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Welding Student Earns First Place in SkillsUSA S.D. Competition

Western Dakota Tech first-year Welding and Fabrication student Jerhett Cattin, 19, of Chadron, Neb., received first place in the SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference (SLSC) competition in the Welding category. The SLSC championships, at Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls, SD, took place in April.

"We are very proud of Jerhett's accomplishments," said Troy Barry, Western Dakota Tech Welding and Fabrication Instructor and Jerhett's SkillsUSA Advisor. "Jerhett has been near or at the top of each of his classes, works hard, and holds himself to a high standard. That hard work and dedication to being the best payed off for him at the state competition."

The annual SkillsUSA conference was a showcase of career and technical education students where more than 275 outstanding career and technical education students competed hands-on in 42 different trade, technical and leadership fields. The SLSC championships event is for high school and college-level students who are members of SkillsUSA.

During the SkillsUSA competition, Cattin and other students worked against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in dozens of occupations. All contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations, testing competencies set by industry.

Top student winners received gold, silver and bronze medallions and gold medalists earned the right to compete at the SkillsUSA Championships in Louisville, Ky., June 25-29. Many winners also received prizes such as tools of their trade and scholarships to further their careers and education.

The Western Dakota Tech Welding Program thanks AdamsISC, L&H Industrial, and TrueNorth Steel for supporting its SkillsUSA welding students.

About SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is a vital solution to the growing U.S. skills gap. This nonprofit part nership of students, instructors and industry ensures America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. Founded in 1965 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, the association serves more than 300,000 member students and instructors each year in middle schools, high schools and colleges.

This diverse talent pipeline covers 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, the majority STEM-related. More than 600 corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA at the national level. SkillsUSA programs are integrated into career and technical education through a framework of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics.

Local, state and national championships, designed and judged by industry, set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide needed recognition to its students. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and other workplace credentials. For more information, go to
About Western Dakota Tech
Western Dakota Tech was established in 1968 and is the only technical college that serves the western South Dakota region.

Western Dakota Tech offers programs in a variety of fields, including Business and Computers, Construction and Manufacturing, Energy and Environmental Technologies, Health Sciences, Legal and Public Services, and Transportation Technologies.

More than 96 percent of Western Dakota Tech's most recent graduates are working, continuing their education, or are enlisted in the military.

Western Dakota Tech faculty, staff, and administration focus their efforts on helping students gain the skills and experiences they need to succeed. Through hands-on learning, internships, and industry partnerships, Western Dakota Tech students graduate ready to make a real and immediate contribution to their employers and to their communities.

For information about Western Dakota Tech, call (800) 544-8765 or (605) 718-2565 or send an email to Visit us on the web at

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