Turning skills into a competition at Fresno City College

FRESNO, Calif.

They may be high school students, but these teenagers are ready to cook and chop their way to the top at the annual career skills challenge at Fresno City College.

"It's very cool to see, you're going to be able to see so many different talents come out," said Clovis North student Carley Lindlahr. "You're going to see everyone's creative side."

Carley was one of the dozens that put their skills to the test with a mystery box of salad ingredients. She's been studying the culinary arts and says it's turned into a lifelong skill.

"I mean going to college so many people just live off ramen noodles and that wouldn't work for me," said Carley. "I have something more substantial than that and being able to have the knowledge to go home and cook a meal for someone is just great."

The skills challenge featured more than 35 different fields of career tech, where students could show off what they've learned.

Valerie Vuicich with the Fresno County Office of Education said, "Students need an opportunity to show people their talents and their skills and get a chance to have some validation. And it's a little bit of a competitive spirit to give them a chance to see how they match up with kids from other schools."

More than 1,200 students from Coalinga to Mariposa were at the event.

Over on the construction side, one group of women stood out among the hard hats and hammering.

Clovis High Instructor Jay Eichmann said, "For the first time ever, we have fairly robust women in construction club at Clovis High."

The all-female team was busy at work laying out their plans. Instructor Jay Eichmann says the young ladies are bringing another perspective to construction.

"You know competition steps up our game," said Jay. "So win, lose, draw, these students are getting a lot out of competing today."

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