BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ)– Students from across the region faced off in a district skills competition Wednesday that took place throughout Blair County.

An automotive part of the skills competition was held in Duncansville at Professionals Auto Body and is sponsored by the Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center.

About 12 students took place in the collision repair field contest and had to do activities such as collision repair estimating, automotive refinishing and even collision damage repair itself.

The winner gets the chance to then participate in a regional competition and if they manage to win that, then it’s onto nationals.

“Out of those three competitions, one kid will be chosen to be the winner and that kid will advance into states,” Collision repair instructor for Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center Brandon Hoover said. “Once they get to states, if they win from there they can advance to nationals which is in Lousiville, Kentucky.”

Owner of Professionals Auto Body Ron Peretta stated that he believes that this competition is important for kids because this helps them gain valuable experience.

“What’s nice about this is that it’s real time experience for these kids that don’t get into a shop, a real shop like this and be able to experience it before they actually go out into the community and work for a living.”

Hoover also mentioned what he enjoys seeing the kids take away from the skills competition.

“Just seeing all the kids from all the different schools. In my program, I have 45 students I believe, and I see them every day. It’s cool to see them in a place like this and see kids from all over the place in the district and see how they compete, how they match up.”

A total of 14 schools participated in the competition with the Blair County Convention Center hosting contests that took place in other fields.

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