SCRANTON, Pa. — It's not the hardwood, it's the woodshop, but these players from area high schools have plenty of skill.
"I want to show everyone how good I am, and I have a real talent in carpentry. I want to show everyone what I can do," said Samantha Namecko from Jim Thorpe Area High School. one of the competitors in carpentry.
This is the Skills USA competition at Johnson College. High schoolers studying all sorts of trades take part in a series of challenges.
"I'm interested because I love working with my hands. I started during quarantine, and ever since then, I've just been doing it for the last two years," Namecko said.
The students worked on cabinets and framing out a set of stairs. The winners move on to the state competition later in the school year.
These students say it's just as exciting as any sport.
"Your blood gets pumping. just wait to see what you can do," said Brian Petrucci from Lakeland High School. "It's nerve-wracking. You don't know what your competitors are like. You just have to try your best and not make any mistakes."
"Some of them take it extremely seriously. We kind of have to talk them down a little bit sometimes," said Johnson College professor Todd Campbell. "They always show up with a good attitude. We always stress, do quality work, keep learning, and keep putting good stuff out."
For Johnson College, the Skills USA competition can be a recruitment tool. That's also the point of the nationwide Skills USA organization—recruit young people into careers in the skilled trades.
"I'm planning on coming to college here, so meet some of the people who work here and get the name around," said Bradley Bennett, a Honesdale High School senior.
They're certainly making a name for themselves.
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