11:28 AM

Tool and Die students take first place in SkillsUSA national competition!

Skills USA National Winners!

Three WCTC Tool and Die students -- Evrett Rachow, Connor Orheim and Jeremy Westergaard, -- took first place in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) held virtually earlier this summer. The field-specific contests require students to show their knowledge and skills in a particular area through demonstration, project or examination. The students also placed first in the SkillsUSA state competition held in April.

According to WCTC instructor Kurt Bence, students spent several hours of their own time making practice parts in preparation for nationals. For the competition itself, they were required to take a written exam and machine a physical part. The machining portion of the competition was videotaped and directly submitted to SkillsUSA judges to who then analyzed the finished product.

Bence said he was proud of the team’s dedication as well as the many manufacturing instructors who helped the students develop and refine their skills.

“These students embraced the concept of putting their skills to the test in a competition format. They were always willing to practice, were always committed to completing the task at hand, and always appeared to have fun doing it. Their attitude was always ‘not if we finish, but when we finish,’” Bence said. “Each competitor knew his respective role, communicated effectively, and demonstrated a genuine desire to be successful. … I am lucky and blessed to be associated with these future leaders in our industry.”

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. The nonprofit, education association provides educational programs, events and competitions that support career and technical education (CTE) in Wisconsin and the nation’s classrooms.