A pair of Palmerton Area High School students recently turned in a rather impressive achievement at the SkillsUSA competition.

The Carbon Career & Technical Institute took 33 students to Hazleton for the District 1 Skills Competition recently. Of those, 23 came home with medals.

All the first place winners, along with those competitors with BYEs to states, will participate in the State Competition April 18-20 in Hershey, said Jane Farkas, CCTI SkillsUSA advisor.

From Palmerton Area High School, Aleksander Everett took first place in Job Skill Demonstration, while Laurel Seemiller finished second in Job Interview.

Both students participated in CCTI's on the road program offered to the county school districts, and were taught by Joseph Farkas, a CCTI instructor who teaches a semester-long course in Intro to Electronics and Intro to Information Technology.

The students completed both courses, as any student or school can participate in Skills USA, Farkas said. Since they took CCTI Classes, they were offered an opportunity to be SkillsUSA members and compete, he said.

A senior, Everett said he was extremely happy with his finish.

"The concept was easy, but the presentation was the difficult aspect," Everett said. "I was very surprised that I had attained first place; I was pleased, because it was a great sense of accomplishment."

Everett credited the class he took under Farkas, which he said gave him the confidence to do well.

"I learned a lot through Mr. Farkas' class," he said. "If it wouldn't have been for his class, I wouldn't have gotten first place."

A junior, Seemiller said she was satisfied with her performance.

"I was all-right with that," Seemiller said. "I'm really happy I got second.'

Seemiller also credited Farkas, whom she said helped prepare her.

"I don't have a job as of now, so it helped me grow a lot," she said. "Mr. Farkas helped me get my resumes together."

Through the program, Everett earned a Computer Service Technician (CST) and a Student Electronic Technician (SET) Certification from the Electronics Technician Association (ETA), while Seemiller earned a CST and a Customer Service Specialist (CSS) Certification.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps each student excel.

A national nonprofit organization, SkillsUSA serves teachers, as well as high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including health occupations.

The mission of SkillsUSA is to help its members become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.