One Mason County student and two Bracken County students recently received first place at the SkillsUSA Regional Competition.

The competition was held at Montgomery County High School on Saturday, Feb. 24. Three students attending the Mason County Area Technology Center, Clint Lowe, a senior at MCHS, Jamie Riggs, a senior at BCHS and Seth Hamilton, a senior at BCHS, represented their schools at the competition.

According to the SkillsUSA website, the competition is focused on individuals competitive drive and encourages the development of leadership and skills through the competition.

During the regional competition, Lowe placed first in the welding sculpture competition.

Lowe began working on his sculpture in January, starting with a piece of square tubing and different shapes and sizes of metal. He was judged on his materials, creativity and his ability to weld the sculpture into one continual piece. He also received a $1,250 scholarship for the Kentucky Welding Institute in Flemingsburg.

"My sculpture represents a John Deere 4430 plowing ground," he said. "I have been around tractors my entire life and felt it represented me well."

Riggs placed first in the t-shirt design competition. In order to submit a piece to the competition, the shirt had to have SkillsUSA on it, along with the year and a photo depicting the state. The design had to be created using only four colors.

“I had to create a t-shirt design that focuses on what it means to be involved in SkillsUSA,” Riggs said. "My theme for the shirt was the benefits of having skills. You can get a job without SkillsUSA, but you don’t have the leadership qualities that you learn from skills.”

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Hamilton received first place in automotive service technician with an almost perfect score. He had to remove, inspect and replace brakes, conduct an electric test of a vehicle with a miltimeter, identify parts of a vehicle, pull codes with a scan tool and conduct an alternator and battery test.

“The electrical test presented the greatest challenge. I had to make sure that I was precise," he said. “The (state) competition will be greater and the skill level will be a lot harder. There will be the best from each region at the state."

Each of the students will compete in the state competition April 11-14 in Louisville.

“Advancing to the state competition is the career and technical state tournament. I am looking forward to them displaying their skills on the state level,” stated Adam Wallingford, SkillsUSA adviser.


Christy Howell-Hoots is a reporter for The Ledger Independent newspaper, covering Bracken County

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