Stories @ TCAT

TCAT students shine at state competition

Source: Citizen Tribune
BY DREW C. ROBINSON Tribune Staff Writer
Apr 21, 2022

Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Morristown sent a team of 29 students to a state-level SkillsUSA competition where they successfully competed in various hands-on technical challenges.

Darren Aldred, Computer Aided Design instructor and lead advisor for the SkillsUSA team, beamed as he expressed his confidence in the quality of education that students receive at TCAT Morristown.

“To be honest, every time TCAT goes, we’re bringing back medals,” he said. “We have some amazing instructors and amazing students.

SkillsUSA is a competition where schools send teams to compete against each other to sharpen the skills of their students. “They test their hands-on skills in their specific area, be it welding, electrical, mechatronics or robotics,” program advisor and industrial electricity instructor Garrett Franklin said. “They also are required to pass a knowledge test.”

TCAT Morristown medaled in 13 competitions, six of them being gold. Some of the competitions required more than one individual, so nine students in all brought home gold medals.

“I tell my students that the biggest reward is the experience,” stated Franklin. “He also shared that back when he was a student, he had heard that if you participate at the state level, you’re in the top 2% in your field, which really looks good on a resume because SkillsUSA is nationally recognized.

Ethan Rush, a mechatronics student, he’s learning how to build, maintain and troubleshoot the automation and robotics necessary in modern industrial environments. He came home with a gold medal from SkillsUSA. “I’m pretty excited to be among the best in the state,” he said. “The teachers really know what they’re teaching and they’re able to communicate it well.”

“These students are amazing,” Aldred said. “They were selected to participate at the state level because they are the best in the school.” He further stated, “They have distinguished themselves. These students are determined, have amazing work ethic, and are amazing at their craft.”