DCTC Students Win Bronze at SkillsUSA Championships

ABCT students Bob Vovk, Rob Clark & Mike Albers medal in Chapter Display at national competition; Concrete & Masonry student Parker Johnson places sixth in Masonry; GM ASEP student Andy Schmitt places 19th in Automotive Service Technology

Mike Albers, Rob Clark, Bob Vovk

Three Auto Body Collision Technology students, Bob Vovk, Rob Clark and Mike Albers, from Dakota County Technical College were bronze medalists at the SkillsUSA Championships, which were held in Kansas City, Mo., June 20–June 25, 2010, during the 46th Annual National Leadership and Skills Conference. The SkillsUSA Championships spotlighted the brainpower and expertise wielded by the top technical and career students in the U.S.

Occupying an area comparable to 16 football fields, the multimillion dollar national competition features 5,400 contestants in 91 contests supported by roughly 1,500 judges and contest organizers. DCTC sent five competitors to the championships, all having won gold medals at the 43rd Annual Minnesota SkillsUSA Championships Conference in April of this year.

According to SkillsUSA, “the philosophy of the Championships is to reward students for excellence, to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance and to keep training relevant to employers’ needs.”

Trina Walter, a Graphic Communications instructor at the Dakota County Secondary Technical Center who serves as a SkillsUSA advisor, noted that Vovk, Clark and Albers are first-year ABCT Students taught by Instructor Scott Logan. “They are looking forward to next year and have set several goals,” said Walter. “These guys are motivated!”

Goals Set by ABCT Students/SkillsUSA Championships Bronze Medal Winners

  • Promote SkillsUSA with prize-winning Chapter Display and lead SkillsUSA rally on campus in September
  • Attend SkillsUSA Leadership in the fall
  • Run for state office
  • Compete in Collision Repair and Chapter Display at the SkillsUSA State Championship in 2011
  • Attend 2011 SkillsUSA Championships as officers or voting delegates or competitors in Chapter Display, Collision Repair or Refinishing

Parker Johnson

Parker Johnson, a student in the Concrete and Masonry program, took sixth place in the Masonry contest. Paul Geisler, the program’s instructor, was bowled over by Johnson’s exceptional performance, pointing out that breaking the top 10 at the national level is very difficult due to the incredible levels of experience and talent presented by the competition.

“We are very proud of Parker,” Geisler said. “His dedication to his education and chosen field are a great credit to our program.”

Andy Schmitt

Andy Schmitt, a student in GM ASEP placed 19th in the Automotive Service Technology contest. Tim McCluskey, an instructor in the program, was also impressed by the high-caliber competitors. “The winner of the competition scored 909 points out of 1,000—absolutely amazing! There were over 100 points between third and first place,” he said. “I think for Andy the highlight of the week was the Automotive Banquet sponsored by GM. We heard rumors all week that a very famous NASCAR driver was going to speak at the banquet. As it turned out, Rusty Wallace flew in on his own plane on Thursday. He was scheduled to do a broadcast for ESPN in Bristol, Tenn., on Friday so he had to fly out later that evening. He told the group of automotive students and faculty advisors that he was so impressed with SkillsUSA and what it stood for that he was coming back next year for the entire week.”

SkillsUSA Championships | DCTC Student Competitors

(Contest descriptions courtesy of SkillsUSA)

Bob Vovk, Rob Clark & Mike Albers | ABCT | Bronze Medal | Chapter Display

Contest Description

“Selects the outstanding promotional exhibit designed and constructed by SkillsUSA student members. The display is built around and articulates a common theme established annually by SkillsUSA. The contest involves a team of no more than three students setting up the display and one student presenting information about the display in a presentation/interview with judges.”

Parker Johnson | Concrete and Masonry | Sixth Place | Masonry

Contest Description

“While production is very important, quality workmanship is vital. The students will be expected to construct a composite brick & block project in a six-hour period that will test their ability to meet industry standards in quality. In addition to a written exam, the critical eye of journeyman judges will be the deciding factor in determining the winners. The contest project will include components of the most frequently used details in residential construction.”

Andy Schmitt | GM ASEP | 19th Place | Automotive Service Technology

Contest Description

“Contestants will demonstrate their ability to perform jobs and skills based on the task list outlined by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Workstations consist of on-vehicle, simulations, bench and component testing and a written test. Contestants will be judged on technical competency, accuracy, quality, safety and ability to follow directions. There are thirteen skill stations including the written test.”