Northampton Press

Sunday, March 29, 2020
Contributed photoChristian Stezelberger Contributed photoChristian Stezelberger

College Corner

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 by The Press in

Stezelberger wins gold at SkillsUSA


Christian Stezelberger, of Slatington, recently participated in the SkillsUSA Championships. This event, by invitation only, was for first-place state medalists in 102 competition areas for career and technical students. It is the largest skill competition in the world. Stezelberger was a competitor in the Industrial Motor Control competition and won the gold first-place medal.

The SkillsUSA Championships, held in Louisville, Ky., took place June 26‑27 as part of the SkillsUSA 55th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference, a showcase of career and technical education students. During the week, more than 6,400 outstanding career and technical education students, all state contest winners, competed hands on in 103 different trade, technical and leadership fields.

Stezelberger just completed his freshman year at Northampton Community College. He was the only competitor from NCC but hopes his win will inspire more students to compete next year.

During the national competition, Stezelberger and other students worked against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations like electronics, computer‑aided drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts.

All contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations, and test competencies are set by industry. In addition, leadership contestants demonstrated their skills, which included extemporaneous speaking and conducting meetings by parliamentary procedure.

Top student winners received gold, silver and bronze medallions. Many also received prizes such as tools of their trade and/or scholarships to further their careers and education. The SkillsUSA Championships is for high school and college‑level students who are members of SkillsUSA.

The SkillsUSA Championships have been a premier event since 1967. The contests are planned by technical committees made up of representatives of labor and management and are designed to test the skills needed for a successful entry-level performance in given occupational fields.

Safety practices and procedures — an area of great concern to labor and management alike — are judged and graded and constitute a portion of a contestant’s score. A video about the SkillsUSA Championships is available at

In the industrial motor control contest, Stezelberger and the other students demonstrate their knowledge of electrical principles, equipment and industry codes and standards as it relates to the design and installation of motor control systems. Students demonstrated their skills and abilities in applying that knowledge by properly installing motor control equipment and associated enclosures, raceways, pilot devices and circuitry in accordance with accepted industry practice and National Electric Code requirements.

The competition included a test, trouble shooting, conduit pipe bending, a job interview, drawing a logic diagram from information provided, as well as the main project competition, which had a six-hour time limit. The testing was done over a two-day period with winners announced at a closing ceremony the following evening.