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Huntsville, AL – J.F. Drake State Community & Technical College extends congratulations to all participants in the SkillsUSA competition held this year at the Local 327 Union Hall in Tuscaloosa, AL. The competition takes place annually amongst different programs in various locations throughout the state and culminates towards an award ceremony that takes place in April.

A huge SkillsUSA accomplishment was secured by Drake State’s outstanding welding program.  They placed 1st and 2nd in Welding amongst 26 contestants from all post-secondary schools in Alabama. According to Mr. Ryan Green, Drake State’s Welding Instructor, “This isn’t the first time our college has swept the welding competition by winning 1st and 2nd place, we did it last year too!” Kudos to Mr. Jonathan Smith and Mr. Kory Rafferty, respectively, and to Mr. Ryan Green, also a former SkillsUSA winner.  Green boasted “I am very proud of these students for their hard work and dedication to their trade.”  He went on to add that both students were presented with numerous employment offers.  

“Congratulations to everyone who placed and participated in SkillsUSA” said Dr. Kemba Chambers, Drake State’s Interim President. “We are excited that our students continue to show how Drake State’s Welding Program provides extensive training that leads to our continued success at SkillsUSA.  Congratulations to Mr. Ryan Green and Mr. Joseph Bevell for their dedication and leadership to our welding students and college.  Our Graduates Work!”

Pictured here from left to right: Welding Instructor Joseph Bevel, Rodney Blackburn, Second Place Winner Kory Rafferty, First Place Winner Jonathan Smith, and Welding Instructor Ryan Green

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