GTCC Students Excel In SkillsUSA National Championship

Published on: July 6, 2021
SkillsUSA National Championship first place winner, GTCC Dental Assistant student Janalee Burke.

JAMESTOWN, N.C. (July 7, 2021) – Guilford Technical Community College students excelled in the recent SkillsUSA National Championship, earning one gold medal, two bronze medals and several top-10 finishes.

Janalee Burke led GTCC, winning first place in the Dental Assisting competition, held virtually this year for the first time.

Wesley Francis and Jamari’ Allen gave GTCC a pair of third-place finishes in the national competition. Francis was third in the HVAC-R competition while Allen scored a third in the Restaurant Service contest.

“Even though conditions were far less than ideal for national competitions this year, students and advisors were clearly able to prevail to show why they are the best,” said Jeff Faircloth, faculty advisor for GTCC’s SkillsUSA chapter.

Other top 10 finishers for GTCC included:

Fifth Place

  • Trevor Pretory, MLR Automotive Service Technology (Secondary)

Sixth Place

  • Ali Williamson, Automotive Service Technology

Seventh Place

  • Susan Danielsen, Culinary Arts

Eighth Place

  • Jeannine Lafortune, Commercial Baking

The SkillsUSA Championships, held virtually this year, took place June 1-18, 2021, as part of the 57th SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC), a showcase of career and technical education students. During the conference, approximately 3700 outstanding career and technical education student state contest winners competed in over 100 different hands-on trade, technical and leadership fields. 

During the national competition, students worked against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations like electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, automotive, welding, medical assisting, cosmetology, and culinary arts.

All contests were run with the help of industry, trade associations, and labor organizations, and test competencies are set by industry. In addition, leadership contestants demonstrated their skills in several leadership development competitions, which included both prepared and extemporaneous speaking, engaging in both individual and team presentations.

More than 110 North Carolinians from 19 high schools and eight community colleges participated in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference virtually. Overall, North Carolina student competitors won 19 gold medals, one silver medal, and 13 bronze medals for a total of 33 medals, the 6th highest in the nation.

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers, middle school, high school, and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. Through its local, state, and national competitions, students demonstrate occupational and leadership skills.

About Guilford Technical Community College: Guilford Technical Community College is the fourth largest of 58 institutions in the North Carolina Community College System. GTCC serves more than 27,000 students annually from five campuses and a Small Business Center. For more information, visit, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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