ATLANTA – Five Northeast Community College students took top honors while others placed in the top 10 at a national career and technical education skills competition recently. The students competed in the 59th National Leadership and Skills Conference, sponsored by SkillsUSA, in Atlanta.
Northeast students earn top honors at SkillsUSA national competition; others place in top 10
July 10, 2023 10:56 AM
The annual SkillsUSA conference was a showcase of career and technical education where more than 6,000 outstanding career and technical education high school and college students - all state contest winners - competed in 110 different hands-on trade and technical fields. During the competitions, the students worked against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in several occupational areas. All contests were managed with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations, testing competencies set by industry for entry-level workers in their field.
For Northeast Community College, Wyatt Wiemer, Herman, won the gold collegiate national championship in Industrial Motor Control. In the competition, students had to demonstrate their knowledge of electrical principles, equipment and industry codes and standards as it related to the design and installation of motor control systems. They then used their skills and abilities in applying that knowledge by properly installing motor control equipment and associated enclosures, raceways, pilot devices and circuitry in accordance with accepted industry practice and National Electric Code requirements.
In TeamWorks, the Northeast team of Anthony Isom, Allen, Bryce Buechter, Belgrade, Wade Paxton, Stuart, and Wyatt Tesch, Granville, claimed the collegiate gold national championship. In the event, competitors had to work together to build a construction project over two days that demonstrates their ability to work as a team. Each team must then write a project completion action plan that demonstrates their ability to work together in the construction portion of the competition by using their carpentry, roofing, electrical, plumbing and masonry skills.
“Golds in those Industrial Motor Controls and TeamWorks are highly competitive. These medals are a direct reflection of our programs and our instructors,” said Wade Herley, SkillsUSA advisor at Northeast. “In order to be competitive you must have good programs, but to medal you must have great programs. I have watched these competitions over the years and to be as consistently competitive as we have been is unheard of, and we will be right in the medal count again next year.”
A total of 1,250 gold, silver and bronze medals were presented to students at the SkillsUSA Awards Session at State Farm Arena. Many winners also received industry prizes, tools of their trade or scholarships. The medalists and contestants who met a threshold contest score for their event as an indicator of proficiency also received a Skill Point Certificate representing workplace readiness in the student's occupational specialty. Students can add the certificate to an employment portfolio.
“We had almost every member of our team finish in the top ten nationally which is a great indicator of the quality of our programs and our instructors” Herley said.
Auto Refinishing Technology: 7th - John Houseman, Columbus.
Auto Service Technology: Dahrran Cast, Hebron.
Carpentry: 4th - Andrew Borgelt, Howells.
Collision Repair: 10th – Cameron Armetage, Hoskins.
Computer Programming: 7th – Dustin Brenden, Norfolk.
Criminal Justice: 7th – Yazmin Toral, Wayne.
Cyber Security: 8th – Matthew Bryce, Wayne; Joshua Schamp, Norfolk.
Electrical Construction Wiring: 7th – Jesse Green, Norfolk.
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration (HVACR): 5th – Brodie Christensen, Yankton, So. Dak.
Masonry: 9th - Ben Wilcox, Tilden.
Robotics: Urban Search & Rescue: 5th – Ramiro Lemus, Norfolk; Eduardo Duque, Norfolk.
Technical Computer Applications: 5th – Molly Sanchez, Norfolk.
Video News Production: 5th – John Coats, O’Neill; Damon Crawford, Scribner; Rylan Niemoth, St. Libory; William Wesslink, Tea, So. Dak.
Web Design: 6th - Drake Boyle, Norfolk; Jason Fahrenholz, Norfolk.
The Northeast students were accompanied by Dr. Wade Herley, dean of business and humanities, and instructors Brian Anderson (media arts - broadcasting); Paul Bailey (HVACR); Trevor Bailey (information technology); Dave Beaudette (auto body technology); Curtis Brandt (building construction); Mark Harleman (building construction); Matt McCarthy (criminal justice); Joe Ottis (automotive technology); Brian Rastede (electrical construction and control); Lucas Reichlinger (information technology); and Roger Walker (building construction).
Herley said he was very proud of Northeast’s accomplishments at the national competition.
“Our team faced the best of the best from across the nation in Atlanta this year. This was also the largest team Nebraska has ever taken to the national conference. As a state Nebraska ranks 34th in membership with SkillsUSA, but we finished in 8th place tied with Pennsylvania and New Jersey for medal count with 39 medals for the Nebraska team. That is exceptional considering the population difference between those states.”
The Northeast students qualified for the national competition at the SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference held this spring in Grand Island.
The philosophy of the SkillsUSA Championships is to reward students for excellence, to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance and to keep training relevant to employers’ needs. Students work against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations such as electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts.
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure a skilled workforce and helping each student succeed. A national student organization that serves students in high schools and college/technical schools, it provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship, and character development.
Northeast Community College, Wyatt Wiemer, Herman, celebrates winning the gold collegiate national championship in Industrial Motor Control at the 59th National Leadership and Skills Conference, sponsored by SkillsUSA, in Atlanta recently. He was one of five Northeast students to win gold medals while over a dozen others claimed top 10 finishes in the competition where students worked against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in several occupational areas.