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SCC Construction Student places first in State Skills Competition

John Noe, Jr. standing in front of his build from the state skillsusa ky competitionJohn Noe, Jr., a Somerset Community College (SCC) Construction Technology student from London, placed first in the state SkillsUSA Kentucky carpentry competition. He will go on to compete at the national level in June.

Noe, Jr. competed in the carpentry division where he had to work alone to read blueprints and execute a build that included metal, wood, stairs, railing, a raised platform and more. He had only six hours to complete the job, he said.

The SkillsUSA Kentucky competition was a first for Noe, Jr.

“We all (the competitors) made some mistakes,” said Noe, Jr. “I definitely learned that it’s better to slow down and think about what you’re doing before jumping in. I caught a few things I did wrong pretty quickly and had to go back and fix them.”

Noe, Jr., now 26, is a graduate of South Laurel High School. He is a U.S. Army veteran, having served in Hawaii and Iraq. Noe, Jr. returned to school as part of the GI Bill and plans to complete his associate degree at SCC. Later, he hopes to earn his bachelor’s in construction management.

“When I first enrolled in the program I could barely read a tape measure,” said Noe, Jr. “I had no skills in carpentry, but I liked it and was curious about it. Now, I always try to remember that everything revolves around two key concepts: plumb and level. The rest is just putting all the pieces together.”

According to the Kentucky Department of Education, “SkillsUSA Kentucky is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry representatives working together to ensure Kentucky has a skilled workforce.  The organization helps each student excel.  SkillsUSA Kentucky is a member of the SkillsUSA national organization serving teachers, and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations.​”

Each year, approximately 1,000 students compete in SkillsUSA Kentucky in nearly 100 various areas.

To find out more about the Construction Technology program at SCC, contact Travis McQueen, program coordinator, at