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July 6, 2023 -- Midlands Technical College’s (MTC) Building Construction team placed second in the nation during the 2023 SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The competition was hosted at the World Congress Center and the team was composed of four MTC students, including Cameron Drake, Ethan Reynolds, Angel Mendoza, and William Rodriguez.

Student teams competing in the Building Construction category had to construct a mock-up residential house in two days fitted with electrical, plumbing, masonry and roofing.

“This is not an easy task,” said Cameron Drake, who competed for his second consecutive year. “While the technical skills we’ve learned in the classroom are essential to the competition, communication is just as important. We were under a time crunch constructing the house over a two-day period. If we didn’t effectively communicate with each other about what we are doing or the challenges we were having, we wouldn’t be second in the nation.”

This is the second year in a row the MTC Building Construction team has placed in the SkillsUSA national competition. The team won the national championship in 2022, which marked the first time that a South Carolina technical college won a national title in the building trades.

“I have been participating with SkillsUSA at the high school level for some time, but this year is my first at the collegiate level,” said construction professor Bryan Waters. “To have counterparts I’ve known for years come up to me and commend the work that the students are doing is evidence that the MTC team is extremely talented.”

MTC student Alex Britigan showed off his craft in the carpentry category at the competition. The school's Welding Technology team won the state championship which enabled them to compete for the first time in the welding fabrication category at the national level.

Mungo Homes and the Michael J. Mungo Foundation sponsored the Building Construction team, and Michelin sponsored the Welding Technology team.

An estimated 6,094 students competed in this year’s national championship, and over $36 million from industries and education is invested into the hands-on skill and leadership competition. SkillsUSA is a student-led partnership of education and industry focused on building a skilled workforce. Visit to find out more about the conference.

Story Courtesy of Alexia Bolin, ColaDaily News

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