group shows Blue Ridge Community College automotive students at SkillsUSA competition

Blue Ridge automotive students take top awards at the SkillsUSA regional competition

(Pictured from Left to Right: Miles Loomis, Justin Youngblood, Hyland Sheffron, Casey Varble, and Jacob Gazaway.)

Blue Ridge Community College automotive students swept the competition at the SkillsUSA West Regional Rally hosted by the College’s Henderson County campus on March 4. Of the fifteen Automotive Technology competitors from across Western North Carolina, the top six represented Blue Ridge’s SkillsUSA club and Career and College Promise program for high school students. The competition results underscore the value Blue Ridge places on excellence in education and workforce development.

“The Regional Rally allowed our students to challenge themselves and take pride in a profession they enjoy while also testing their skills against others in the same discipline,” explained Joe Shook, Blue Ridge Dean of Advanced Technologies. “We were glad to share our beautiful campus and state-of-the-art facilities to make this year’s regional competition a success.”

At this year’s rally, Blue Ridge students competed exclusively in the Automotive Technologies event, and the top five finishers earned medals. The rally also included events in welding, Adobe products, drafting, interview skills, and public speaking.

The regional win qualified the Blue Ridge students to compete in April at the state-level SkillsUSA event in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“We couldn’t be more proud of our students and faculty for their roles in this accomplishment,” Shook added.

Winner Details

The top-ranked Automotive Technology event students included:

Jacob Gazaway, First Place
Cornerstone Academy, Henderson County Campus

Casey Varble, Second Place
Henderson County Early College, Henderson County Campus

Hyland Sheffron, Third Place
Springbrook Academy, Henderson County Campus

Justin Youngblood, Fourth Place
West Henderson High, Henderson County Campus

Miles Loomis, Fifth Place
Brevard High, Transylvania County Campus

William Cole, Sixth Place
Davidson River High, Transylvania County Campus