At the SkillsUSA Nebraska state competition you'll hear everything from the hum of robotics to the boom of construction.
Around 1,000 high school and post-secondary students are in Hastings this weekend for the Nebraska SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference.
State winners can go on to compete at nationals, but the state director says SkillsUSA is more than just an extra-curricular activity.
"We want them to become leaders in the school and in the workplace," says Greg Stahr, SkillsUSA Nebraska State Director. "We've got a lot of business and industry folk that are concerned about the youth today."
Stahr says giving students a chance to try construction, culinary arts, cosmetology, and many other professions now can put them on the right path toward making that a career.
Nine students were competing in an electrical wiring contest on Friday.
"Anything that they're going to find in a residential electrical application they're going to do," explains Contest Coordinator Roy Lamb,
Lamb is also the training director for the Electrical Apprenticeship Office in Lincoln. He says the judges at SkillsUSA are local industry veterans, and the SkillsUSA contests are a great way for students to see if they enjoy the work.
"Our goal really is to get these kids interested in the electrical industry and the trades to make sure that is in fact what they want to do," says Lamb.
Officials say competing against other schools also inspires SkillsUSA students to work harder, and they say that's a valuable trait in any career.