Machine Tool student takes second at national SkillsUSA competition
After taking first place at the Wisconsin SkillsUSA competition, WCTC Machine Tool Operation/Tool & Die student Jake Engelking went on to compete at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kentucky where he placed second in the nation for CNC machining.
WCTC Machine Tool/CNC instructor and SkillsUSA advisor Kurt Bence said Engelking showed an above average commitment to the competition.
“He took second place in the nation which is outstanding – not many people can say that,” Bence said.
The annual conference brings together more than 6,000 career and technical education students to compete in over 100 hands-on events in the trade, technical and leadership fields.
Each student who competes in the CNC machining category has a four-hour window to complete a part to be evaluated. A day is scheduled where a proctor comes in and sets up the rules and regulations that have to be followed during the competition. At the competition itself, an almost two-hour exam tests measurements, basic industry knowledge and a backplot – an interpretation of a CNC program.
“Everything that the competition did made me more confident with CNC mills,” Engelking said. “I gained a lot of knowledge from practicing to compete and I think that’s helped a lot [in the classroom].”
He added, “Overall WCTC has been a fantastic experience. Having two semesters under my belt and winning at a national level says a lot about the quality of programs at the school.”
Engelking started at WCTC in the fall of 2016 and is currently in his third semester of classes. Before coming to WCTC, Engelking attended a four-year university where he completed two semesters before realizing he wanted a more hands-on education.