Going for Gold at the Sierra Nevada Job Corps Trade Olympics

Thirty talented students from Sierra Nevada Job Corps Center recently went head-to-head in the 3rd annual Trade Olympics. Students from electrical, welding, construction, culinary arts, healthcare, and other trades put their skills to the test.

Some of the students will go on to the state skills competition and even the national finals. The students who competed are the cream of the crop from each of the trades.

Elsie Munoz, a building construction technology student, said, “The vocational Olympics was really fun. It was challenging, but I’m confident. And I think I did well.”

Certified nursing assistant (CNA) student Daisy Rivera said, “I thought I learned a lot in the competition and really focused on the skills I learned at Job Corps. But, I had to work with time limits in the competition.”

These “Olympic games” offer a glimpse into what awaits these students in a very competitive job market.

Even though the three-day competition is very hectic, the students loved it. Students were tested on various trade skills, academic knowledge, communication, and interviewing techniques.

Students began the competition by submitting their resumes to judges, some of whom are key Sierra Nevada employer-partners. The judges then filled out score cards for each contestant.

The competitors were encouraged to incorporate the 12 Job Corps Career Success Standards into the competition to earn extra points. Those with the highest scores earned the chance to compete in the Skills USA Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky this summer. There they will be judged on technical skills, safety, job knowledge, academic skills, and proper attire.

The students weren’t shy about expressing their confidence in making it to the nationals games.

CNA student Brianna Laurel said, “The thing I most enjoy about Job Corps is that when I’m done with my training I will be a CNA, and then I plan on becoming a registered nurse.”