PCC Students Excel at SkillsUSA State Event

PCC's Darrell Dozier (bronze), David Valerioti (silver) and Kenneth Reynolds (gold), left to right, claimed the top three spots in the college cabinetmaking competition of the 2024 SkillsUSA North Carolina Championships.

WINTERVILLE—Five Pitt Community College students finished first in their respective competitions during last month’s SkillsUSA North Carolina State Leadership & Skills Conference and will represent North Carolina in this summer’s National SkillsUSA Championships.

Of the 32 PCC Construction & Industrial Technology (CIT) Division students who participated in the state conference in Greensboro, 23 placed in the top five of their SkillsUSA North Carolina Championship events. From that group, five students — Kenneth Reynolds, Noah Majette, Sidney Cotherman, Parker Marshburn and James Hughes — won gold medallions to earn the right to compete nationally as part of the 2024 SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference in Atlanta June 24-29.

“I was really proud of the way all of our student performed and represented PCC at the state level,” PCC CIT Dean Patrick Jacques said. “We are excited to have five individuals who will represent PCC and the State of North Carolina at the national event.”

Jacques said SkillsUSA events are a great way for Pitt students to network and meet individuals in related fields of study. He said they also demonstrate how the college’s CIT programs are “effectively empowering students for success” locally, nationally and globally.

Between April 23-25, PCC students competed against the clock, each other, and their peers from throughout the state in 11 of 130 hands-on trade, technical and leadership contests held at the Greensboro Coliseum and Koury Convention Center. More than 2,900 career and technical education students, representing colleges, high schools and middle schools, participated in the events, which covered more than 95 trade areas —from construction, transportation and drone technology to drafting, robotics and public safety.

Pitt students claimed the top three spots to dominate the cabinetmaking competition. Reynolds was first, followed by David Valerioti and Darrell Dozier, a biomedical student who has also taken carpentry classes at PCC. After winning the event, Reynolds delegated his spot in the national competition to Valerioti.

In the plumbing contest, four PCC students finished among the top five. Marshburn was first, Omari Outlaw second, Connor Loftin third and Neliah Roberts fourth. All four take plumbing courses through continuing education with Instructor Austin Lilley.

Hughes topped the college welding competition, while PCC’s Carter Webb took second. Four Pitt students – Emonnie Koonce, Cole Phillips, Christopher Teut and Blade Toler – competed in the high school welding event, with Toler claiming a silver medallion and Teut taking home bronze.

Cotherman won the college Industrial Motor Controls (IMC) event, and Majette claimed the high school contest. PCC’s Dalton Marshall finished fourth in the college IMC competition, while Dilan Ruiz and Collieone Kelly took second and third, respectively, on the high school side. Majette, Ruiz and Kelly are all PCC-Pitt County Schools Technical Academy participants.

Six Pitt students competed in the high school Electrical Construction Wiring 1 event, with James Jacobson recording a fourth-place finish and Parker Mercer coming in fifth.

PCC’s Tyler Tripp finished fourth in the HVACR competition, and William Gross (second) and Carson Sizemore (fourth) placed in the top five of the college Automotive Service Tech (AST) event. Josh Hart took fifth in the high school AST competition.

SkillsUSA, a nonprofit formerly known as Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, is a national partnership of nearly 400,000 students, teachers and industry leaders working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.