Ryan Ganser, center podium, and Sam Karl, right podium, receive their gold and silver medals in the Precision Machining competition at the 49th annual SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference in Madison, April 5. The winners were among 12 Mid-State students who medaled in their respective competitions at the event. (Courtesy Mid-State)

Mid-State students earn 10 medals at SkillsUSA state conference

By Patrick Lynn

A dozen Mid-State students brought home medals from the annual State SkillsUSA Leadership & Skills Conference.

Mid-State Technical College sent 17 students to the 49th annual event, held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison on April 4-5. The competition showcases the skills of career and technical education students in advanced manufacturing, transportation, criminal justice, automotive and diesel programs.

The 2022 state conference featured more than 1,800 middle and high school students, more than 200 teachers, and over 300 industry volunteers working in more than 80 competitions, according to a news release from Mid-State. Competitions were conducted in a wide array of skill sets, including Architectural Drafting/CAD, Automotive Service Technology, Cabinetmaking, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Masonry, Robotics and Automation, Welding, Woodworking, and dozens more.

Winning gold medals were Brittany Beahm, Montello, in Criminal Justice; Ryan Ganser, Stevens Point, in Precision Machining; Callie Luebke, Stevens Point, in Welding Sculpture; Jakob Struble, Amherst, in Related Technical Math; and Dawson Taylor, Marshfield, in CNC Milling Technician. All gold medalists earn the chance to compete at the National Leadership and Skills Conference in Atlanta in June.

Three students took silver medals: Elliot Schmoll, Plover, in Criminal Justice; Josh Levoy, Marshfield, in CNC Turning Technician; and Sam Karl, Auburndale, in Precision Machining. Earning bronze were Wyatt Lutz, Stevens Point, Cabinet Making, and a three-person team competing in Welding Fabrication: Clay Fitzpatrick, Nekoosa; Mason Hill, Arpin; and Justin Kells, Wisconsin Rapids.

“It is always exciting seeing students grow and develop as technicians and leaders through competition,” said Scott Engel, Diesel & Heavy Equipment Technician instructor at Mid-State. “We are always proud of our student’s accomplishments and success.”

“As a new advisor for a program participating for the very first time, SkillsUSA was a fantastic experience for my students,” said Mid-State Criminal Justice Instructor Mike Topness. “Students got a chance to showcase their knowledge, and I believe it built confidence in their abilities as students got to compete in front of industry experts and learned that they are prepared to perform in the field at a high level. I am excited to participate and introduce more students to the competition moving forward.”

The national nonprofit SkillsUSA is as “partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce,” according to the organization’s website. Mid-State continues to grow its investment and number of students competing in SkillsUSA at the state and national levels.

To learn more about Mid-State’s advanced manufacturing, transportation, criminal justice, automotive, and diesel programs, visit mstc.edu/programs.