July 10, 2019


CONTACT: Donna Oracion, 575-624-7403




At just 19 years of age, ENMU-Roswell Automotive Technology student, Humberto Rodriguez, is a National SkillsUSA champion. Last month, Rodriguez competed in the 55th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, the world’s largest showcase of skilled trades. Rodriguez won first place in the Action Skills Leadership Contest.  More than 19,000 students, teachers, education leaders, and representatives from 600 national corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions participated. The highlight was the annual SkillsUSA Championships held June 26 and 27 with 103 hands-on skill and leadership competitions.

With a five to seven minute time limit, Rodriguez utilized a demonstration board he built to explain how to perform an oil change. Automotive Technology instructor, Eric Gomez, said Rodriguez impressed the judges with his oral, technical, and leadership skills. Rodriguez earned the opportunity to participate in the national competition after winning first place in the category at the state competition in Albuquerque. Rodriguez was the only student from New Mexico who competed in the Action Skills contest. Gomez has led students to national competitions for 14 years as a high school and college instructor.

“I was kind of surprised,” Rodriguez said about his victory. “I thought I would get second or third place. I was prepared but I was nervous.” He said he would like to compete again. “It will be easier next year now that I know what to expect.”

Rodriguez, who lives in Artesia, enrolled in Auto

motive Technology classes a year ago following in his brother’s footsteps who also completed the program. He said he enjoys working on cars with Gomez and his fellow students and learning new skills. He will graduate with his Associate of Applied Science degree in May of next year.