HASTINGS, Neb. – A Northeast Community College diesel technology student has been recognized at a skills competition for heavy-duty diesel truck technicians.
Marcus Reynolds, Newport, took second place in the student-level competition at the 2021 Nebraska SuperTech held at Central Community College in Hastings. He received a cash prize that he may use to purchase tools.
Reynolds, who made the Dean’s List each semester, graduated from Northeast in May 2021. He is now employed by Frontier Diesel in Ainsworth.
The event begins with competitors taking a qualifying online Automotive Service Excellence-style test. The top 16 individuals advance to the hands-on skill stations final round, hosted by Central. Most hands-on challenges change from year-to-year. After the competition, judges gather competitors to critique their skills and provide feedback on areas for improvement.
Morgan Barnes, of MHC Kenworth Leasing and Rental in Omaha, won the professional Super Tech competition.
“I really liked tinkering on machinery in the shop,” Barnes said. “I figured I might as well get paid to do what I enjoy.”
Barnes, originally from Cody, earned degrees in General Business and Diesel Technology from Northeast Community College in 2017. Since then, he has won the 2017 Nebraska SkillsUSA Diesel Technology competition and the 2018 and 2021 Nebraska Trucking Association’s SuperTech events. He placed second in 2019.
“For younger techs, I’d say don’t stop learning and don’t be too proud to do the basic tasks,” Barnes said.
Northeast Community College also served as station sponsor during the SuperTech competition.
“Honoring technicians is critical right now because we’re seeing a major shortage of diesel technicians in the workforce,” said Kent Grisham, NTA president and CEO.
According to truckinginfo.com, the demand for technicians will increase more than 6% through 2024. In addition, retirement will play a big role as nearly 50% of technicians are considered baby boomers.