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Linn State hosts 2,300 SkillsUSA participants

More than 2,300 high school and college participants from across Missouri crowded into the Linn State Technical College Activity Center to kick off the 44th Annual Missouri Leadership and Skills Conference (SkillsUSA) March 25.

Missouri’s First Lady Georganne Wheeler Nixon presented the keynote address during the opening ceremonies of the conference.   In her address, the First Lady expressed her pride, knowing that so many of the young people before her would go on to the national competition bringing home even more wins for the state of Missouri.

Looking out over the crowd, Nixon stated that Missouri’s brightest days are ahead of us.  “To make it in this world you need the latest knowledge, cutting edge skills and fierce determination,” commented Nixon.   “I know that you have this fierce determination because you are here today.”

“It’s that Missouri can-do spirit that gets us national winners.”

The National SkillsUSA recognized 28 Missouri high school and college students for their outstanding skills at the SkillsUSA Championships held in 2009.   Winners from the 2010 Missouri SkillsUSA will represent Missouri once again in June at the SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City.

Nixon encouraged students to recognize the many great teachers and leaders that helped in making their success at SkillsUSA a reality.  “We know behind every successful student there is a tremendous support network of friends, neighbors, teachers and mentors,” stated Nixon.

Following the opening ceremonies, students quickly departed the Activity Center, running across campus in the pouring rain to start their Missouri SkillsUSA experience.  

Students competed in more than 140 leadership, skill, occupationally-related and written technical information contests.

Early Friday morning, greeted by the sun and the absence of precipitation, contestants competed in automotive repair and refinishing, residential wiring, carpentry, plumbing, sheet metal assembly, HVAC repair, telecommunications cabling, welding and many more contests.

Other contests such as firefighting, nursing, commercial baking, news broadcasting and masonry were held in off site locations throughout Linn and the surrounding area.

Contest results were announced during the closing ceremony on Saturday, March 27.

With more than 25 programs, Linn State Technical College is Missouri’s only public two-year technical college with a statewide mission.   LSTC has campuses in Linn, Mexico and Jefferson City.  LSTC prepares students for profitable employment and a life of learning.    

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