Motlow State ranks #1 at SkillsUSA competition

In total, Motlow traditional and dual enrollment students took home 14 awards in various categories at the annual State Leadership and Skills Conference in Chattanooga held on April 10-13. (Photo Provided)

Motlow State swept the community college competition at the annual State Leadership and Skills Conference in Chattanooga April 10-13. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. The organization provides educational programs, events, and competitions that support career and technical education in classrooms across the country.

“SkillsUSA is an awesome organization that helps students develop workplace and leadership skills that they can use to succeed in their professional careers,” said Motlow competition winner Vanida Vongsamphanh.

“The organization creates unique opportunities for students and educators to connect with industry partners across the state through demonstrating their technical, workplace, and personal skills,” added Dr. Joy Rich, assistant vice president for Workforce Development at Motlow. In addition to learning opportunities, numerous college post-secondary scholarships are available to active members of SkillsUSA through SkillsUSA and its partners.

This year’s state SkillsUSA Championships were held in a hybrid format providing more students the opportunity to participate. Outstanding career and technical education students competed in a variety of trade, technical and leadership fields. Leadership contestants demonstrated skills including extemporaneous speaking and conducting meetings by parliamentary procedure.



  • Emergency Medical Technician (Demonstration Contest) – Estrella Galindo and Jeana Page of Motlow’s Smyrna campus
  • Internetworking – Anthony Lamantia, a Motlow dual enrollment student at Stewarts Creek High School
  • Telecommunications Cabling – Mariam Tanas, a Motlow dual enrollment student at Stewarts Creek High School
  • Customer Service – Vanida Vongsamphanh of Motlow’s Smyrna campus


  • Emergency Medical Technician (Demonstration Contest) – Mandy Byrd and Michelle Bowler of Motlow’s McMinnville campus
  • Customer Service – Grecia Ortiz of Motlow’s McMinnville campus
  • Prepared Speech – Hannah MacLeod of Motlow’s McMinnville campus


  • Emergency Medical Technician (Demonstration Contest) – Keely Ping and Raymond Roberts of Motlow’s McMinnville campus
  • Job Skill Demonstration A – Christian “Dane” Norman of Motlow’s Moore County campus
  • Job Skill Demonstration Open – Joshua Farless of Motlow’s McMinnville campus
  • Extemporaneous Speaking – Joshua Farless
  • Job Interview – Christian “Dane” Norman
  • Prepared Speech – Madelynne Carson of Motlow’s Moore County campus
  • Related Technical Math – Maribel Olea of Motlow’s Moore County campus

In total, Motlow traditional and dual enrollment students took home 14 awards in various categories, including Gold, Silver, and Bronze in the Emergency Medical Technician demonstration contest.

“Winning Gold validates all the experience and skills I have acquired working in customer service and hospitality. For me, the competition felt natural and went very quick. It was a lot of fun interacting with the judges,” said Vongsamphanh, who said she looks forward to the next level of competition. “It will be nerve-wracking competing against other people in the country, but I’m extremely proud to be able to represent Tennessee.”

Winners will advance to the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Atlanta, Ga. June 20-24. On Friday, June 24 at the National Leadership & Skills Conference, SkillsUSA students will apply their skills and provide service to the Atlanta community by participating in the SkillsUSA “Build Skills – Do Good – Complete the Cycle” community service project. The student participants will assemble bikes which will be presented to local children.

“There is no better opportunity for an employer to find high-quality employees than to participate in SkillsUSA as a sponsor, judge, or contest coordinator. Motlow is eager to connect our industry partners with our students as we prepare for the national competition,” said Rich. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only locally-owned newspaper in Lynchburg and also the only woman-owned newspaper in Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}