Hundreds of New Mexico students face off in SkillsUSA competition

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Hundreds of New Mexico high school and community college students are showing off their skills, competing in the state SkillsUSA event.

Students from over 50 schools statewide are going head to head in dozens of different competitions, including photography, robotics, welding and plumbing.

"This is our first time in three years that we’ve been able to offer this opportunity to our student members in person, so the hype is real," said Natalie Donnelly, the state director of SkillsUSA New Mexico. "Students have been practicing their skills for not just the past year, but the past three years."

There are nearly 40 different career and technical education fields for students to compete in. The winners of Thursday’s events will be announced Friday. They will be awarded gold medals among other prizes from local business partners.

From there, the students will move on to the national championship in Atlanta, Georgia in June. Officials said New Mexico has done well in the competition in the past.

"Last year, we actually brought home two gold medals in high school and college post-secondary welding," Donnelly said. "CNM brought both of those medals home to New Mexico for us."