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SkillsUSA Leadership Conference & Skills Competition Showcases the Nation’s Top Career and Technical Education Students

Festo has provided state-of-the-art learning systems for SkillsUSA and WorldSkills mechatronics competitions around the world since 1991.

Festo Didactic is gearing up again for the annual SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference (NLSC) in Atlanta, Georgia from June 24 - 28. In addition to sponsoring the mechatronics competition, Festo is joining forces with certification entity NC3 and its industry partners for the second year in a row in the exhibit hall. Booth #821 will become an innovative and immersive learning space that provides an in-depth look at factory automation, education and training.  

Mechatronics Competition

More than 50 high school and college students compete in the mechatronics category each year. Contenders are tasked with building a mechatronics system using Festo’s factory simulated training equipment (the MecLab, MPS, Fluid Power, Industrial Controls, Mechanical and AC/DC systems). The MecLab challenges students to assemble, integrate and program components to create an automated system that’s capable of completing a specific task. Programming is done via FluidSIM software which assists students in the software integration of PLC coding via the Siemens TIA portal.


Exhibit Booth Features

Hall C, Booth #821


Visit our exhibit booth to explore innovative learning systems that provide industry-approved education and training for advanced manufacturing and Industry 4.0 careers.


  • MecLabs Cobot Station in partnership with Dobot Robotics
  • New edition of The SkillsConveyor (curriculum available with Festo LX)
  • CIROS Virtual Learning Environment with Simulations and FluidSIM Software
  • Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) IEC61131 and OPC-UA Enabled (Siemens)
  • TP 1011 Fundamentals of Electrical/Electronics Engineering (featured at SkillsUSA University on June 26 at 2:00 PM in Room: A313)
  • Robot puzzle
  • Robot collectors pin


“SkillsUSA provides a unique opportunity for students, teachers, parents, and industry to come together under the same roof and observe the most highly skilled career and technical education students in the nation,” said Alyssa Russo, Festo Technical Support Engineer and SkillsUSA Mechatronics Technical Chair. “It’s a place to learn, share and inspire and we look forward to being part of it every year.”


SkillsUSA Judges

The competitions of the SkillsUSA Championships are created and judged by industry to ensure that students are learning the real-world skills employers demand from entry-level professionals. This year’s judging panel includes:


  • Josh Whittington, WorldSkills Mechatronics Expert
  • Chandler Duggan, Lead Trainer - Manufacturing, RIVIAN
  • Brandon Bailey, Nissan
  • Kenneth Bibb, Festo
  • Brian Burgess, Carolina Training Associates
  • Kye Hamm, Industrial Training Solutions
  • Bob Kelly, Advanced Technology Consultants
  • James Peterson, Advanced Technology Consultants
  • Shane Nelan, Tech-Ed Systems
  • Nathan Walls, Reletech
  • Steve Walls, Reletech
  • Dave Heilessen, Southern Educational Consulting and Training
  • Mason Frady, Souther Educational Consulting and Training
  • Nathan Thiesfeld, H2I Group


SkillsUSA University

SkillsUSA University is a series of technical workshops led by industry experts to help teachers and students develop specific technical skills and knowledge relevant in their career field of expertise. On Wednesday, June 26, Steve Lehr, Director of Business Development for Festo Didactic North America, will lead a session on core competencies for technical careers paths, highlighting safe hands-on applications and the principles of Ohms and Kirchhoff's laws. We will discuss the various aspects of core skills - electrical, mechanical, fluid power, sensors and logic controls - with demonstrations of practical hands-on activities including circuit creation and validation through measurement.


Participants will have the opportunity to work on foundational electrical skills by creating several simple circuits just as they would in the workplace. Simple connections of series and parallel circuits connecting switches, lights, relays, horns and motors.


Session Title: Core Competencies: The Building Blocks of Technical Career Paths

Wednesday, June 26

2:00-3:30 PM

Room: A313

For questions or more information, contact Karolina Belen at kbelen@skillsusa.org.



Inaugural Train-the-Trainer event at SkillsUSA

For the first time ever, there will be an NC3 Professional Development Train-the-Trainer event at this year’s conference featuring Data Analytics, Multimeter, and Fundamentals of Industry 4.0 Certification Training. Featuring Snap-on, Trane, and Festo certification training, the event will provide the knowledge, skills, and professional development needed to bring these programs back to students. *Individuals interested in attending Train-the-Trainer must be registered for the SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference.

NC3 - National Coalition of Certification Centers

NC3 implements and sustains in-demand, portable, industry-recognized certifications built on national skill standards. Their Train-the-Trainer program is an important step toward enabling instructors from partner schools to implement and teach courses at their local school and certifies all instructors are delivering same level of qualification. The Festo Industry 4.0 Certification Program (FICP) is a comprehensive certification that ensures students have the qualifying skills upon completion.


Learn more at NC3.net

Festo is a leading manufacturer of pneumatic and electromechanical systems, components, and controls for process and industrial automation. Festo Didactic leverages its automation expertise to provide comprehensive industrial and technical education solutions. Festo is committed to providing educators and employers with the hands-on training, digital coursework and blended learning solutions needed to close the STEM skills gap. Our lab equipment, curriculum and certification programs are thoughtfully designed to support various learning pathways and on-the-job training. With 4,000+ FICP certifications and 36,000 Festo-equipped educational institutions, Festo Didactic and its partners are preparing students and employees for the future of work. https://www.festo-didactic.com/us-en/ and www.festo.com

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