolina. It is also the first time a chapter or section from Rowan-Cabarrus has earned this award,” said Joe Christie, program chair for the construction technologies program.

Additionally, Automotive Systems Technology Instructor Carl Smith was named as the 2017 Post-Secondary Advisor of the Year, the highest honor an advisor can achieve at the state level.

“Congratulations Carl Smith! Carl works tirelessly promoting SkillsUSA and is endlessly dedicated to giving the best and brightest of our students an opportunity to showcase their training and skills on a local, regional, state, and national level,” said Christie.

These Rowan-Cabarrus Community College students competed against other students while also working against the clock to prove their expertise in their chosen occupations. All contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations, and technical experts to test industry competencies. In addition, students competed in leadership contests, demonstrating their skills in subjects like extemporaneous speaking and parliamentary procedure. Over 100 industry partners, such as Lowe’s, Adobe and Irwin Tools, help support the competitive events.

SkillsUSA’s mission is to help its members become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens through a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to cultivate a skilled workforce. Using an applied method of instruction to prepare high performance workers in public career and technical programs, SkillsUSA provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development. It builds and reinforces self-confidence, work attitudes and communications skills, and emphasizes total quality at work, encompassing high ethical standards, superior work skills, life-long education, and pride in the dignity of work. SkillsUSA also promotes an understanding of the free-enterprise system and involvement in community service.

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit or call 704-216-RCCC (7222). The College is currently accepting applications for the fall term. Registration is now underway with classes beginning on August 14, 2017.