Lenoir Community College LCC STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN SkillsUSA
Seven students representing Lenoir Community College’s Automotive Systems Technology, Automotive Customizing Technology, and the Welding Technology programs recently participated in the SkillsUSA state competition held in Greensboro.  SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.  SkillsUSA's mission is to empower its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.

Automotive Customizing student Derick Pacheco finished fourth place in the Collision Repair competition.  Pacheco had to exhibit knowledge of frame damage analysis, welding techniques, metal straightening, and proper plastic bumper identifications and repair.  Alex Wheeler finished sixth and Ryan Cain finished seventh in the Paint and Refinishing competition.  As part of their competition, the students had to prepare two fenders for painting and blending with a metallic finish and had to apply a clear top coat finish. 

To test their basic knowledge, the students had to complete a 30-question Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) style examination.  “We are very proud of the efforts of these first year students, for their hard work, and how well they represented Lenoir Community College,” said Toby Evans, Program Chair of Automotive Customizing Technology. “Derick was approached after the competition and offered an awesome job possibility at a major Collision Repair Center based in Winston-Salem, NC.”

Welding students John Lee and Brad Baugus, first year students, placed eighth and twelfth respectively out of 27 participants at the SkillsUSA Post-Secondary Welding competition. Their competition consisted of completing an assembly project utilizing several welding processes and procedures such as SMAW (Stick), GMAW (MIG), FCAW (Flux Core) and GTAW (TIG) Welding.  

The students also had to perform cutting processes utilizing oxy-acetylene torches and plasma cutters. The students had a specific time frame established to complete their projects.  The students had to utilize skills and knowledge of welding symbols using a blueprint to make welds in specific places.  “I’m really proud of our students here at Lenoir Community College.  They have demonstrated that they can compete with the best in the state,” said Chris Taylor, Program Chair of the Welding Technology program.

Automotive Systems Technology students Troy Starr and Emanuel Santiago participated in the SkillsUSA automotive state events. “I really enjoyed the SkillsUSA competition although I did not place as one of highest in the competition,” Starr said.  “I learned a lot of information from just being there.  The competition is challenging and was very helpful for my career path.” Santiago agreed and said, “This was my first time competing in the SkillsUSA competition, but now I know what to train for and be prepared for next year.  The stations were very challenging, but with further help from my instructors I truly believe I can place next year.  I am a first year student.  Next year I will be in second year classes which will better prepare me for the competition with skills I have yet to obtain.”

 The competition mainly focused on general knowledge about automatic transmissions. It also included steering and suspension, electrical, brakes and general tool knowledge.  “The SkillsUSA state competition is growing.  The automotive section had one of the largest groups competing there. Most of the other schools had 10 to 15 students entered into the competition,” said Slade Chatman, Program Chair of the Automotive Systems Technology program.   “The experience that these two young men had at the competition should fire up other automotive students to participate in this Leadership and Skills Conference.”

For more information on the Welding program, contact James Leonard at (252) 527-6223 Ext. 106; Automotive Customizing Technology program, contact Toby Evans at (252) 686-0970; and Automotive Systems Technology program, contact Slade Chatman (252) 527-6223, Ext. 110.
LCC Students Participate in SkillsUSA State Competition

Pictured left to right, front row, are Ryan Cain of Swansboro; Derick Pacheco of Cape Carteret; Alex Wheeler of New Bern and Tony Evans, LCC Program Chair of Automotive Customizing; back row, are John Lee of Greenville; Chris Taylor, LCC Program Chair of the Welding Technology; and Slade Chatman, LCC Program Chair of Automotive Systems Technology. Not pictured are Brad Baugus, Troy Starr, and Emanuel Santiago.