DCTC Students Strike Gold at SkillsUSA MN Competition

ASEP, Auto Body, Electrical Construction and Concrete make strong showing

Five DCTC students in Technical Careers programs raked in gold at the 43rd Annual Minnesota SkillsUSA Championships Conference held Friday, April 9, Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 11, 2010, at locations across the Twin Cities metro area.

GM ASEP Instructor Tim McCluskey was very proud of Andy Schmitt, 19, of Somerset, Wis., who took first place in the Automotive Service Technology category. Schmitt is set to graduate from the GM ASEP program at the top of his class spring 2010.

Andy Schmitt

“Andy is a rare individual in that he has it all,” McCluskey said. “He is smart, polite, helpful, hardworking, talented and just a truly good person. He has the longest commute of all of my students and is always at school early, gives 100 percent everyday and comes back the next day ready to learn even more. His fellow students respect his talents and value his friendship even though they would never admit it. His dealership sponsor, Stillwater Motors, is extremely proud to have Andy working for them, keeping their customers happy.

“Andy was recently awarded a scholarship by the Gopher State Chapter of the Buick Club of America based on his academic and technical skills. He is always amazed when he receives fame of any type because he doesn’t think he deserves it. Obviously, he underestimates his abilities, but others really do notice them.

McCluskey added, “The GM ASEP program helps a student like Andy enter the workforce with a skill set that is very advanced. Because of the structure of the ASEP program, student learn in class and then have that knowledge immediately reinforced at the dealership, working with a training technician on live customer vehicles. While the students are at the dealership, they are paid a wage so that most, if not all of their educational expenses are paid, so that they graduate without the need for students loans.”

Concrete and Masonry Instructor Paul Geisler was equally proud of Parker Johnson, 22, of Lakeville, Minn., who is set to graduate spring 2010. Johnson was the first student in the history of the Concrete and Masonry program to take first place in the SkillsUSA state competition.

Parker Johnson

“Ambitious, dependable, noble, hard-working, persistent and a team player with strong leadership qualities, Parker excels as one of our top students,” Geisler said. “Our Concrete and Masonry program competed with Alexandria Technical College—and Parker Johnson from DCTC took first place. He will be heading for the SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City, Mo., this June.”

Auto Body Collision Technology Instructor Scott Logan had three students shine during the competition, Bob Vovk, 25, of Cannon Falls, Minn., Mike Albers, 19, of Mazeppa, Minn., and Rob Clark, 24, of St. Paul, Minn. Logan noted that the students performed as a team, taking first place in the Chapter Display category.

Bob Vovk, Rob Clark, Mike Albers

A student in the Electrical Construction and Maintenance Technology program, Aaron Bradley, 33, of Minneapolis, Minn., earned Honorable Mention in the Industrial Motor Controls category. ECMT Instructor Mike Buck said that Bradley is a consistently strong student with a knack for his chosen profession.

Aaron Bradley

“Skills USA is an organization that recognizes the dignity of work and promotes that dignity through leadership conferences and skill contests across the U.S.,” said Tim McCluskey. “State skills contests are held across the country every spring and the first place winners in those contests earn the right to compete at the SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City, Mo. This year the contest is June 21–25.”

For the full list of winners, please check out 2010 Postsecondary SkillsUSA MN Winners.

Andy Schmitt (center)

Parker Johnson (center)

Rob Clark, Bob Vovk, Mike Albers (center)