ACC Student Excels at SkillsUSA Nationals, Invited to World Competition

ACC student Hunter Thompson poses with the cabinet he made during the national SkillsUSA competition in Louisville.

 Hunter Thompson, a 19-year-old university transfer student at Alamance Community College, finished in 5th place in Cabinetmaking at the SkillsUSA National Competition in Louisville, Kentucky last month where he represented all of North Carolina in his category.

Thompson’s result qualified him to compete in the World Competition to be held in Russia in 2019.

Thompson, a Chapel Hill resident, who took first place at the state competition in Greensboro this spring, scored 94.05 percent at the national event. A total of 20 students participated in cabinetmaking and only 10 competitors completed the assigned cabinet project.

Each student in the competition had one hour to put together a “cut sheet” and eight hours to build the cabinet. Judges assigned points based, in part, on precision and an oral interview.

At the international SkillsUSA competition in Russia, Thompson will compete against the U.S. national winner, as well as those from other nations. Not bad for a 19-year-old who only began working in carpentry less than four years ago.

“I took a shop class in high school as a sophomore and just got more interested as I developed my skills,” says Thompson, who last year won at the national level in cabinetmaking as an Alamance County high school student. “My goal is to finish at ACC, then transfer to NC State in January 2018 to earn degrees in wood product and business management.”

SkillsUSA is a national and statewide organization that provides educational programs, events and competitions that support career and technical education (CTE) in the nation’s classrooms. The organization’s website emphasizes its partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.

Michelle Williamson, Cosmetology Department Head at ACC, worked with Thompson to prepare him for competition following his high school-level achievement a year ago.