Wichita Area Technical College (WATC) hosted its 35th year of the SkillsUSA state competition April 23rd and 24th at its main campus, the National Center of Aviation Training (NCAT) and its original Grove Campus. More than 1,000 students in high school or junior college from across Kansas participated.
In addition to technical competitions like welding, automotive repair and machining, there are competitions in job interview, prepared speech, extemporaneous speaking, a quiz bowl and community involvement from a SkillsUSA chapter.
Several WATC students placed in their competition area and were honored at Friday’s award ceremony.
Addison Pratt – Gold
Natalie Arnold – Silver
Matthew Bechel – Bronze
Gregory Mistretta – Silver
Anna Balthazor – Gold
Andrew Keiter – Silver
Michael Mans – Gold
Joseph Seiler – Silver
Mubarak Mohamed – Bronze
Andres Penaloza – Bronze
This is the fourth year for WATC’s Airframe and Powerplant program to compete in SkillsUSA and the second year that WATC students took the top three places.
Gold winner Michael Mans said his favorite part of the competition was working with other students and doing what he loves. He said WATC also helped him prepare through practice sessions and working with his instructors. Mans will receive an associate degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology this year.
WATC faculty and staff played a major role in the production and success of the competition. Academic coordinators, advisors, facility support, IT, instructors and individuals across campus supported the event.
Sheree Utash, Vice President of Academic Affairs for WATC, voiced her appreciation for the role WATC employees played in making the event a success.
“Thank you for the work you do to make this a successful experience for students and a wonderful opportunity to share our world class facility and programs with many other stakeholders that participate from business, industry, education and the community,” Utash said.
“WATC is proud of all our students who participated in Skills USA and especially proud of our state medal winners,” said Utash. ” The award honors are well deserved by both the students and their faculty who have worked extremely hard to prepare them for competition and success. These efforts certainly reflect WATC’s commitment to preparing students with the skills and training needed to enter into the workforce.”