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Photo of North America apprentices

Two JCB apprentices were crowned state champions at the recent SkillsUSA Georgia championships. Anthony Smith and Victor De La Cruz took first place in the Mechatronics competition, which tests practical skills in pneumatic technology, electrical and electronics systems, mechanical systems and general automation techniques. Smith and De La Cruz will now compete in the SkillsUSA national championships in Louisville, Kentucky from June 24-29.

“Everyone at JCB is very proud of Anthony and Victor. They are enormously talented apprentices and worked incredibly hard to prepare for the championships,” said Tonya Poole, vice president of Human Resources at JCB North America. “The win not only highlights their knowledge and skills, but it reflects the quality of learning and technical training our apprentices experience within the JCB Manufacturing Skills Apprenticeship Program.”

JCB North America offers the only manufacturing apprenticeship program of its kind in coastal Georgia. The program recruits high school and college graduates for a paid, three-year curriculum that spans all areas of construction equipment manufacturing operations and includes on-the-job training at JCB and classroom learning at Savannah Tech.

“The knowledge we’ve gained as JCB apprentices and in our courses at Savannah Tech gave us the confidence to put our skills to the test,” said Victor De La Cruz. “It’s the second time in three years that JCB apprentices have won at the state level, so Anthony and I are training hard to continue the success at the national championships this summer.”

SkillsUSA is a national membership association serving high school, college and middle school students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. More than 340,000 students and advisors join SkillsUSA each year, organized into more than 19,000 local chapters and 52 state and territorial associations. More than 600 business, industry and labor organizations actively support SkillsUSA at the national level; many more work directly with state associations and local chapters.