Jose Ambrocio, a Drew Central High School senior, and Trey Busch, a Monticello High School senior, both won gold medals at the recent Arkansas SkillsUSA competition in Hot Springs. Amrocio placed first in the carpentry competition while Busch placed first in the precision machining competition. Ambrocio is eligible to attend the SkillsUSA National Competition and compete in the carpentry competition this summer in Louisville, Kentucky. There is no national precision machining competition.

Other medalists were Dodge Bennett, a Drew Central junior who placed second in precision machining; Corey Wright, a Monticello sophomore who won placed third place in precision machining; and Sam Pelkki, a Monticello senior who placed third in the related technical math competition.

Jose Ambrocio, Dodge Bennett, Corey Wright, Trey Busch and Sam Pelkki

Medalists: Jose Ambrocio, Dodge Bennett, Corey Wright, Trey Busch and Sam Pelkki

Students from Monticello competing included Ambrocio, Busch, Bennett, Pelki, Ethan Chisom, Charlee Courtney, Bo Evans, Courtney Frost, Noah Hearron, Max McKeown, Blake Pace, Dylan Smith and Corey Wright.

All of the students attend classes at the Monticello Occupational Education Center. They were chosen by their teacher as an outstanding student and competed in carpentry, architectural drafting, precision machining, nurse assisting, welding, CNC turning specialist, CNC milling specialist, and related technical math. Students from 91 schools from across Arkansas competed in 73 different categories.

Back row, from left: Ethan Chisom, Jose Ambrocio, Dodge Bennett, Sam Pelkki, Corey Wright, Trey Busch, Courtney Frost and Charlee Courtney. Front row, from left: Dylan Smith, Bo Evans, Blake Pace, Max McKeown and Noah Hearron.

Back row, from left: Ethan Chisom, Jose Ambrocio, Dodge Bennett, Sam Pelkki, Corey Wright, Trey Busch, Courtney Frost and Charlee Courtney. Front row: Dylan Smith, Bo Evans, Blake Pace, Max McKeown and Noah Hearron.

SkillsUSA is a national organization for students preparing for technical, skilled and service occupations in high schools and colleges/technical schools. The event is held annually and is hosted by Arkansas industries and the Arkansas SkillsUSA Organization.