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Career and technical education students compete to advance to Skills USA National Leadership and Skills Conference

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Hundreds of career technical education students from across West Virginia will compete March 28 and March 29 in 55 categories to earn the chance to advance to the Skills USA National Leadership and Skills Conference.

Beginning March 28 at 6:30 p.m. at Winfield High School in Putnam County, students will demonstrate their skills in hands-on occupational and leadership contests such as welding, automotive, HVAC, robotics, aviation maintenance, public speaking and technical math.

Events for March 29 are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Putnam Career Technical Center in Putnam County; Ben Franklin Career Technical Center and Carver Career Technical Center in Kanawha County; and George Washington Middle School in Putnam County. All contests are designed, ran and judged by industry using industry standards.

About 650 students are scheduled to take part in the competition with an additional 350 people registered to participate in conference activities.

"This competition and conference allows students to test their skills against their peers and opens the door to numerous educational opportunities," said state Superintendent Jim Phares.