ECMT Student Takes Gold at SkillsUSA Championships

Two more students place in top 10 nationally

(Left to right) Reid Wandra, Mike Wasylishin, Andrew Hanson

Andrew Hanson, a student in the Electrical Construction and Maintenance program at Dakota County Technical College, received a gold medal at the National SkillsUSA Championships during the SkillsUSA National Leadership Skills Conference, June 21–26, in Kansas City, Mo. Hanson, who will return to DCTC to complete his degree in fall 2009, won first place in the Related Technical Math event at the college/postsecondary level.

Mike Wasylishin, an ECMT student, took bronze in the Industrial Motor Controls event. Reid Wandra, a student in the Heavy Construction Equipment Technologyprogram, took fourth place in Diesel Equipment Technology. Both events were at the college/postsecondary level. Wandra is a DCTC graduate while Wasylishin will return this fall to complete his degree.

Mike Opp, the DCTC dean of transportation and technical careers, noted that breaking the top 10 at a national event of this caliber is a huge accomplishment. “Andrew and Mike were both recognized on stage for winning gold and bronze medals,” Opp said. “Minnesota did well this year, taking home 34 medals.”

The SkillsUSA Championships showcase the top career and technical students in the United States. Starting at the local level, the contests proceed through state competitions to culminate at the multi-million dollar national championships, which fill a venue as large as 16 football fields with typically 5,200 contestants in more than 90 separate events supported by some 1,500 judges and organizers.

Following a philosophy of rewarding students for superior performance, the contests directly involve industry in the evaluation process while gearing training to employer needs. The theme for this year’s contests was Champions at Work, Leadership in Transition.

DCTC instructors Mike Buck, Electrical Construction and Maintenance Technology, and Roger Gartner, Heavy Construction Equipment Technology, attended the event, which also included 2009 TECHSPO, a world-class technical education trade show that reaches 16,000 college and high school students, faculty and administrators.

Visit Ustream to watch the SkillsUSA 2009 Awards Ceremony.

Electrical Construction and Maintenance Technology

This program is designed to give students hands-on-experience for entrance into numerous electrical construction, installation, operation and maintenance occupations. The program consists of technical courses in electrical/electronics theory, installation, maintenance and testing of electrical apparatus and wiring. Additional courses cover installation and testing of electrical/electronic control devices and the application of the National Electric Code.

According to Iseek, the go-to source online for education and employment information in Minnesota, electricians in the seven-county metro area make:

  • Average Wage: $30.06
  • Top Earners: $40.48

Heavy Construction Equipment Technology

The construction industry needs well-trained, mechanically minded, hard-working mechanics. All coursework is designed to prepare students to work with heavy equipment dealers and contractors. Instruction involves classroom theory, mock-up demonstrations and repair of customer heavy equipment. Making repairs on equipment plays a vital role in skill development. Mechanics already in the field can update their knowledge by registering for specific major courses.

According to Iseek, the go-to source online for education and employment information in Minnesota, heavy equipment mechanics in the seven-county metro area make:

  • Average Wage: $25.14
  • Top Earners: $31.56