RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- More than 200 Washoe County high school students participated in the 2014 Skills USA Nevada last week. It's a competition for students preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations.
Some special Washoe County students are preparing for a high-tech future. Five students took home gold medals in Nevada's Skills USA competition. One of those students is Senior Travis Windle, who won gold in technical drafting.
"You look at something and you draw it in the computer," explained Windle. "So say you see a nut, or a bolt, or a screw. Then, we take the computer program to draw it, so we can use it to print 3D."
Other categories Washoe County students won in include welding and sheet metal. High school students are able to enter in these competitions, because they are part of Signature Academies.
"All of those opportunities are associated with a co-curricular competition opportunity where they can go and they can compete in leadership or in technical skills events," said Dr. Dana Ryan.
Ryan is the Director of Signature Academies, and she said there are several career and technical education programs available for students. "They really get to take the skills that they have academically, the skills that they learn technically and apply them to real life problems. They do a lot of service work."
Dr. Ryan also says the five categories students won gold in during Skills USA Nevada are the most closely-related manufacturing jobs needed in northern Nevada. "So whether they leave high school and go to college or they leave high school and go right into a job, these are kids who are highly skilled, not only academically, but they also have 21st century soft skills and also have technical skills."
A district-wide Signature Academies Showcase is being held May 1 at the Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology. It is a chance for anyone to learn about why these programs make a difference.
About 23 Washoe County students will be competing in the National Skills USA Conference in late June.