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Hillman wins gold medal at SkillsUSA Championship
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From left to right, front row, are: national technical committee member Tim Knapp; high school medalistsSilver-Zack Minor, Tri County Technology Center (Okla.); Gold-Christina Hillman, Effingham County High School; Bronze-Craig Sweet, Sammamish High School (Wash.); and national technical committee member Kip Jarrett; back row are: National technical committee member Timothy Scoggins; Postsecondary/College medalistsSilver-Amanda Breese, Riverside Community College (Calif.); Gold-Jonathan Hand, Appalachian State University (N.C.); Bronze-John Bohnett, Ferris State University (Mich.); and national technical committee members Ed Ramey and Jim Workman. - photo by Photo provided

Effingham County High School graduate Christina Hillman won a gold medal in graphic communications at the SkillsUSA Championship.

The SkillsUSA Championships, held in Kansas City, Mo., took place June 20-24 as part of the SkillsUSA 47th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC), a showcase of career and technical education students.

The SkillsUSA Championships is the national-level competition for public high school and college/postsecondary technical students enrolled in career and technical education programs. SkillsUSA organizes this event, and it is considered the single greatest day of industry volunteerism in America every year at an estimated cost of more than $35 million. Each SkillsUSA Championships contestant is a state-level gold medalist.

Hillman was one of five Georgia students to win a gold medal at the national event.

Begun in 1967, the SkillsUSA Championships has grown from 54 competitors in three contests to more than 5,500 competitors in 94 hands-on skill and leadership contests this year. SkillsUSA adds contests to the SkillsUSA Championships to meet the demands of new and expanding occupations. SkillsUSA affiliated instructional programs represent 130 different occupational areas. The competition show room floor encompasses more than 16 football field’s worth of space.

For the third year in a row, Georgia ranked fourth in the nation in medallion count, only behind Florida, Texas, and Massachusetts. Georgia high school competitors brought home 23 medallions and 67 top scorer positions, indicating an increase over last year’s placement.

A pinnacle achievement for SkillsUSA members as part of the new Work Force Ready System is the awarding of Skill Point Certificates. Earning a Skill Point Certificate is a significant achievement that documents a student’s knowledge and abilities within a certain area. This criterion is developed and endorsed by industry representatives. Eighty-eight Georgia students earned Skill Point Certificates, signifying that they achieved technical competencies and proficiency on the national level.