Photo Gallery: CNM Students Shine at National Competition

Twenty-one students from across CNM flew to Louisville, Kentucky to participate in the prestigious SkillsUSA national trades competition.

The Kentucky Exposition Center, this year's site for the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, was literally shaking all week with thousands of high school and college students hammering, cutting, wiring, fixing, painting, programming, and cooking while trying to win dozens of different trades competitions throughout the building. Right in the middle of the action was a large group of CNM students who fought their way through the competition. They qualified for the national event by winning gold medals at the New Mexico SkillsUSA Championships in April. Here’s a glimpse of some of them at work in Louisville.

Dustin Allen, left, and Dakota Wood participate in the Welding Fabrication competition

Stephanie Begaye, who just graduated from CNM with a degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology, participates in the Aviation Maintenance Technology competition. According to SkillsUSA, women who go into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) jobs—such as Aviation—earn 35 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts

Nicole Engler makes dough during the Commercial Baking competition. This year 6,500 students were part of the SkillsUSA event

Several of the baked goods Nicole made during the competition

Miguel Merino at work over his stove during the Culinary Arts competition. To run all of the various competitions, SkillsUSA has to install an enormous amount of equipment in the Kentucky Exposition Center including more than 60 stoves, 25 refrigerators, and 2,000 computers. They also built complete laboratories for machining, welding, and auto repair and painting

Kenny Ellsworth cuts a board during the Cabinet Making competition. Events like Cabinet Making, Carpentry, Commercial Baking, and Welding fabrication needed lots of floor space for students to operate. All told, this contest area for year’s SkillsUSA competition covered 1.4 million square feet, or the equivalent of 20 football fields.

Bryan Martin-Figueroa participates in the Carpentry competition. Almost every event at SkillsUSA needed some kind of tool, and almost all those tools ran on electricity. Last year the electric bill for the event cost $1.7 million dollars, and this year the event was expecting to pay something similar

Dakota Wood after a long day of competing in the Welding Fabrication Event