CIT Students Enjoy Learning, Networking in Atlanta

CIT students and staff take a selfie during the 2023 SkillsUSA national conference in Atlanta.

WINTERVILLE—Students and employees from Pitt Community College Construction & Industrial Technology curricula traveled to Atlanta this month for the 2023 SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference and to participate in an immersive educational experience focused on construction.

The conference, which took place June 19-23 at the Georgia World Congress Center, brings together students, instructors, administrators and industry partners each year to celebrate the accomplishments of individuals preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. An estimated 15,000 people attended this year’s event, which featured more than 100 competitions, opportunities for students to engage with top professionals, and a night of fun, food and games.

Dennis Marshall, chair of PCC’s Electrical Systems Technology Department, accompanied the nine students to Georgia and said they benefited greatly from their participation in SkillsUSA conference activities and a chance to visit a JE Dunn Construction live-build project in downtown Atlanta. He said they also took part in employability training that featured tips on resume preparation and mock interviews with business and industry representatives.

Marshall said the immersive educational experience SkillsUSA provided gave students unique learning opportunities. He said they were asked to navigate four real-world scenarios designed and developed by trade and technical educators in collaboration with industry partners.

“In one scenario, our students had to evaluate construction project bids, and another required them to set up a construction site from square one,” Marshall said. “They also had a scenario dealing with construction project materials and labor and one in which they were asked to provide professional customer service to a disgruntled client.”

In addition to instructional programming, Marshall said the Atlanta trip offered students valuable opportunities to network with industry partners and recruiters seeking skilled tradespeople. He said several students were promised opportunities to interview for employment once they have completed their training at PCC.