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Changes in store for JVS event

BLOOMINGDALE — Students at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School will compete later this month in a variety of skillsets, but this year’s contest will have some changes due to COVID-19.

The annual Spotlight on Skills competition is set for Jan. 27-28 and students in academic and lab programs will participate in a series of events throughout the day. Each school program has a student organization and pupils will compete to earn spots in regional competitions.

SkillsUSA includes about 80 percent of the students while other groups include the Health Occupations Students of America, Future Career and Community Leaders of America, Business Professionals of America and the Future Farmers of America. The technical trade skills portion centers on more hands-on knowledge while the leadership segment views softer skills from CPR/first aid to job interviews.

Principal Dan Hartman said judging will be conducted differently in order to follow safety protocols amid the pandemic. In the past, community members and business representatives have been invited to participate during the competition, but that has been changed to limit the mumber of people inside the school building.

“We will offer virtual judging or we will put (contests) on YouTube so the judges can watch them,” Hartman said. “They can also come after school to judge entries.”

He added that the usual awards ceremony will be altered and winners will be recognized through public announcements that Friday. Gold, silver and bronze awards will be distributed and top placers advance to regional competitions around February and March. Those who excel at the regionals have a chance to compete at the state events and potentially advance to the national level.

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