SkillsUSA West Virginia
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SkillsUSA West Virginia Brag Board

 SkillsUSA West Virginia would like to welcome Mountwest Community and Technical College’s new chapter.  

 We want to thank alumni, Trey Balser, for working with the staff at Mountwest to encourage them to get on board with SkillsUSA West Virginia. Also, a big thank you to Glen Midkiff for agreeing to be the college SkillsUSA advisor. Hope to see you at the upcoming Fall Leadership Conference and at the State Conference in April!!

 Congratulations to West Virginia’s Premier Career and Technical Education Sites

 West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano announced Wednesday night during a ceremony in Charleston the 2015-2016 Premier Career and Technical Education Sites.
The Premier Career and Technical Education Sites Award winners that are John D. Rockefeller IV Career Center, Hancock County; Ralph R. Willis Career and Technical Center, Logan County and Mingo Central Comprehensive High School, Mingo County. All sites have outstanding SkillsUSA chapters, Simulated Workplaces, teachers and students as well. Congratulations!

 SkillsUSA West Virginia Welcomes West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind

 SkillsUSA West Virginia would like to welcome West Virginias Schools for the Deaf and the Blind’s new chapter. Also, a big thank you to Kathy Kuykendall for making this happen! Hope to see you at the upcoming Fall Leadership Conference and at the State Conference in April!!

 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program-Please nominate our outstanding WV CTE students
On June 22, 2015, President Obama signed an expansion of the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program to include students with outstanding scholarship and achievement in career and technical education (CTE). The nomination process for the 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars will include five (5) students from West Virginia who demonstrate excellence in CTE. 

Alumni Success in Region 3!

Thomas Vannatter, West Virginia 

I graduated from Hurricane High School in 1988. After high school I did not have any desire to go to college so I had to go to work. In August of 1988 I moved to Richmond Va. where I had some family. The first job I got was working in a pizza place. After working there for a few months I was able to get a job with a general contracting company doing labor work, working closely with the superintendent. In March of 1989 I was running my own subdivision, mostly small starter homes. I continued to work for that same company until June 1993 when I moved back home to West Virginia.  

I continued working construction for the next 15 years which I loved doing. I always enjoyed the people I worked with and the challenges I faced. In December of 2010 work got very slow and I was laid off for a period of time. So at the age of 40, I decided I was ready for a career change and went back to school. I wanted to do something on the computer and draw, drafting and design sounded interesting. I enrolled 3 days before school started at what was then Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College. For the first year of school I worked full time and went to school full time and then my job came to an end and I was unemployed. The last year of school included me attending Ben Franklin Career Center where I was in Julie Wiles drafting class. It was there I was introduced to SkillsUSA. I competed in the class competition where I won the architectural drafting portion and then went on to Martinsburg, WV for the state competition where I won gold medal for post-secondary architectural drafting. I graduated with my Associates Degree in Drafting and Design in June 2012. Winning the gold medal opened up a huge door of opportunity for me. Not only did I earn a trip to the national competition in Kansas City, but it also earned me a 2 year tuition waiver at Bridgemont Community and Technical College. Just a couple of days before I left for Kansas City, I accepted a drafting position with Jacobs Engineering in Elkview WV. I had a lot to look forward to when I returned from Kansas City. The national competition was an awesome experience, it was several days of good competition, I meet some great people and I am still friends with a few of them today. Although I didn’t do as well as I had hoped it was still a great experience. Once I started working at Jacobs I was still learning new things every day. In January 2013 I took advantage of my tuition waver and took a class for 3D design in a program called Plant Design Management System (PDMS). During my class I was able to move over to the piping department at Jacobs where I started creating 3 dimensional models in the chemical sector. In April of 2014 I accepted a piping designer position with KBR Engineering in Dunbar WV where I am currently still employed. SkillsUSA has given me opportunities that I would have never have had otherwise; I have meet a lot of great people and had some great experiences.