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Lakers win Gold & Bronze at SkillsUSA Nationals!
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Team Lanier Tech wins big at SkillsUSA National competition!
Lakers bring home GOLD and BRONZE!


Luis Melendez-Novas (l) and Jesse Connell (r)


Lanier Tech's team of Luis Melendez-Novas and Jesse Connell won Gold, first place in the Robotics and Automation Technology competition.


Ric English (c), Karen Ballew (cr), and Jennifer Remillard (crr)

Ric English,
Karen Ballew, and Jennifer Remillard won Bronze in the American Spirit competition.

Hosted in Louisville, KY, the SkillsUSA Championships is a multi-million-dollar event that occupies a space equivalent to 16 football fields. In 2015, there were more than 6,000 contestants in 100 separate events. Nearly 1,500 judges and contest organizers from labor and management make the national event possible.

Eight students from Lanier Technical College, who were accompanied by five Lanier Tech advisors, competed in four categories: American Spirit, Robotics and Automation Technology, Industrial Motor Controls, and Additive Manufacturing. Although the Lanier Tech Lakers didn't medal in every competition, making it to the national competitions, given the grueling and intense state competitions, is a major accomplishment for the students.

Team Lanier Tech was comprised of Jennifer Remillard, Karen Ballew, Ric English, Luis Melendez-Novas, Fausto Ayala, Ioan (John) Sirbu, Jesse Connell, and Connor Jordan.  Lanier Tech's advisors included Pennie Eddy, Kari Register, Ron McGary, Tommy Morris, and Craig Taylor.

Novas and Connell competed in the Robotics and Automation Technology (AM) category which challenged two-person teams to demonstrate the operation of a five-axis servo-robot along with a set of sensors and motorized devices to resolve a simulated production process problem. Teams set up and demonstrate operation of a robotic work cell from a word problem. Contestants were required to create a flow chart and sequence of operation. Teams were also judged on efficiency, speed and teamwork; all critical skills needed in business and industry.

Novas and Connell won only the second SkillsUSA National Championships GOLD medal in Lanier Technical College's 51-year history!

The team of Ioan C. Sirbu (John) and Connor Jordan competed in Additive Manufacturing which embraces a wide range of materials and derivative processes building parts suitable for end-use service. The virtually unlimited design freedom enabled by additive manufacturing allows the creation of shapes and the integration of feature and function that previously required sub-assemblies. Employment opportunities for creative individuals are growing while industry adopts AM methods. Ready access to workstations and service providers makes the Internet a growing marketplace for public AM gadgets.


Fausto D. Ayala competed in Industrial Motor Control and had to demonstrate his knowledge of electrical principles, equipment and industry codes and standards as it relates to the design and installation of motor control systems. Ayala also demonstrated his skills and abilities in applying that knowledge by properly installing motor control equipment and associated enclosures, raceways, pilot devices and circuitry in accordance with accepted industry practice and National Electric Code requirements.

The team of Jennifer Remillar, Karen Ballew, and Ric English competed in American Spirit, a new category introduced this year. In the American Spirit category, the competitors documented their SkillsUSA chapters’ community service, patriotism and citizenship, and promotion of career and technical education projects that demonstrate a belief in the American way of life and the purposes of SkillsUSA.



The philosophy of the Championships is to reward students for excellence, to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance and to keep training relevant to employers’ needs.

 SkillsUSA improves the quality of America’s skilled workforce through a structured program of citizenship, leadership, employability, technical and professional skills training. SkillsUSA enhances the lives and careers of students, instructors and industry representatives as they strive to be champions at work.

SkillsUSA serves more than 335,000 students and instructors annually. This includes 19,500 instructors who join as professional members. Including alumni, SkillsUSA membership totals over 395,000. SkillsUSA has served more than 12.5 million annual members cumulatively since 1965.

Congratulations, Lakers!!


Lanier Technical College
offers over 45 programs of study in some of the nation's fastest-growing career fields including healthcare, energy, business and industry, and public or private service. More information about Lanier Technical College may be obtained by calling 770.533.7000 or by visiting www.laniertech.edu. Lanier Technical College is a Unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.


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