For the City Times
Five Mid-State Technical College (Mid-State) students placed in the top three in their respective events at the 43rdAnnual State SkillsUSA Secondary Leadership & Skills Conference, a showcase of career and technical education students. Competitions were held April 26 and 27 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.
SkillsUSA, a national nonprofit organization, describes itself as “a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.”
A total of 16 students from Mid-State’s SkillsUSA chapter participated in five events: Sam Buehler, Jarett Kinney, and Derrick Mortenson competed in Diesel Equipment Technology; Jordan Esselman, Ken Edwards, and Matt Leja competed in Automotive Service Technology; Mike Hutwagner, Tyler Peterson, and Kody Hastreiter competed in Precision Machining; Maggie Hirzy, Jesse Gulke, Jose Martinez, and Travis Nehring competed in Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) Milling; and Devon Frost, Kale Clark, and Kyle Glodowski competed in the welding event.
Hirzy finished in first place in CNC Milling, and Esselman finished first in Automotive Service. Both qualified to compete in the National Leadership & Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky in June. Hastreiter placed second in Precision Machining. Martinez and Peterson took third place honors in CNC Milling and Precision Machining, respectively.
This is the second consecutive year that Mid-State students took first place in the CNC Milling and second time in three years with a first-place finish in Automotive Service at the state conference. Last year, CNC Machinist Cody Friemoth competed at the National Skills and Leadership Conference in Kentucky and placed ninth nationally in his event.
In recent years, Mid-State has grown the number of participants and the SkillsUSA events they participate in, and Mid-State organizers expect that trend to continue with additional program areas in the future.