Dan River Region Students Place in National SkillsUSA Competition


Two precision machining students representing Danville and Pittsylvania County in the national SkillsUSA competition last week scored in the top 10 in the country. The remaining four students all placed in the top 16.

Participating in the college level SkillsUSA competition in Louisville, Kentucky, were the following recent Danville Community College graduates:

  • Brionna Ashworth, CNC turning, firth place
  • David Wells, CNC technician, eight place
  • Quin Motley, CNC milling, eleventh place

Competing at the secondary level were three recent Pittsylvania County high school graduates:

  • Cayla Keen, CNC technician, 13th place
  • Jacob Moss, CNC turning, 13th place
  • Phillip East, CNC milling, 16th place
  • Funding for the trip was provided by the DCC Educational Foundation.

East, Keen and Moss all participated in DCC’s dual enrollment precision machining program at the Pittsylvania Career & Technical Center and will be continuing their studies at DCC in August. Dual enrollment allows high school students to earn the first year of a precision machining diploma from DCC, then finish the degree with just one more year at the main campus.

Ashworth and Motley also got their start in the field as students at the center and followed a similar educational path. Ashworth said she was the first female student in instructor Justin Owen’s program. Both students completed a precision machining technology diploma from DCC in 2017, then continued their studies in the capstone program at the Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining. There, they each earned an associate degree in the spring.

Ashworth currently works part-time at Brown Machine Works and plans to continue her education this fall in DCC’s engineering program. Eventually, she said, she hopes to transfer to Virginia Tech to continue studying mechanical or electrical engineering.

Motley received five job offers in the precision machining field upon graduating this spring. He works for Phillips Corp-Haas Factory Outlet.

Wells, who earned a two-year diploma in precision machining technology in May, will begin work at Rolls-Royce after the SkillsUSA competition. He also received five job offers upon graduation.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to enhance workforce training. The six local competitors joined an estimated 6,000 students from across the country competing in various vocational disciplines..

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