The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

February 7, 2013

OCTEC Students show off skills

Medina Journal-Register — SHELBY — Students at the Orleans Career and Technical Educational Center are testing their skills against their classmates this week in SkillsUSA, a nationwide competition.

The SkillsUSA program gives more than 250 students at the Shelby campus an opportunity to show off what they’ve learned this year.

The hands-on activities that mirror classroom instruction and future careers, like security/law enforcement students performing mock traffic stops and run-throughs of DWI procedures.

Cosmetology students were able to show off their creative sides with a two-hour hairstyling competition that had no limits.

”There’s not a lot of rules,” Cosmetology Instructor Sue Lindke said as her juniors were putting their first touches together. “They create what they want ... it’s amazing how different they can make them look.”

The class has worked on braiding, styling and cutting basics this year; seniors completed more intricate designs in the morning session — running a hair/nail salon two days each week helps.

Lindke’s students are graded not just on their styling but also their professionalism. With some girls’ parents looking on, the class quietly and quickly got to work.

That’s an important thing. Although these students are just a few months into their instruction, it won’t be long before they can be professionals. The competition’s six judges, all from Medina and Lockport salons, may soon be their employers.

“It’s becoming a high-quality profession,” said Lindke, who herself graduated from the center’s cosmetology program. “People call us every year looking for new stylists. If (the students) take it seriously they can do well.”

That’s the same for the students in OCTEC’s welding program. They have a week to complete a written test and create a welded piece to specifically match a blueprint.

“The hardest challenge is quality, not quantity,” Welding Instructor Eric Farrell said. “The last thing I told them is to picture this as the one thing they’d an employer.”

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