Pickens County once again has bragging rights to a State Championship in Mechatronics.
Mechatronics is a blend of mechanical and electrical fields required to keep modern manufacturing in motion.
Brandon Hall and Johnny Hayes brought home the 6th consecutive championship. Chance Hall and Ian Bayne took 4th. 3 years ago there was a 1-2-3 sweep. This year we took 1st and 4th with 3 teams competing. Pickens County had, not only the most teams representing a County, but also the only county to have juniors competing. Brandon and Johnny will be traveling to the National Competition in Kansas City June 24-28, 2013 for the 48th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC), a showcase of career and technical education students.
My observation of these young men goes beyond that of their success in competition. I have had the privilege of working with these young men on a real world application of their training. Working on a new product at Cornell Dubilier, we found ourselves in need of a TIG welder to weld Stainless Steel on our new parts. We took an articulating robot arm; presented it to these guys and they ran with it. From design, to implementation they made it happen. Building the tables, fixtures, wiring the system, and programming the motion, these High School students gave us a working robotic TIG welder that met our needs. As if this weren’t impressive enough, their work ethic and the professionalism with which they conducted themselves was astonishing. Don’t let anyone say that young people today don’t have work ethic or manners. Mr. Hank Hutto, their instructor is doing an amazing job of grooming these young men to be responsible, polite, performers for industry. When it comes to economic development, talent recruitment is a top obstacle to companies all over the world. We have an abundance of talent and integrity to offer right here in Pickens County. Having hired two of the students to apprentice here at Cornell, I know how glad I am we could snatch up these young men before they drifted out of the county. It is time we start tooting our horn and pushing for continued advancement in our education of our children for real world success. Companies in Pickens County should use this success as encouragement to keep cultivating more collaboration with our educators. Our collaboration has paid dividends, not only in the services these students rendered, but also in how they have inspired us and renewed our faith in young people for their outstanding drive, zeal, and the awesome positive attitude they brought to our project. Congratulations to Mr. Hutto and his outstanding team of Mechatronics students, may your winning streak endure!