Posted at 11:40 a.m., Nov. 7, 2014

Local SkillsUSA takes home gold

Congratulations are in order. In June, a SkillsUSA team from Laramie County Community College’s automotive/diesel technology and auto body repair program took home the gold in a quiz bowl competition at the SkillsUSA Nationals in Kansas City.  

SkillsUSA is not just for automotive, diesel and auto body. It is a huge conglomerate of technical environments that brings human networking together across many fields, according to Seth Robbins, instructor of diesel technology. Robbins said there are more than 350 categories at SkillsUSA such as nursing, HVAC, construction trades, baking and criminal justice. 

According to Robbins, the basis of SkillsUSA, although it is a competition, is networking. “It’s nice to win an award, but it’s really about getting students out there and networking with other schools,” he said.

There are two competitive levels: high school and college/postsecondary. “It is amazing how many students from the high school level come into the college level already knowing so many of the students because they have already networked with them at state and national competitions,” Robbins said.

Competition carries from year to year. For automotive and diesel technology, “It is mostly about component identification and using a scan tool to diagnose the vehicle,” he said.

The judges take the different categories in which an individual competes and scores them together. Representatives from more than 600 businesses, corporations, trade associations and unions evaluate students using industry standards.

The quiz bowl is another part of the SkillsUSA competition. Each team sits at a table, and each player has a buzzer to activate if he knows the answer.

“This was the first year the LCCC SkillsUSA auto/diesel team has competed in the quiz bowl.” Team D consisted of Noah Daniel, Ryley Hoadley, Jake Fenster, Justin Highland and Jakob Weyer.

“These guys went just to have fun. They didn’t think that they were going to win. They were up against some dedicated quiz bowl teams,” Robbins said. “They came out with a plus-15 and won the gold, so they were pretty excited.”