Students showcase hands-on work during trade skills competition at Holmen High School

HOLMEN, Wis. (WKBT) – Students throughout the La Crosse area are putting their hands-on skills to the test.

Holmen High School academic & career planning coordinator Lindsey Seipp says kids from as far as Rice Lake competed in a trade skills competition at the school.

One Holmen high schooler says he is taking part in his first competition at school for his own future ambitions.

Competition isn’t just about taking home the gold.

For Elijah Daffinson, competition means putting in his best work.

“I don’t really think about competition,” Daffinson said. “I just kind of think about my own personal gains.”

The Holmen High School senior settled on woodworking as one of his favorite hobbies, and possibly his next career path.

“This is basically the perfect opportunity for me to really see how I work with this, with woodworking,” Daffinson said.

Daffinson and about 100 other students from the Coulee Region and beyond are using their hands-on experience for a trades competition.

“It’s another avenue that there is something for every student in high school,” Seipp said.

Middle and high schoolers are participating in contests for auto repair, photography, and even welding.

Each competition has a first, second and third place prize.

“This allows students who are interested within the trades to showcase those pathways, those careers, and those skills most importantly,” Seipp said.

Is Daffinson hoping he wins his competition?

“First (place) would be pretty cool, I guess,” he said.

But what really matters is making a quality project.

“It’s something that I could probably take home, and just show to my family, say I finally competed in something in school, and this is the result of it,” Daffinson said.

Daffinson ended up doing well in his first-ever competition.

Seipp says Daffinson took third place in the woodworking contest.

The competition also included a trade show that featured local businesses and colleges.