LCSC students dominate at state SkillsUSA competition
BOISE, Idaho – Professional Technical Program students from Lewis-Clark State College dominated the field in the SkillsUSA competition over the weekend, capturing 10 of 15 medals in five events.
The Idaho SkillsUSA competition involved professional technical students from institutions throughout Idaho. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled work force. Each student competed in their technical occupations.
The winners in each division qualified for national competition, which will be held in June.
LCSC students competed in five areas – two in Information Systems Analysis, and one each in Collision Repair, Diesel Technology, and Heating, Venting, Air Conditioning-R Technology.
The Information Systems Analysis Club sent four competitors to Boise and came away with two first-place finishes, a second, and a third. Kellen Christensen of Boise won a gold medal in Internetworking, while Abe Valadez of Nampa won a gold in Computer Maintenance Technology. Christensen missed a perfect score by two points. The two both qualified for the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Mo. This is the first year the LCSC Information Systems Analysis Club has qualified students for nationals.
Also, Daniel Allen took a silver and Janette Montauge a bronze for LCSC in Internetworking.
In Collision Repair, Bud Whitcomb of Kamiah, a second-year PT student, won the gold medal. For capturing first place, Whitcomb also received a tool box and tools, a paint gun, $500 travel money to use for the national competition, and four I-CAR coupons for industry training, which is valued at $500.
LCSC swept the competition in the HVAC-R Technology event. Jesse Province of Moscow took top honors, followed by Jarrad Porter of Lewiston in second and Ryan Jones of Clarkston in third.
The HVAC competition featured eight skill areas, including a written test with questions pertaining to HVAC skills and certification levels; a brazing area where contestants made a project using soldered and brazed connections; tests for electrical failure and diagnostics for, heat pumps, air conditioners and gas furnaces, and an air system analysis to test air flow and temperatures.
Prizes for the HVAC competition included work clothing, test meters, and other tools.
In Diesel Technology, Clark Tacke of Cottonwood took the silver medal, while Kevin Teats of Kooskia won the bronze. Both are freshmen at LCSC. The two competed in 10 stations that challenged both knowledge and hand-on tasks.
The four winners from LCSC – Province, Christensen, Valadez, and Whitcomb – will attend the national competition and will represent both the college and the state. The SkillsUSA Championships is the showcase for the best career and technical students in the nation. This is a multi-million dollar event that occupies a space equivalent to 12 football fields. In 2006, there were over 4,800 contestants in 84 separate events.
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.
To help the four LCSC students obtain the finances necessary to attend nationals, donations are being accepted. Please contact Professional Technical Programs at LCSC at 792-2225 to donate.