NMCC Brings Home Gold from SkillsUSA Maine, Earns Spot at Nationals in June

March 24, 2023

From left: Jake Chouinard (electrical faculty), Rylan Masse, Jesse Taggett, Jack Doody, Justin Maynard, Kyle Thurston, and Joshua Morneault.


Presque Isle – On Friday, March 17th six students from Northern Maine Community College competed at the SkillsUSA competition in Bangor against students throughout the state. NMCC’s team earned three gold medals and two silver, winning top honors in both welding and electrical. In addition to leading in the trade competitions, NMCC Welding Faculty Rick Taggett received the College Advisor of the Year award, recognizing his service in both advising students and supporting the non-profit organization as a volunteer.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. Each spring they host a Maine state competition – which took place across several host sites in Bangor this year – and each year individuals who place highly in state competitions are invited to compete at nationals, which will be held in Atlanta from June 19th through 23rd.

NMCC senior Joshua Morneault earned gold in the Electrical Construction Wiring competition. Morneault attended under the supervision of NMCC Faculty Jake Chouinard and Todd Maynard. Fellow NM classmate Jack Doody earned silver in the contest. Joshua Morneault earned an invitation to nationals in Atlanta. NMCC building construction freshman Kyle Thurston competed in Cabinet Making against students from EMCC’s two-year Cabinet Making program.

Rylan Masse earned gold in the college-level welding competition, with classmate Justin Maynard earning silver. Jesse Taggett earned gold at the high school level, while representing NMCC through the On Course for College program, which allows him to take college welding courses while completing his diploma. In the 2022 national competition, Jesse placed 3rd representing Caribou Tech. Passing the national certification exam at the age of 12, Jesse has been recognized as one of the nation’s youngest professional welders. Jesse has been accepted into NMCC’s diesel program to begin in fall 2023.

Masse and Taggett both received invitations to the national competition in Atlanta and plan to attend, representing NMCC’s welding program.

“I’ve served as a SkillsUSA advisor for 13 years, and it’s always exciting to see these students demonstrate their hard work and talent,” said NMCC Welding Faculty Rick Taggett, recipient of the 2023 College Instructor of the Year award. “It’s one thing to learn a skill, but pursuing excellence is what gives work meaning. It’s been an honor to be involved with Skills, and I’m hoping to bring home some national titles to NMCC this summer. To all of our competitors: We’ll see you in Atlanta!”

To learn more about NMCC’s 30+ programs, including the College’s nationally-recognized programs in welding, plumbing & heating, or electrical construction, contact admissions at 207-768-2785 or visit nmcc.edu.



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On March 17th, NMCC Faculty Rick Taggett received the 2023 Instructor of the Year Award, representing Northern Maine Community College.