LOUISVILLE, K.Y. – A career and technical student in South Carolina won one of the nation's highest awards at the 2019 SkillsUSA Championships, held June 26-27 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jalen Mitchell, from Scranton and a student at Lake City High School, was awarded the high school bronze medal in Action Skills.

More than 6,500 students competed at the national showcase of career and technical education. The SkillsUSA Championships is the largest skill competition in the world and covers 1.4 million square feet, equivalent to 20 football fields or 25 acres, according to a news release from SkillsUSA.

Students were invited to the event to demonstrate their technical skills, workplace skills and personal skills in 103 hands-on competitions, including robotics, automotive technology, drafting, criminal justice, aviation maintenance and public speaking. Industry leaders from 600 businesses, corporations, trade associations and unions planned and evaluated the contestants against their standards for entry-level workers.

Industry support of the SkillsUSA Championships is valued at more than $36 million in donated time, equipment, cash and material. More than 1,100 industry judges and technical committee members participated this year. A total of 1,122 gold, silver and bronze medals were presented to students. Many winners also received industry prizes, tools of their trade or scholarships, the release said.

Skill Point Certificates were awarded in 72 occupational and leadership events to students who met a predetermined threshold score in their competition, as defined by industry. The Skill Point Certificate is a component of SkillsUSA's assessment program for career and technical education.

"More than 6,500 students from every state in the nation participated in the 2019 SkillsUSA Championships," said SkillsUSA Executive Director Tim Lawrence. "This showcase of career and technical education demonstrates our SkillsUSA partnership at its finest. Our students, instructors and industry partners work together to ensure that every student excels. This program expands learning and career opportunities for our members."

The SkillsUSA Championships event is held annually for students in middle school, high school or college/postsecondary programs as part of the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. More than 360,000 students and advisors join SkillsUSA annually, organized into more than 20,000 sections and 53 state and territorial associations. The national, nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry is a verified talent pipeline for America's skilled workforce that is working to help solve the skills gap.

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