Bates students compete in national competition, earn medal

Tuesday, July 2

The SkillsUSA competition showcases more than 5,600 career and technical education students
TACOMA, Wash. - We've always known our students excel in leadership skills, and now Bates Technical College has a medal and recognition to prove it. Students Chris Hansen and Islena Jones competed last week in the 49th SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Mo., and brought home a bronze medal.  

A Biomedical Service Technician: Clinical Engineering student, Hansen placed third in the Job Interview category, and Jones, a Mechanical Engineering student, placed fourth in the Customer Service category. Both students earned gold medals in regional SkillsUSA competitions, which allowed them to advance to the national competition. 

Hansen, a married father of two young children, will graduate with an associate of technology degree at the end of this month. He was the college's commencement student speaker, and served as president of the Associated Student Government during the 2012-2013 school year. Jones, a mother of three adult children, will also earn her associate of technology degree at the end of this month. She hopes to secure her dream job working at The Boeing Co.

"Many colleges that have competed in SkillsUSA for years would be thrilled to welcome home a medalist and a fourth place finish," said Ivan Gorne, vice president for Student Services. "For Chris to earn a bronze medal and for Izzy to place fourth, in the 91st percentile, in Bates' inaugural year of competition is phenomenal."

The skills conference hosts more than 5,600 career and technical education students-all state contest winners, who compete in hands-on trade, technical and leadership fields. The competition is a multi-million-dollar event that occupies space equivalent to more than 16 football fields. This is Bates' first time competing in the SkillsUSA competition.

About SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps all students excel in their training programs and future technical, skilled and service careers, including health occupations. Nationally, SkillsUSA serves more than 300,000 high school and college/postsecondary students and their chapter advisors who are professional members. Learn more: 

About Bates Technical College

Founded in 1940, Bates Technical College offers certificate and degree opportunities in 53 career education programs, and serves approximately 3,000 career training students and 10,000 more community members annually in extended learning, distance learning, high school, and other programs. For more information, go to, or call 253.680.7000. 

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