Two Davis Technical College Students Awarded Gold Medals at National SkillsUSA Competition

Two Davis Technical College (Davis Tech) students, Keith Ashby and Jayd Jacobson, recently returned from the national SkillsUSA competition held June 25-29 in Louisville, Kentucky, with gold medals. Keith, a third-year Plumbing Apprentice student, took home the gold medal for his top finish in the postsecondary Plumbing category, while Jayd, a student in Davis Tech’s Cosmetology program, won first place in the postsecondary Barbering category. In addition to their medals, both Keith and Jayd received thousands of dollars’ worth of tools and supplies from industry employers.

In order to be eligible to compete at the national level, Keith and Jayd won first place in their categories at the state level of the SkillsUSA competition at Salt Lake Community College in April. At the national level, they tested their skills against top-level students from all over the country.  

Knowing the high level of competition, neither Keith nor Jayd expected to win the top spot, and both were surprised when their names were announced as gold medal winners. 

“These [competitors] are people that have already done well in their states,” Keith says, “so it’s really exciting to have the opportunity to show that your skills can match up with those of people around the country.”

Jayd agrees. For her, winning the gold medal validates her plans for future success. “When you’re at school, you want to make a difference and make a name for yourself,” Jayd says, “but it’s hard to imagine, going from school to becoming a big player in the industry. Going to this competition made me think, ‘Wow! I can do this.’”

Keith and Jayd aren’t the only Davis Tech students to do well at the national SkillsUSA competition. Each of the following students, who also won gold at the state level, earned his or her place against dozens of other competitors:

•Ben Godwin: 4th, Welding Sculpture (Postsecondary)

•Austin Bloomer: 7th, CNC Turning Specialist (Postsecondary

•Liz Otero: 8th, Esthetician (Postsecondary)

•Spencer McBride: 15th, CNC Milling Specialist (Postsecondary)

•Andrew Hill: 17th, Welding Sculpture (High school)

•Isabella Holm: 9th, Culinary Arts (High school)

•Harmony Haner: 23rd, Commercial Baking (High school)

Viviana Johnson, another Davis Tech student, was the runner-up at the world level of the competition, which was also held in Louisville.

Taking top spot in a national competition is a big honor, but for Jayd, it’s only the beginning.

“I still have so much to learn,” Jayd said. “The rest of my life is going to be a competition, so here we go.”