Sarah Maginnis | Lehi Free Press
Lehi’s Amanda Rose won first place at this year’s National Skills USA competition, held in late June in Atlanta, Georgia. Rose was entered in the Cosmetology Post-secondary categoryand represented Mountainland Technical College.
Skills USA is a nonprofit education association dedicated to preparing students for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. Serving more than 330,000 students and instructors annually, Skills USA is committed to ensuring thatAmerica has a talented and proficient workforce.
During the competition, Rose was required to demonstrate her skills in various categories related to cosmetology. Skills included a perfect haircut, a written test in cosmetology, an interview, hair coloring on a long-haired mannequin, creating a long up-do style and cutting a men’s haircut to match a photo.
To qualify for nationals, a contender must win first place at the state competition. Over 180 focus areas are represented in the national competition, such as computer specialists, car repair, truck driving, welding, etc.
Darlene Durrant, the Cosmetology Program Director and Instructor at Mountainland Technical College, gave insight intowhy the Skills USA competition is necessary for upcoming generations. “This event is significant because it helps connect talented and skilled students to potential employers,” said Durrant. “Often, these employers judge the competition, so the contestants get a lot of attention and recognition.”
Durrant teaches Rose at Mountainland Technical College withinthe Cosmetology department. “The blessing of my job is that I can see our students learn and improve their skills,” said Durrant. “Amanda is such a hard worker and understands the principles of Cosmetology well.”
Skills USA says, “Regardless of whether students are headed for college or the workforce, this type of education will help prepare them for the future. College-bound students can even get job experiences to help define their career plans, identify an appropriate course of study and help pay for tuition. The highest priority is to produce the most highly skilled workforce in the world, providing every member the opportunity for career success.”