Three SGTC Students Prepare for SkillsUSA National Competitions

June 22, 2018
A male drills through a thin sheet of metal
Bailey Mills, one of the three SGTC students competing in the SkillsUSA National Competition, practices his sheet metal skills – one of the skills he will be judged on in the aviation maintenance technology competition.

Three South Georgia Technical College students are preparing to compete on the national stage when they travel to Louisville, Kentucky on June 25 to attend the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. The five-day event is the world’s largest showcase of skilled trades, in which more than 18,000 students, teachers, education leaders and representatives from 600 national corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions will come together to celebrate technical education.

On June 27 and 28, the students, Bailey Mills of Cordele, Calvin Conley of Leesburg and Jacob Grant of Andersonville, will compete against other students from across the nation in their field during a series of hands-on skill and leadership competitions. The three students earned their right to compete by winning first-place in their competitions at the state competitions held in March in Atlanta. There will be 6,500 student contestants from around the country competing in just 102 competitions.

Mills, an aviation maintenance student, will compete in the aviation maintenance technology competition, where he will have to perform several related tasks within a set timeframe. Conley and Grant, who are both precision machining and manufacturing students, will compete as a team in the additive manufacturing competition, where they will have to design and 3D print an object to fit a purpose.

In order to prepare for the competition, all three students have spent extra time in the classroom with their instructors, receiving tips and practicing their skills.

“I wouldn’t say I’m confident – I’m more so comfortable,” Mills said. “It’s all information and skills that I know how to do, I just have to refresh myself on them. I’m going in feeling really good about everything, but in the end, if I don’t win I’m okay with it. It’s just all about the experience to me, and I’m happy and excited to be able to go participate in everything.”

Chad Brown, SGTC’s precision machining and manufacturing instructor and SkillsUSA advisor, said that his two students have also been preparing and that he is confident in their abilities as well.

“[Conley and Grant] have been coming in at night, running the printers, practicing their designs and learning all they can, so I think they’ll do well,” he said.

The three students will be traveling to Louisville with their advisors, Victoria Herron (aviation) and Chad Brown (precision machining and manufacturing), as well as Dr. Michele Seay and Cynthia Carter, who are part of the SkillsUSA National Education Team.

Carter, who is also the Director of Career Services and Student Organizations at SGTC, will meet with SkillsUSA partners from around the country, including some of the nation’s largest employers, to talk about their career, internship and apprenticeship opportunities.

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 together with gold medals around their necks

Calvin Conley (left) and Jacob Grant (right), who will compete as a team at the SkillsUSA National Leadership Convention and Conference, stand together after winning first place at the state level.