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Waubonsee Auto Student is Best in the Nation

young man works on a car
Waubonsee Community College graduate Matthew Meyer, of Plano, recently took first place in the Collision Repair Technology category of the national SkillsUSA competition.

The Chicago Blackhawks may be getting all the attention, but there’s another local sensation who worked hard to become a national champion recently — Matthew Meyer, of Plano, who finished first in the Collision Repair Technology category of the national SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City, Mo. last month. 

“It’s probably the best feeling I’ve ever had,” Meyer said. “If I placed at all, I figured I’d be second or third, so when they called me for first, I thought, ‘oh my gosh, I can’t believe I beat everyone in the country.’” 

After finishing first in the state competition in April, Meyer advanced to compete against 29 other automotive students from two- and four-year colleges across the country. His category included four hands-on exercises in metal straightening, welding, plastic repair and structural analysis, along with written tests on estimating, structural analysis and a National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) exam. 

In addition to ultimate bragging rights, Meyer also won a trip to the SEMA automotive trade show in Las Vegas, Snap-on tools, and several industry training and certification courses. 

Meyer earned his Associate in Applied Science Degree in Auto Body Repair Business Operations from Waubonsee this past spring and is transferring on to study at Southern Illinois University this fall. 

SkillsUSA is the national organization for students in trade, industrial, technical and health occupations education.