OREM, Utah — Utah Valley University (UVU) career and technical education students won two gold, two silver, and three bronze medals at the national SkillsUSA competition last week in Atlanta, Georgia, taking fourth place overall among hundreds of schools across the U.S.

The event tested 6,000 students in 19 categories, including advertising design, drafting, automated manufacturing technology, automotive repair, computer programing, culinary arts, dental assisting, masonry, and mechatronics, to name a few. UVU students have participated in the competition for more than two decades, consistently placing in the top five schools annually.

This year’s UVU winners include:

Gold Medals

  • Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing): Dallin Hansen of Saratoga Springs, Utah, and Thomas Swindler of Provo, Utah
  • Robotics and Automation Technology: Alexander Marcum of Herriman, Utah, and Zach Pittman of Provo, Utah

Hansen and Swindler are current architecture and engineering design students, while Marcum and Pittman are in the UVU Engineering Technology Program.

Silver Medals

  • Cabinetmaking: Ethan Jacobson of Provo, Utah
  • Collision Repair Technology: Seth Christmas of Spanish Fork, Utah

Jacobson is a student in UVU’s Construction Program and Christmas studies in automotive technology. 

Bronze Medals

  • Industrial Motor Control: Jayden Tanner of Orem, Utah
  • Computer Programing: Jared Karbakhsh of Orem, Utah
  • Automotive Refinishing Technology: Charles Moake of Spanish Fork, Utah

Tanner is an engineering technology major, Karbakhsh studies computer science, and Moake is in the automotive technology degree program.

Eighteen of the 19 UVU competitors finished in the top ten in their categories, including three students who finished just off the podium in fourth place.

“Based on the seven national medal categories won, UVU tied for fourth in the nation for all post-secondary colleges and universities in the United States,” said Darin Taylor, UVU SkillsUSA director. “Over the past 22 years, UVU has consistently been ranked among the top five in the nation. These results show, without a doubt, that the students of UVU are among the best of the best. They represented UVU and the state of Utah very well and should be very proud of their accomplishments.”

The organization’s mission statement says, “SkillsUSA empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders, and responsible American citizens. We improve the quality of our nation’s future skilled workforce through the development of SkillsUSA Framework skills that include personal, workplace, and technical skills grounded in academics. Our vision is to produce the most highly skilled workforce in the world, providing every member the opportunity for career success.”

Each annual conference requires support from high schools, universities, and industry sponsors from all 50 states. Over $36 million from industry and education is invested in the SkillsUSA Championships. Organizers said the event requires 2,000 computers, 12,500 bricks, 1,500 blocks, 60+ stoves and ovens, 25+ refrigerators, 100+ welders, 50+ manufacturing machines, and complete laboratories for machining, welding, auto repair, and painting. Additionally, the contestants’ area requires 1.79 million square feet (equivalent to 31 football fields).

Visit the SkillsUSA Championships page to view all medalists.