Two students from Career Center of Southern Illinois in Red Bud represented Illinois at the 56th annual SkillsUSA National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, a weeklong event held June 22-26.
Illinois Welding Champion Ike Franke from Valmeyer HS and State Automotive Runner-Up Chris Landi from Marissa competed in the event, attended by more than 18,000 students, teachers and business partners.
They were accompanied by welding instructor Gary Miller and automotive instructor Greg Baird (himself a nominee for National Automotive Instructor of the Year).
Chris Landi placed 3rd in the nation, earning a bronze medal in Automotive Light Maintenance and Repair.
Ike Franke finished 7th in the nation in welding.
Both students were awarded $750 Jim Heil Scholarships from the Okaw Regional Vocational System.
More than 6,500 outstanding career and technical education students competed hands-on in 103 different trade, technical and leadership fields. Students worked against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations such as electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts. Contests were run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations, and test competencies set by industry.
C.C.S.I. thanks the many donors who helped fund the trip, and is proud of the outstanding effort of our students and instructors.