Photo Gallery | SkillsUSA Massachusetts press conference at McCann Tech

NORTH ADAMS — It's shaping up to be a banner year of travel and competition for members of the SkillsUSA chapter of C.H. McCann Technical School.

Later this month, from April 28-30, students and advisers will head to Marlborough to participate in the annual SkillsUSA State Leadership & Skills Conference.

Last week, SkillsUSA Massachusetts delegates visited the school to announce that McCann seniors Samantha Dorwin and Spenser Tanner will be representing the school, the commonwealth and the nation when they travel to Quebec City in Canada, May 3-7, to participate in an invitational Olympic-style competition and leadership program called, Compétences Québec/Skills Canada.


"This is an exciting opportunity for our students," said McCann Principal Justin Kratz.

SkillsUSA Massachusetts Executive Director Karen Ward said the invitation to select delegates from Massachusetts and each of the other New England states came from the organization's affiliation with the national SkillsUSA and the global WorldSkills agency. Also speaking at the press conference were Cory Teves, a senior at the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School and president of the state SkillsUSA branch; and Stacey Muanya, a junior in the health services program at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School in Upton.

While at Skills Canada, both Dorwin and Tanner will each have distinctive roles.

Dorwin, a senior in McCann's machine tech shop, has been selected to travel because she was elected by her peers as the SkillsUSA Region 1 National Vice President. She will serve as the official spokesperson for the national SkillsUSA organization, and is scheduled to speak during a reception at the U.S. Consulate General Quebec City, during tours as well as the opening ceremony for the Skills Canada event, which is expected to host some 300 competitors.

"I am extremely grateful for such a wonderful opportunity, as I will be able to travel as an advocate for an organization that has given me so much," Dorwin said.

McCann Technical High School metal fabrication shop senior, Spenser Tanner, right, stands with mentor Scott Houle of Steel-Fab Inc. of Fitchburg, during a
McCann Technical High School metal fabrication shop senior, Spenser Tanner, right, stands with mentor Scott Houle of Steel-Fab Inc. of Fitchburg, during a press conference. They will join other SkillsUSA members in May to compete in an invitational Skills Canada event. (Photo by Jenn Smith — The Berkshire Eagle)

She said she hopes that by sharing her story and anecdotes from the state and national SkillsUSA programs, that she'll inspire her international peers to get the most out of their programs.

Tanner is a senior from the metal fabrication shop, who said he aims to be a vehicle welder for life. In 2015, he took home a district silver medal and state bronze, as well as a silver medal in the Notch Welding competition. This year, he earned a district gold medal for welding, earning him the chance to compete at the state level this month.

"Spenser was selected to participate in the Quebec competition because of his technical ability and welding proficiency," said Muanya.

Tanner will be accompanied by official SkillsUSA technical expert, Scott Houle, a welding engineer and plant manager at Steel-Fab Inc. in Fitchburg. The student said he has also been mentored greatly by his shop teacher, John Kline, and his supervisors at Lenco Industries Inc., in Pittsfield.