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Waubonsee Auto Students Place in National Competition

Waubonsee Community College students recently placed in the national SkillsUSA competition. During the 52nd annual National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) held in Louisville, Ky., Waubonsee had three students among the top finishers.

Daniel Dwyer placed first in Collision Repair Technology; Melanie Thomas placed fifth in Automotive Refinishing Technology and Drew Kleyweg placed eighth in Automotive Service Technology.

The team was prepped by faculty members Andy MacDonald, Assistant Professor of Auto Body Repair, Ken Kunz, Professor of Automotive Technology, Jim Armitage, Professor of Automotive Technology and Guy Tiberio, Automotive Technology Instructor. Additionally, Randy Hines, CADD Instructor, participated in the conference as a judge for the National Contest for Additive Manufacturing and serves as the Illinois State Supervisor for the Additive Manufacturing Contest.

In order to participate at the national level, Waubonsee students placed first in the Illinois SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Conference held in Springfield in April.

SkillsUSA has 13,000 school chapters in 54 state and territorial associations. More than 14,5000 instructors and administrators are professional members.  

“It puts them in front of industry leaders, outside their own classroom,” MacDonald said of the competition.

MacDonald said the students who compete prepare for the contest outside of their regular coursework, and that he is pleased that through SkillsUSA, his students have the ability to take the experience they gain in Waubonsee’s auto body shop and test it against their peers across the state and country.

“This prepares them for a competitive world,” he said.

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