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STLCC Student to Compete in Skills USA State Event

February 28, 2017

Automotive Technology staff and students  
Pictured are, from left, Rick Anthes, associate professor and chair of the Automotive Technology program; students Dan Eschmann and Alex Wessel; Joe Jackson, assistant professor in Automotive Technology who also is the Skills USA advisor; and Josh Walker, assistant professor in Automotive Technology.

Students in St. Louis Community College’s Automotive Technology program recently competed in the District Skills USA Contest, and one student has advanced to the state competition in April.

The competition is a timed, hands-on contest that explores 10 different areas of the automotive industry.  Each station is set up with questions, component identification, and diagnostic scenarios or problems for the student to diagnose. Once the allotted time for each station is up, a judge awards points to each student based upon their performance. The points are tallied up and the contestant with the most points wins the competition.

Only two students from each district make it to the state competition. STLCC’s Alex Wessel, who placed first, will compete against Missouri’s best April 7 at Linn State Technical College. If successful, Wessel will advance to the national event. Wessel is a second-year student who works part time as a technician at Shelby’s Auto Repair.

“We hope his preparation and enthusiastic attitude will carry him well into the competition,” said Rick Anthes, chair of the Automotive Technology program at Forest Park. “At the state level, the competitors and the level of the contest are at a higher standard, so it is extremely competitive.” 

Dan Eschmann finished second in the event, and received some of the highest scores in several areas of the competition.

Contestants were tasked with demonstrating their ability to perform jobs and skills based on the task list outlined by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation. Workstations consist of on-vehicle, simulations, bench and component testing. Competitors are judged on technical competency, accuracy, quality, safety and ability to follow directions.

STLCC’s Associate in Applied Science degree in Automotive Technology is a 68-credit-hour program designed to prepare students for initial employment in the automotive industry at beginning managerial levels. The program includes courses in humanities, science, management, accounting and communications, as well as specific automotive courses.