Real World: 2008 Skills USA Contest -

Real World: 2008 Skills USA Contest

Event Showcases Top Automotive Repair and Service Students From Across the Country

More than 5,000 outstanding career and technical education students joined in the excitement of hands-on competition in 91 different trade, technical and leadership fields during the SkillsUSA Championships held during the organization’s National Leadership and Skills Conference June 23 – 27 in Kansas City, MO.

Competitions and events were held in various locations, including the Municipal Auditorium, the Kemper Arena, H. Roe Bartle Hall, the downtown Marriott and the downtown Radisson.

Working against the clock and each other, the participants proved their expertise in job skills for occupations in the automotive service industry, as well as electronics, technical drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts industry. There were also competitions in leadership skills, such as extemporaneous speaking and conducting meetings by parliamentary procedures.

automotive refinishing technology competitionSkillsUSA is the national organization for students in trade, industrial, technical and health occupations education. It sponsors the SkillsUSA Championships annually to recognize the achievements of career and technical education students and to encourage them to strive for excellence and pride in their chosen occupations.

The contests are planned by technical committees made up of representatives of labor and management and are designed to test the skills needed for a successful entry level performance in given occupational fields. Safety practices and procedures – an area of great concern to labor and management alike – are judged and graded and constitute a portion of a contestant’s score.

The SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference opened July 24 with a keynote speech by James Press, vice chairman and president of Chrysler and a motivational speech by pilot Barrington Irving. Press serves on the board of directors for the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers and the Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES).

In 2007, at age 23, Irving secured his place in history as the first black pilot and youngest person ever to fly solo around the globe.

The conference ended June 27 with a closing address by Joseph Galli, Jr., chief executive officer of TTi. automotive service technology competitionPreviously Galli worked for Black & Decker for 19 years, rising to the position of president of it’s worldwide power tools and accessory division; as president and chief operating officer; and, director and chief executive officer of Newell Rubbermaid, Inc.

Automotive Competitor Highlights
The staff at Tomorrow’s Technician congratulates all of the contestants who participated in this year’s three automotive service and repair events – Automotive Refinish, with 34 high school and 22 college/post-secondary participants, Automotive Service Technology, with 51 high school and 42 college/post-secondary students, and Collision Repair, which had 44 high school and 33 college/post-secondary competitors.

The contestants were the gold medalists from the state level competitions held earlier in the year.

Automotive Refinishing Technology:
The competition included a series of workstations and an interview process designed to assess skills in surface preparation, spray gun operation and related equipment, paint mixing, matching and applying, solving paint application problems, finish defects, causes and cures and safety precautions and an ASE written exam.

Medal high school winners in the Automotive Refinishing Technology competition were:
• Gold —  Derek Schatz,  Bismarck Technical Center,  Bismarck, ND
• Silver — Ryan D. Chesler,  Dehryl A. Dennis PTEC,  Boise, ID
• Bronze — Jonathon D. Harris, Newberry County Career Center, Newberry, SC

Medal college/post secondary winners in the Automotive Refinishing Technology competition were:
• Gold — Gregeory N. Anderson, Idaho State University, College of Technology, Pocatello, ID
• Silver — Ben Janke, Madison Area Tech College, Madison, WI
• Bronze — Matt Schwaiger, Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Automotive Service Technology: Contestants demonstrated 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 were judged on technical competency, accuracy, quality, safety and ability to follow directions.
There were thirteen skill stations plus the written test.

Medal high school winners in the Automotive Service Technology competition were:
• Gold — Matt Albanese, Beaufort-Jasper ACE, Ridgeland, SC
• Silver — Zach Hopf, South Ridge High School, Huntingburg, IN
• Bronze — Christopher D. Cheek, Grafton High School, Grafton, WI

Medal college/post secondary winners in the Automotive Service Technology competition were:
• Gold — Eric Leach, Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA
• Silver — Wade J. Hatle, Lake Area Tech Institute, Watertown, SD
• Bronze — Brian J. Bass, Arkansas Tech University, Ozark Campus, Ozark, AR

collision repair technology competitionCollision Repair Technology: The competition included a series of workstations, a manually written estimate and an interview process designed to assess skills in metalwork, welding, plastic repair, structural analysis and estimating and an ASE written exam.  The overall appearance of the finished product, speed and proper safety practices were judged.

Medal high school winners in the Collision Repair Technology competition were:
• Gold — Timothy Bouillon, Sentinel Career Center, Tiffin, OH
• Silver — Rachel Fonseca, Greater New Bedford RVTHS, New Bedford, MA
• Bronze — Javier Sorto, Center of Applied Tech North, Severn, MD

Medal college/post secondary winners in the Collision Repair Technology competition were:
• Gold — Phil Davie, Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor, MI
• Silver — Daniel H. Astill, Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City, UT
• Bronze — Furman H. Schultz, Greenville Technical College, Greenville, SC

Skill Points
This year, as part of the Work Force Ready System, SkillsUSA will award Skill Point Certificates in 60 contest areas to recognize outstanding talent of contestants in addition to those who earn gold, silver and bronze medallions in the SkillsUSA Championships.

The same industry leaders who defined the competencies for the Championships determined a “cut score” that indicates excellence for students entering technical fields.

Most cut scores range between 70 and 80 percent. Each certificate lists the competency areas tested in the contest and carries the logos of organizations and companies that planned and managed this year’s competitions. Students can use their certificates to document achievement and to show potential employers as indicators of proficiency.

In Auto Refinish, 42 Skill Point certificates were awarded, in Auto Service Tech, seven Skill Point certificates were given, and in Collision Repair, 40 were awarded.

For more information on SkillsUSA and upcoming competitions, visit

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