For the fourth year in a row, Edgecombe Community College students brought home gold from the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference held last week in Louisville, Kentucky.

The conference is the world’s largest showcase of skilled trades. The highlight of the conference was the SkillsUSA Championships on June 26-27, during which 6,500 student contestants participated in 103 hands-on skill and leadership competitions.

Garrett Parker was a national champion in the Principles of Engineering and Technology division. Now a two-time winner, Parker captured the same first place award at the 2018 national SkillsUSA competition.

Parker received an associate in science degree from ECC in May and also graduated from the Edgecombe Early College High School in May.

The team of Copeland Lachapelle, Emilee Moore and Harry Snell took first place in the nation in the Career Pathways Showcase – Industrial and Engineering Technology. Moore and Snell are ECC and Edgecombe Early College High School students. Lachapelle graduated from Hobgood Academy in May and took classes at ECC while he was in high school.

Moore also is now a two-time national champion. She was a member of last year’s winning team in Career Pathways Showcase – Industrial and Engineering Technology.

This marks the fourth consecutive national championship for the college’s Career Pathways Showcase – Industrial and Engineering Technology team.

Students were accompanied to Louisville by advisors Rebecca Stamilio Ehret and Trey Cherry, who are both ECC instructors.

In addition to competing, students attended a Louisville Bats minor league baseball game and explored Indiana Caverns, part of the longest cave system in Indiana. In the cavern, 110 feet underground, students observed ice age bones, took a boat ride on an underground river and learned about the cavern’s formation and the subterranean biodiversity within the cave system.

“We are so proud of our students and their outstanding achievements,” said ECC President Greg McLeod. “Their awards were greatly deserved, and the College is strengthened by their scholarship and skill.

“We also are indebted to advisors Rebecca Stamilio Ehret and Trey Cherry, who go to great lengths every year to make sure that ECC students are both ready to compete and have a fulfilling overall experience in Louisville.”

Students who finish first in select events at the SkillsUSA state competition are eligible to compete at the national level. Edgecombe Community College students won two first-place honors at the SkillsUSA North Carolina State Leadership and Skills Conference in April.