Kylie Peck won’t finish her education at NPC until next spring, but her name is already etched among the school’s most memorable career and technical education students. Last summer, she became only
the second student in NPC’s 44-year history to win a gold medal at Skills USA’s national competition! Competing against a field of state and U.S. territorial champions, Peck took first place in the category of Employment Application Process. She was one of 12 NPC students who won state championships in the spring and advanced to national competition.
Peck says her education at NPC and her experience in SkillsUSA competitions are preparing her for career success. “Faculty and staff have taught me responsibility, preparation and determination. I feel skilled and ready to enter the work force.” A job recruiter from Hawaii attending the nationals last June in Louisville,
Ky., agreed. She approached Peck about working as a welder at Pearl Harbor after she completes college!
Peck never envisioned earning a gold medal at the national competition. “I was just proud I made it to nationals,” she says. “The gold was just not something I even considered possible. It seems a little sur-
real, but it opened my eyes to the abilities I have and made me realize I should always aim high.”
Peck said her stunning achievement at nationals was four years in the making. During her last two years of high school, Peck was a NAVIT welding student and earned an associate degree in 2017. She is currently studying cosmetology and will complete that degree at NPC in spring 2019. In the beginning, she was
shy and had “a very hard time” expressing herself, but she was certainly enrolled in the right college to overcome those challenges. NPC prides itself on not only providing top-notch career training to students but also transforming them through the so-called “soft skills.”
What are “soft-skills”? NPC faculty not only teach students the classroom knowledge they need to be technically successful, but they also coach them in soft skills, which enable them to effectively search for employment, write résumés that attract interviews and conduct themselves professionally during interviews. By the time Peck reached the nationals, she was extremely well prepared to demonstrate those soft skills in the employment application process.
“My welding teacher, Randall Hoskins, helped me develop my public speaking and communication skills by making me do 60-second ‘elevator pitches’ in class,” Peck says. Students must stand in front of the class, introduce themselves and talk about what they are working on. Adjunct welding instructors “William Tompkins and Cyli Beisler also gave me plenty of assistance and encouragement.”
John Spadaccini, director of Career Services at NPC, “went out of his way to help me with my résumé and by coaching me through mock interviews. He spent so much time making me into the best competitor he possibly could. I couldn’t have done this without his help and knowledge.”
Cosmetology faculty Oona Hatch and Peck’s parents also helped her prepare for SkillsUSA competition. “Mrs. Hatch critiqued my portfolio and helped me grammatically. My mom and dad also helped me prepare for state and told me to ‘put it all out there on the floor during the competition and walk away proud of what I did.’ So I felt really comfortable and prepared going to nationals.”
Peck concluded that “Having all these NPC instructors and staff working with me transformed me into a better, more prepared job candidate. I know NPC and the skills I have learned have helped me develop into a person who will be well prepared to enter the job market.”
NPC can teach you the skills you need to succeed.