Thousands of teens come to Louisville for skills competition - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Thousands of teens come to Louisville for skills competition

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Thousands of students from across the country are getting valuable lessons and job skills in Louisville this week.

They are here for a high stakes competition, part of the annual Skills USA Competition.

"We have people welding, we have people doing medal fabrication, we have people building things like carpentry," said John Darr, spokesperson for Skills USA.

Darr took WDRB on a tour of the competition.

"We have about 6,000 students from across the United States," he said. "Each one is the best in their state at what they do."

"I like doing most of my stuff by hand," said Allison Delaney, who is competing. "It is fun to compete with the best."

Delaney is in the design competition and created a pin. She beat hundreds of students from her home state and hopes to do the same this week.

"That would be a great goal, but if not, it's just a great experience to be here," Delaney said.

Meanwhile, Darr said the sky is the limit for the winners.

"If you are crowned the best in your state, and you come here and compete, and then you're the best in the nation at what you do, universities and jobs are throwing opportunities at you," Darr said.

"It is the most intimidating, exciting ... pushes you to be the best you can be," said Daria Ferdine, who is a volunteer and former Skills USA competitor.

Ferdine won the competition and a scholarship a few years ago. She is here this year as a volunteer, hoping to give back. And, because like most of us, she's still learning.

"I love being around what I call 'big fish in small ponds' ... because you know, it forces you to become a shark," she said.

And those who aren't eaten up by the competition will end the week volunteering.

"More than 600 Skills USA competitors will be engaging the Louisville community doing community service projects," Darr said.

The winners will be named Friday. The event is also free to the public.

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