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Gadsden State students medal at state SkillsUSA competition

Gadsden, Ala. -- Gadsden State Community College students earned eight gold medals, six silver medals and four bronze medals during the recent Alabama SkillsUSA State Leadership Conference and SkillsUSA Championships in Mobile. The SkillsUSA theme for this year is “SkillsUSA: Our Time is Now.” 

Technical students from Gadsden State’s Ayers, East Broad and Valley Street campuses competed with students in over 80 different categories including industrial motor control, HVACR, automotive refinishing, robotics and automation technology, extemporaneous speaking, electrical construction wiring, nail care and carpentry.   

The SkillsUSA competition is an annual event, providing high school and college students an opportunity to showcase their technical skills training, leadership development and hands-on experiences in a series of competitive tasks. 

Gadsden State technical students were among other Alabama community college students earning 103 medals overall, including 49 golds at the state competition.

The individual and team gold medal winners will represent Gadsden State at the 59th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference June 19-23 in Atlanta.

“Gadsden State is proud to partner with Gov. Kay Ivey and Alabama SkillsUSA in working to fill the goal of placing 500,000 new highly-skilled Alabamians in the workforce by 2025,” said Alan Smith, dean of Workforce Development at Gadsden State.  “Through technical skills training, leadership development and employability, a structured program of citizenship and hands-on experiences, SkillsUSA and Gadsden State’s career technical education empower students to become world-class workers and leaders.”

Students finishing in first place and earning gold medals are Jason Carbajal of Boaz in Carpentry; James Fuller of Heflin in Automotive Refinishing; Cynthia Hull of Anniston in Prepared Speech; William Jenkins of Altoona in Collision Repair Technology; Jarrod McBurnett of Lincoln in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration; Hayden Moore of Eastaboga in Extemporaneous Speaking; Zachary Norris of Steele in Industrial Motor Control and Landon Robinson of Altoona in Electrical Construction Wiring (Dual Enrollment / High School).

Students earning silver medals and finishing in second place include Hunter Day of Gadsden in CNC 5 Axis Milling; Christopher Milstead of Delta in Automotive Refinishing Technology; Brittany Satcher of Birmingham in Nail Care; Jonah Padgett of Fort Payne in Carpentry (Dual Enrollment / High School); the team of Shawn Martinez of Weaver and Olsen Spurlin of Heflin in Robotics and Automation Technology and the team of Christopher Briese of Ohatchee, Tyler Cate of Gadsden and Hunter Livingston of Piedmont in Automated Manufacturing Technology.

Bronze medals for finishing in third place were awarded to William Poole of Jacksonville in Electrical Construction Wiring; Braxton Thompson of Scottsboro in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration; the team of Derek Reynolds of Oxford and Wes Simmons of Glencoe in Robotics and Automation Technology and the team of Seth Helms of Leesburg, Call Young of Centre and Mikey Reaves of Piedmont in Automated Manufacturing Technology.

Students who represented Gadsden State at the skills competition and finished in the Top 10 in their event include Hannah Dale of Gadsden in Technical Drafting; Jason Shuffield of Ohatchee in Industrial Motor Control and Keyerra Williams of Montgomery in Architectural Drafting.

Program advisors for students competing include Zora Garner (Nail Care); Tim Hardy and Joseph Hulsey (HVACR); Bruce Hill and Brandon Patterson (Automotive Refinishing Technology and Auto Collision Repair); Tommy Hartline, Andy Robertson, Ralph Whitfield, Tarina Vannatta and Keith Tolbert (Robotics and Automation Technology); Jack Mayfield (Industrial Motor Control); Todd Chandler (Electrical Construction Wiring); James Wilson (Automated Manufacturing Technology and Architectural Drafting); Daniel Anderson and Steve Caldwell (CNC 5 Axis Milling); Laura Ann Sullins (Extemporaneous Speaking and Prepared Speech); Heath McDaniel (Carpentry) and Wesley Beecham (Electrical Construction Wiring and Motor Control).  

“We are proud of the committed, highly-qualified technical instructors working on our campuses,” Smith said. “They are student-focused and prepare our students with the skills they need to excel in these type of competitive events, graduate with a degree or certificate and for direct entry into the workforce.”

For more information about Gadsden State technical programs visit

About SkillsUSA:  Alabama SkillsUSA is developing the next generation of world-class champions at work. Alabama SkillsUSA is committed to producing a generation of strong workers and exceptional leaders who will take America’s workforce into a new frontier of triumph and prosperity.  The national organization serves more than 331,000 students and instructors with 53 state and territorial associations.  SkillsUSA empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. Our vision is to produce the most highly skilled workforce in the world, providing every member the opportunity for career success.

See an album of Gadsden State's winners:

2023 Alabama SkillsUSA