DCTC Excels at SkillsUSA MN Championship Conference

Students win three gold awards, three silver and one bronze

Six students from Dakota County Technical College showed that they are “Champions at Work” by winning seven awards at the 42nd Annual SkillsUSA Minnesota Championship Conference

March 27, 28 and 29, 2009. Housed at the Sheraton Hotel South in Bloomington, Minn., the conference featured numerous Skills Contests throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area—including several at DCTC.

Focusing on technical skill demonstrations in 70 competitive events, the conference at the postsecondary level attracted more than 600 college students from 24 campuses from the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system.

DCTC SkillsUSA Minnesota Championship Winners

  • Andrew Hanson, a student in the Electrical Construction and Maintenance Technology program, brought home one gold and one silver medallion, taking first place in Related Technical Math and second place in Residential Wiring.
  • Mike Wasylishin, also in Electrical Construction, took first in Industrial Motor Control.
  • Reid Wondra, a student in Heavy Construction Equipment Technology, took first in Diesel Equipment Technology.
  • Ben Burshem, a student in Heavy Duty Truck Technology, took third in the same contest.
  • Jon Streed, a student in Auto Body Collision Technology, took second in Collision Repair Technology.
  • Nick Kolhoff, a student in the Automotive Technician program, took second in Automotive Service Technology.

Dr. Mike Opp, DCTC dean of transportation and industry, reported that the three first place students, Hanson, Wasylishin and Wondra, earned the opportunity to compete at the SkillsUSA 45th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Mo., June 21–June 26, 2009.

“The national conference is a huge event,” Opp said. “Last year’s conference had 5,200 contestants with 1,500 judges and organizers involved in 91 separate contests covering an area equal to 16 football fields.”

JoAnn Simser, state director for career and technical education at Minnesota State Colleges & Universities, congratulated the winners, praising each as an “innovator, visionary, and role model for new generations.”

A top-tier organization for high school and college students in career and technical programs, SkillsUSA Minnesota encourages students to participate in leadership and skills competitions at local, state and national levels, allowing them to build and enhance technical skills, self-confidence, work attitudes and communications skills.

SkillsUSA Minnesota Contact Information