Joliet Junior College automotive students had impressive showings at the SkillsUSA Illinois Championship competition last month. SkillsUSA is a national organization that works to prepare students for successful careers.
2,200 competitors from across the state participated in various categories. Three JJC students, who have since graduated from the program, each took home medals in Automotive Service Technology. They were tested in eight areas that covered technical and leadership skills and career readiness. This included engine repair, transmissions, electrical, air conditioning, brakes, steering and suspension, and engine performance diagnoses and repair.
JJC student Nick Wright placed first and will move on to the National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky next month. He said that JJC’s automotive program gave him the confidence to succeed.
“I know I was extremely prepared for the competition so I was hoping I would get first place,” said Wright.
Wright will pursue his bachelor’s degree in automotive technology from Southern Illinois University in the fall. From there he would like to work for a major automotive company like Ford or General Motors (GM).
Nathan Erman placed second. He’ll also be attending Southern Illinois University to earn his bachelor’s degree in automotive technology.
“I didn’t think I’d place!” said Erman, who last year placed 11th at the competition.
Finishing in third place was Matt Jurak. Matt will also be attending Southern Illinois University to earn his bachelor’s degree in automotive technology.
Three other JJC students, Sean Butler, Martin Chavez and Joey Bartoli, also participated in the Automotive Service Technology category. They finished in fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.
Automotive Instructor Jim Coleman said he was very proud of the work the students put into the competition.
“They have spent many hours preparing since January, giving up their lunch hour to attend prep sessions for the competition as well as other times outside of class,” said Coleman.
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