High school students tout their trades during SkillsUSA Regional Conference

Danielle Kimball from Madison-Oneida BOCES competes in the senior cosmetology contest. She is from Verona.

It was all about time management and perfecting his work. That was the strategy Bradley Salisbury employed as he repaired a dented fender in Morrisville State College’s collision repair lab.

“The trick is balancing your time,” said the 17-year-old Oswego County BOCES student, one of nearly 900 high schoolers who competed in the SkillsUSA Area II Regional Conference held recently at the MSC campus.

The annual conference features students from technical schools and BOCES programs throughout Central New York competing in a variety of events. More than 60 contests clustered within numerous job fields included computers and communications, construction, culinary arts, health, leadership, mechanics and security and law.

Fixing a dented fender for the collision repair technology contest wasn’t anything new to Salisbury, who works on cars as a hobby and follows a line of family members working in the auto industry.

This fall he’s heading to MSC to study natural resources conservation with plans of becoming a conservation officer.

The college is giving him a jump-start on his career with a scholarship for participating in SkillsUSA.

Through the Morrisville State College Leadership Award, regional participants get scholarship money every  semester if they enroll full-time at Morrisville.

The contests provided other opportunities, too—for students to showcase their talents and brush up on their skills.

“This is good preparation for me to take the EMT test when I turn 18,” said first aid CPR participant Michael Guzman, a student from Oswego County BOCES.

Ryan Affatato was among participants who competed in the television (video) production contest.

“It’s a good start—to gain experience with television and news,” said the Broome-Tioga BOCES student who is eyeing a career in the movie industry.

Again this year, there was no lack of talent among participants.

“I am amazed by their work,” said Marti Collins, a judge in the photography contest and chair of the college’s Journalism Department.

Competitions, judged by Morrisville State faculty, students, and industry and education representatives, also exposed participants to the college’s one-of-a-kind facilities.

Following regionals, a statewide SkillsUSA competition will be held at the New York State Fairgrounds April 26-28. First-place winners from that event will then advance to the national competition in Louisville, Ky., June 19-23.

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