Students win top medals at national 2019 SkillsUSA competition

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Savannah Technical College students won four national medals with SkillsUSA in 2019. Students won gold medals in two competitions: mobile electronics installation and mechatronics. Jonathan Nary, an Automotive Technology student, won gold for mobile electronics installation. STC’s mechatronics team with Industrial Maintenance Systems students Victor De La Cruz and Anthony Smith won gold, as well. Mechanical Drafting graduate Xuan Huynh won silver in the technical drafting competition. The national competition was held during the 55th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Ky.

Mobile Electronics Installation – Jonathan Nary (Gold)

The SkillsUSA mobile electronics installation competition evaluates each contestant’s preparation for employment and recognizes outstanding students for excellence and professionalism in the field of mobile electronics installation. It includes a written test based on the Mobile Electronics Certified Professional Basic Installation Technician exam produced by the Consumer Electronics Association. There is also a professional interview and five hands-on applications that include taking electrical measurements, installing consumer electronic equipment in a mobile environment, soldering, working with relay circuits and troubleshooting electronic circuitry.

Nary also won silver in the national mobile electronics competition last year and completed an associate degree in Automotive Technology at Savannah Tech this summer. He is a member of South Effingham High School’s first graduating class in 1997, where he took automotive classes and earned a technical seal on his high school diploma. He has worked at Extreme Audio as a mobile installer since 2000. He is known as the “alarm guy,” who also installs radios, subs, speakers, heated seats, cruise controls, wheels and tires.

Mechatronics Team (Victor De La Cruz and Anthony Smith – Gold)

The SkillsUSA mechatronics contest requires contestants to understand complex systems that integrate various elements in the mechanical, fluid power, and controls domain, combined with the ability to work in a team environment with people of different areas of expertise. Mechatronic specialists must have well-developed skills in pneumatic technology, electrical and electronics systems, mechanical systems and general automation techniques and practices, including systematic troubleshooting methods. The national competition consists of three events designed to measure the skills required in the modern automated manufacturing environment. Contestants assemble, adjust and test an automated machine system, troubleshoot and repair a faulty machine system and take a comprehensive written test.

Both mechatronics team members, De La Cruz and Anthony Smith, are working as apprentices at JCB. De La Cruz works in design and engineering and is a Woodville Tompkins Technical and Career High School graduate. Smith works in the planning department and is a New Hampstead High School graduate.

By winning gold in the national competition, the STC Mechatronics team has been invited to compete in the World competition in Shanghai 2021. Students are already making plans to prepare for the world competition, which will include 30 tasks on eight to ten trainers during several days.

Technical Drafting (Xuan Huynh – Silver)

The SkillsUSA technical drafting contest evaluates contestant’s preparation for employment and recognizes outstanding students for excellence and professionalism in the field of technical drafting. The contest focuses on the solution of industry-developed problems by applying appropriate technical drafting skills and tools including computer-aided drafting (CAD). The contestants are required to create part and assembly drawings of a mechanical product. The number of drawings (5-10) varies depending on the product. Contestants’ drawings are judged relative to pre-established criteria for each drawing in the drawing portfolio. The total contest points include points from the written exam and drawings.

For the national technical drafting competition, Huynh created an assembly and detail drawings that included interior and exterior views of a hot glue gun. Students were given eight hours to complete the tasks, which he completed in seven.

Huynh earned an associate degree in Mechanical Drafting in Spring 2019. He moved from Vietnam to the U.S. in 2016, and took ESL and GED classes at Savannah Tech. After earning his GED, he began the Mechanical Drafting program. He enjoys drawing on a computer and excels in mechanical drafting software including, AutoCAD, Inventor, Solidworks, and CATIA.

To qualify for the national team, STC competitors won gold in six categories on the state level earlier this year:

  • Mechatronics: Victor De La Cruz and Anthony Smith (Industrial Maintenance Systems);
  • Carpentry: Taylor McMasters (Construction Management);
  • Cosmetology: Dalel Gonzalez (Cosmetology);
  • Nail Care: Whitney Turnquest (Cosmetology);
  • Mobile Electronics Installation: Jonathan Nary (Automotive Technology);
  • Technical Drafting: Xuan Huynh (Mechanical Drafting)

About SkillsUSA SkillsUSA is a career and technical student organization that annually serves more than 320,000 high school, college and postsecondary students–and their instructors–in technical, skilled and service-occupation instructional programs. SkillsUSA is a national, nonprofit student organization that has developed more than 10 million workers through active partnerships between employers and educators. Hundreds of American industries have turned to SkillsUSA as the source for employees who exemplify “Champions at Work” in both skills and attitudes. SkillsUSA’s mission is to empower its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. At the heart of this mission are SkillsUSA’s core values: integrity, responsibility, citizenship, service and respect.


#2005 | August 15, 2019
Media Contact: Amy Shaffer, APR
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Savannah Technical College serves Coastal Georgia with quality, market-driven technical education with campus locations in Chatham, Effingham and Liberty Counties. Serving more than 10,000 credit and non-credit students annually, Savannah Tech offers nearly 150 different instructional programs in Aviation Technology, Business and Professional Services, Industrial Technology, and Health Sciences in addition to Adult Education classes, industry-specific training and continuing education. The College serves as an economic and community development partner for the region, offering corporate and customized training and assessment programs for business and industry.

Savannah Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, diplomas and technical certificates of credit. Questions about the accreditation of Savannah Technical College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (