Three students from Luna Community College brought home gold medals, and another, a bronze medal, from the SkillsUSA state conference earlier this month in Albuquerque.
Johnny Garcia took first-place in autobody collision repair, while Laura Hurtado and Julie Trambley won a team first-place in cosmetology and nail technology. Kathy Maes won third-place in the cosmetology hair competition.
“Luna Community College students, like always, came out very strong,” said Rosalie Ortega, a Luna faculty member in cosmetology and adviser for SkillsUSA. “Our students always shine at the state competition. We’re very proud of what they accomplished. I think our students have a very good chance at placing at the national competition.”
SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving students from both the college and high school levels who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations including health occupations.
“Johnny went into the competition with confidence in his knowledge and skills,” said Anthony Baca, a Luna faculty member in vocational education and SkillsUSA adviser.
“He prepared himself well for it. I think Johnny could place in the top 10 in the national competition.”
The national SkillsUSA competition will be held from June 23-27 in Kansas City, Mo., where Garcia, Hurtado and Trambley are scheduled to compete.
Both Garcia and Josh Candelaria, a Luna student who went to the competition as an observer, were offered a job at the J. Walton Autobody Shop in Albuquerque, where the collision repair competition took place.
“What this says is that they are entry-level quality for the industry,” Baca said. “I admire all LCC students for taking the initiative to join SkillsUSA. They go above and beyond their regular studies to join this program.”