Community Impact


Grant Unifies Team at Local School

“We were the only ones not in SkillsUSA uniform,” stated Joyce Mowrey, Principal at Bristol Technical Education Center (TEC).

Thanks to a $1,520 grant from the Technical Education Fund at Main Street Community Foundation, that is no longer the case. The Bristol TEC SkillsUSA Team will have official red SkillsUSA blazers and a SkillsUSA banner with the school’s logo, unifying the team and building the students’ confidence.

According to Mowrey, SkillsUSA is an organization dedicated to bringing teachers, students and industry together to ensure that America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA hosts regional, state and national competitions annually where students compete in their chosen trade, which can be culinary arts, automotive technology, welding or public speaking among others.

“This year we had 15 students qualify to compete in regionals in the Interview, Public Speaking and Individual Trade competitions,” said Mowrey. “The blazers give us a chance to look like a team, and in turn feel like one.”

Bristol TEC is the only school in its district that is not a high school. It has students in grades 11 and 12 as well as post-graduate students participating in intense one or two year programs, including welding and metal fabrication, culinary arts, electronics technology, manufacturing technology, automotive technology and HVAC/R. “It has been difficult at times for the students to find the time and energy to devote to the SkillsUSA competition and the team,” said Mowrey.

The blazers and the banner help unify the students on Bristol TEC’s team, no matter their chosen trade or year, while creating a sense of equality amongst the other teams competing.

One student, said Mowrey, enthusiastically voiced to her how excited she was that she was part of Bristol TEC’s team. “The blazers give the students a sense of community and solidarity when they are on the team,” Mowrey explained. “The students’ confidence is enhanced allowing them to compete at a higher level and learn about their trade.”

The Technical Education Fund is a Donor Advised fund that was established by Bristol residents Bill and Jean Johnson. Grants are made, with input from the Johnsons, to support projects which will enhance the quality and reputation of technical education in this area and support students who wish to pursue a career in the technical field.