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WSC students place at Skills USA competition

Friday, April 30th, 2010
Posted by Roxane Molinari

Williston State College is pleased to announce that six WSC students placed at the 37th annual Skills USA competition held April 18-20 on the campus of North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton.

Taking first place honors at the competition were: Jon Juve, Diesel Equipment Technology division, a diesel technology student at WSC; Jared Lund in the Job Skill Demonstration division, a diesel tech student at WSC; and Eric Helberg in the computer maintenance technology division.

Nabbing third place honors were Matt Stark in the Diesel Equipment Technology division, Chris Bauer in the Job Skill Demonstration division; and Ryan Thoreson in the Job Interview competition; all are diesel tech students at WSC.

Skills USA is a national student organization that involves all trade industry and health career related programs, both at the high school and the collegiate or secondary level, according to Chris Egge, WSC's lead campus advisor for Skills USA and the diesel equipment technology advisor for the local organization.

Formerly known as VICA, or Vocational Industry Clubs of America, he said that "it's the same organization, it just changed names." Other Skills USA advisors at WSC are Arne Lunzman, automotive technology advisor, and Ken Quamme, computer technology advisor.

"The competition is a combination of not just the skill areas like computer maintenance and diesel technology, but also leadership areas like job interview and job skill demonstrations," Egge said. "It's a mix of both the skills together."

"As an instructor, going down to the Skills USA competition, it reinforces to me the job I'm doing in the classroom," Quamme said. "And for the students, it reinforces the education they're receiving in that particular field or topic."

Egge stated that WSC has a good record of students placing at the state level and advancing to national competition. "This is my fourth time in six years to be sending students on to nationals, and there were many many more before that," he said. "We've not only sent competitors, but many state officers as well. Unfortunately, we don't have any state officers this year."

"We want to say good luck to the students when they go on to the national competition June 20-26 in Kansas City, Mo.," Egge said. "They will be going up against the best of the best of all 50 states and three territories."

Quamme also stated that participation in the competition may be helpful in their future when job hunting. "Skills USA is not just recognized in the state of North Dakota, nor just in the United States," he said. "Once they compete at the national level, they could possibly go on to world competition, which last year was held in Canada. But none the less, participating is an excellent opportunity for the students."