CCTEC Student Strikes National Gold at SkillsUSA Championship

Vineland, NJ (June 27, 2017)-- Jon Watson, a shared-time student at CCTEC, brought home the National SkillsUSA Gold Medal for Welding Art/Sculpture. The competition took place in Louisville at the Kentucky Exposition Center June 19-23. SkillsUSA is a national organization with over 340,000 members and is a showcase for the nation’s top career and technical education students in nearly 50 categories including Broadcast News Production, Engineering Technology/Design, Medical Math, Robotics & Automatic Technology, and Welding Art/Sculpture.

Under the skilled eye of TEC Welding Instructor Doug Bonner, Jon spent over 150 hours creating and refining his sculpture “The Blacksmith”. Prior to earning a trip to the national conference where he competed against 41 other contestants, he qualified by winning first place at the New Jersey Leadership and Skills Conference Championships earlier this year. According to Mr. Bonner, “Jon is the perfect example of the talent that SkillsUSA showcases, he is dedicated to his newly learned trade, and we are proud of what he has accomplished here at CCTEC.” Jon returned home with a full scholarship to Lincoln Technical University and an additional $10,000 scholarship to Ohio Technical College.

Upon his return, Jon stated, "I’d like to thank Mr. Bonner most of all! I’m 18 years old, fresh out of high school and have five different companies offering me positions with great pay that I can build a career with. Of course, I’ve worked very hard to get here, but Mr. Bonner has directed that hard work to help me find these opportunities. He doesn’t just teach his students how to weld, he teaches them how to be welders. Going to CCTEC and leaving with the skills I need to enter the workplace was the right decision.”

CCTEC is New Jersey’s newest full-time Career and Technical Education high school and is working with industry & post-secondary partners to prepare students with the skills, knowledge, and high-level competencies required to meet the needs of business and industry.

2017 National SkillsUSA Gold Winner, Jon Watson at CCTEC

2017 National SkillsUSA Gold Winner, Jon Watson (3rd from the left) at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

2017 National SkillsUSA Gold Winner, Jon Watson (3rd from the left) at the Kentucky Exposition Center.