About 120 Southern-Arizona high school students put their construction skills to the test Friday at Skills USAs Region 6 Construction Competition. The event was hosted at Catalina High School in midtown.
Skills USA is a national organization that promotes career and technical education. Competitions are hosted each year at local, state and national levels. At Catalina High School, students competed in seven different construction related categories such as plumbing and cabinet making.
Mark Riggi, Skills USA Workforce Development Chair said, The biggest thing is were trying to make sure is the students and their parents know that construction is a viable option as a career. So were trying to show that this is something they can get into and actually make a career out of it and make a living out of it.
San Manuel High School student Julianna McClintock Rodriguez was back at the competition for her second year. She was working on building a workbench with her partner.
Ive grown a passion for it, McClintock Rodriguez said. Ive grown [to like] learning to work with wood, working with these big machines and all these big drills, hammers and nails. Its just so fun to me.
She discovered this passion of hers during her freshman year of high school.
At first I was scared to even touch them or use them (tools), but Ive gotten so used to working with them, its so easy, she explained.
Now a sophomore, she sees herself pursuing a career in carpentry and inspiring other girls.
McClintock Rodriguez said, It feels empowering to be one of those girls to stand out and be like, yeah I can do it. If boys can, I can.
Other Skills USA competitions for Region 6 will be taking place throughout this weekend here in Tucson. The competition categories range from robotics to media arts.