NASHVILLE, GA – Clay Schools represented Wiregrass Georgia Technical College in the State SkillsUSA competition and brought back a gold medal to Berrien County in the Precision Machine Tool competition.
Clay is among 26 other gold medalists for the college that have advanced to the National SkillsUSA Competition and will represent the college and the state of Georgia in Kentucky this June. Wiregrass’ SKillsUSA Chapter was also recognized for the second year in a row as a National Model of Excellence Chapter and will be recognized at National SkillUSA competition.
Schools started his journey to gold while attending Berrien High and earning college credit through the Dual Enrollment program at Wiregrass.
“The Dual Enrollment classes helped me get a step ahead in my college credits while still in high school,” shared Schools.
After graduating from high school, Clay enrolled at Wiregrass in the Precision Machine Tool program and graduated in the summer of 2018.
“The main thing that brought me to the machine tool program was the desire to learn more about machining,” added Schools “I was also curious and fascinated with how machining and different processes worked within the field.” Since graduating last August, Clay has been working at Bradford Machine Shop in Nashville.
Clay’s schedule was busy with practicing for SkillsUSA competition along with working. His career goal right now is to just keep gaining knowledge in his current position.
“Machining is one of those things where you learn something new daily,” shared Clay. “To me, it’s not just a job. When a part leaves the shop, it has “my name” along with the shop’s name on it. The main thing I strive to do is make sure nothing comes back with my name on it.”
This strong work ethic and dedication to his skill, or some may even call it craft, is what helped him earn the title as the top Precision Machinist in the State SkillsUSA competition. When asked what kind of advice would he give someone going into this field, he offered not to over think the process, and not to think you have to know everything. He added, “Most of the time it’s a learning process for everyone as the different machining operation keep advancing.” When asked his response to representing Georgia and Wiregrass at the National SkillsUSA competitions in June he responded, “It’s a long road ahead, but God willing, I’ll come back to Nashville with a gold medal.”
Wiregrass is currently accepting new students into the Precision Machining Tool program for Summer Semester. Classes start May 15 for full term, or Summer Express which is eight weeks long and starts May 28. To learn more about Wiregrass programs like Precision Machine Tool, visit www.wiregrass.edu