Skills USA State Competition returns to Bangor

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 6:18 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The annual Skills USA Competition returned to Bangor on Friday, with more than a thousand students from around the state competing in dozens of fields of study.

Students that won gold Friday are headed to the national competition in Atlanta in June.

With much of the focus across the country on getting students job training and closing the skills gap, the Skills USA state competition is as good a way as any to both celebrate student success, while also seeing who’s best in their respective field.

“It really gives the students the opportunity to show off their skills that they’ve been practicing for and training for, some of them their whole lives,” said Raquel Shaw, Post-Secondary V.P. for the Skills USA Maine State Officer Team. “It’s their, kind of final show to show off what they’ve learned.”

Trade competitions ranged from nursing, to game design, to carpentry and plenty more, offering students both a chance to compete, and check out the work their peers are doing in other trades.

“It’s pretty fun getting to see what all the other classes do,” said Bangor High School senior Harrison Tappley. “When you’re in your own class at UTC, you don’t really see what others are up to. So it’s nice just to look around and see what other people are learning here.”

While the state competition is just one day in March, Skills USA says these competitions in Maine and around the country are really about the bigger picture.

“Skills USA is kind of the bridge between students and their schools, and industry,” Shaw said. “So it connects what they’re learning in their trades to industry partners.”

“I see future leaders, our skilled workers, and our community members that are really raising our nation up and making sure that we remain competitive,” said Skills USA National Executive Director Chelle Travis. “I see the future of our nation, and I’m very excited about that future.”

For more information on Friday’s winners and the upcoming national competition in Atlanta , visit their website at