Seventeen Jones College students came home with top honors at the SkillsUSA state competition Jackson in April.  However, only the 11 first-place winners will leave for Louisville, Ky., for the National SkillsUSA competition in June.

“JC SkillsUSA team is extremely excited to travel to Louisville this year with our first-place state winners. The competitors are focused and believe they have the skills to represent Mississippi and Jones College in their respective competitions. They demonstrate a level of professionalism that we’ve tried to cultivate over the years. We are excited to afford them the opportunity to showcase their talents,” said Jones College SkillsUSA adviser Ryan Hearn.

Jones College students C.J. Hoodless of Ellisville, Preston Hammonds of Leakesville and Lakelin Smith of Lucedale captured first place in the Engineering Design and Technology category. The category was introduced last year at SkillsUSA with Jones students winning with the invention of a manual trash-compactor for the garbage can. As avid musicians, this year’s team was inspired to create a guitar strap and stand. 

The guitar strap and stand is made of three-inch wide by four-inch squares, printed on a 3D printer and linked together to a piece of nylon and leather strap bindings to attach to the guitar. To switch from a strap to a stand, an aluminum rod is inserted through the squares and is attached to the base stand, which was also made from the 3D printer.

Freshman Savannah Holifield of Soso said she is looking forward to returning to the National SkillsUSA competition. She took first place in the Promotional Bulletin Board state competition as a sophomore and junior at West Jones High School. 

Also headed to the national competition are civil engineering technology majors and first-place winners in the Quiz Bowl competition Steve Lambert of Miller, Mo., Colton McLeod of Richton, Levi McLain of Waynesboro, Dylan Butler of Ellisville and Mayson Norton of Mobile, Ala. Freshman Daniel Patterson of Sumrall and Joseph Blake Pryor of Laurel also earned first-place honors in Automotive and Extemporaneous Speaking, respectively.

The SkillsUSA National Competition will beJune 24-28.

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