SGTC Students Earn Top Awards at SkillsUSA Competition

April 3, 2018
Ten people stand side-by-side on a stage, in front of a red background.
South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford, right, stands with SGTC medals winners and instructors. L to R: Charles Christmas, Victoria Herron, Timothy Payne, Ethan Lyle, Josiah Copeland, Bailey Mills, Calvin Conley, Jacob Grant, David Grant and Dr. John Watford.

Atlanta, GA – Fifteen South Georgia Technical College students from several different program areas represented the college in an outstanding manner, bringing home three gold, one silver, and two bronze medals from the Georgia SkillsUSA state competitions held in Atlanta, GA recently.  South Georgia Technical College’s three gold medal winners will go on to represent the state of Georgia at the national SkillsUSA competition in Louisville, KY in June.

South Georgia Technical College’s three gold medal winners included Bailey Mills, an aviation maintenance student from Cordele, Calvin Conley, a precision machining and manufacturing student from Leesburg, and Jacob Grant, another precision machining and manufacturing student from Andersonville.

Mills was awarded the medal for his performance in the Aviation Maintenance Technology competition, which was held on the South Georgia Technical College campus at the end of February. Of the eight contestants who participated at the competition, he and two other SGTC students, Ethan Lyle of Fayetteville and Josiah Copeland of Montezuma, who won the silver and bronze medals respectively, won all three of the awards in the field.

The other gold medal winners, Conley and Grant, collectively won their gold medal in the additive manufacturing team contest – a contest in which they had to design and 3D print a fixture to attach a miniature tire swing to a tree branch.

Also earning a bronze medal was Timothy Payne, a barbering student from Americus, who placed third in the barbering competition – a first for South Georgia Tech.

The championships showcased the skills of Georgia’s students through hands-on competitions in leadership development, occupationally related, skilled and technical science contests. All of the gold medal winners will go on to compete against other first place winners from around the country in similar competitions.

Cynthia Carter, South Georgia Tech’s director of career services and student organizations, explained that the mission of SkillsUSA is to help prepare students for the workforce, which matches their tagline – “Job Ready, Day One.”

“SkillsUSA has an impact on the lives of America’s future workforce through the development of personal, workplace and technical skills that are grounded in academics,” Carter said. “Time and time again, we show that our students understand that. All of our competitors are to be commended for a job well done.”

SkillsUSA is a national membership student organization that helps middle school, high school and college students who are preparing for a career in a trade, technical or skilled service occupation. The organization serves more than 335,000 students and instructors annually through hosting workforce-based competitions for the students to compete in. For more information about the organization, contact Cynthia Carter at or 229.931.2057.

Two males stand on a three tiered podium.

Calvin Conley (L) and Jacob Grant (R) stand atop the medal podium after being awarded the gold medal for Additive Manufacturing.

Three white males stand on top of a podium. The center male stands taller.

Bailey Mills (center), Ethan Lyle (left), and Josiah Copeland (right) stand atop the medal podium after a “clean-sweep” of the Aviation Maintenance Technology competition.

A female and two males stand on a podium.

Timothy Payne (right) stands in the bronze medal tier of the medal podium after winning third place in the barbering competition at the SkillsUSA state competition.