Four DCTC Students Place at SkillsUSA State Leadership Conference

(left to right) Ron Gruenes, Eric Petschl, Trevor Vik, Jackson Marquardt

Trevor Vik takes 1st place in Industrial Motor Control and advances to SkillsUSA Nationals in Atlanta

Nearly 20 students from Dakota County Technical College competed at the 2023 SkillsUSA Minnesota State Leadership and Skills Conference. DCTC was the host campus for the Diesel Equipment Technology and Collision Repair Technology competitions on Saturday, April 1.

“Thanks to Ken Klassen, Ed White, Joel Pearson, Kevin Miller, Cody Skluzacek, Gerry Rainford, and Jessica Mosbeck for all their work getting the shops ready to host the competitions,” said Anna Voight, associate director of Student Life at the college, “as well as the Operations and Academic Affairs staff for their support with event logistics.”

Trevor Vik, an Electrical Construction & Maintenance Technology (ECMT) major, took first place in the Industrial Motor Control competition and advanced to SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference (NLSC) June 19–23, 2023, in Atlanta, Georgia. Trevor will compete against the top students in the nation.

“I’m glad I got the chance to represent my program and the college,” he said. “I’m looking forward to competing at the SkillsUSA Nationals in Atlanta.”

Jackson Marquardt, also an ECMT major, took second place in Industrial Motor Control. “It was a blast to put our skills to the test,” Jackson said. “The best award was making our instructors proud and putting DCTC on top of the podium.”

ECMT Instructor Ron Gruenes is a SkillsUSA faculty advisor. “I am very proud of my Skills USA competitors,” Ron said. “They have proven to their instructors they have the skills to be the future leaders in this industry. It is really cool to see them take time out of their busy schedule and compete with heir peers from other schools. These guys have a very bright future ahead of them—now we will compete at nationals in June.”

Pedro Leana (left)

Pedro Leana, an Auto Body Collision Technology (ABCT) major, took second place in the Automotive Refinishing competition. “It was a fun experience and I enjoyed competing against the other students,” Pedro said. “I used what I learned from school and applied it to the competition.”

Pedro’s instructor and SkillsUSA faculty advisor, Gerry Rainford, appreciated his student’s strong performance. “Pedro is a very hard worker, never complains, and always an optimist,” Gerry said. “He missed first place by one point—he is still a winner!”

Nicholas Inda Horack took third place in Diesel Equipment Technology, High School division.

More about SkillsUSA…

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization for students in trade, industrial, technical, and health occupation programs in community and technical colleges. The SkillsUSA mission is to empower its members to become world-class workers, leaders, and responsible American citizens.

More than 50 competitions through SkillsUSA relate to programs of study at DCTC or leadership development. DCTC students compete against other colleges in Minnesota, and those who place first in the state advance to the SkillsUSA Nationals and compete against the best students in the nation in their chosen field.

Participation in SkillsUSA is an excellent addition to your resume!

Visit SkillsUSA Minnesota to learn more about the organization at the state level.

Visit SkillsUSA to learn more about the organization at the national level.

Learn more about SkillsUSA at DCTC by contacting:

Anna Voight
Associate Director of Student Life
Dakota County Technical College

Pedro Leana (fourth from right) with ABCT instructors, Jessica Mosbeck and Gerry Rainford, along with ABCT students and friends