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Iowa Lakes students find success at National SkillsUSA competition

June 29, 2017

Iowa Lakes Community College students have returned from the 53rd annual National SkillsUSA competition held in Louisville, Ky., June 19-23. 

And, one individual from the Powersports and Power Equipment Technology program at Iowa Lakes came home with a first-place medal in the Motorcycle Service Technology category.

Craig Sundblad, Albert City, won first place in the SkillsUSA Motorcycle Service Technology category. He is in the Powersports and Power Technology program at Iowa Lakes.Craig Sundblad, Albert City, faced off with competitors from across the nation.

Students perform tasks representative of those encountered in a dealership’s service department. Technical skills include performing scheduled maintenance tasks; use of manuals; electrical diagnostics; precision measurement; brake service; chassis/suspension service; fuel delivery system inspection and repair; transmission and drive systems; and power train systems. Judges look for clean and organized work habits, correct use of reference materials, the ability to follow directions and good technical skills.

“Students in Motorcycle Technology participate in two days of competition,” said Matt Bohl, Assistant Professor at Iowa Lakes. “We were extremely proud of Craig. Reaching the top level in the nation is a big accomplishment.”

In the Marine Service Technology contest, Alex Schute of Dubuque, received a bronze medal for third place in the nation. That competition involves many of the same types of skills that students in the Motorcycle category face. 

“Students had a full day of competition on Thursday,” said Rick Brichta, Assistant Professor of the Marine and Small Engine program. “He prevailed against some very talented contestants across the nation.  We at Iowa Lakes are very proud of Alex and his accomplishments.” 

Alex returns to Iowa Lakes for his second year this fall in the Marine Service Technology program which is the only Marine program in the state of Iowa.

Participants gather for a group photograph at the 53rd annual National SkillsUSA competition in Louisville, Ky., June 19-23.Participants gather for a group photograph at the 53rd annual National SkillsUSA competition in Louisville, Ky., June 19-23.

Bohl also had a second student from his Powersports and Power Equipment Technology program who took fourth place in the nation in the Power Equipment Technology division.  

Jacob (Jake) Cole, Ruthven, is a first-year student who will return to Iowa Lakes this fall to achieve his Associate in Applied Science degree.

In Power Equipment Technology, competitors must know and understand both two- and four-cycle engines as well as the related theories that go along with the types of engines they will come across in the in the industry. They should also understand drive train, hydraulic and wiring schematics. Competitors also need to be well-versed in customer service. As they rotate through various stations, they are judged on both hands-on and oral skills.

Also taking fourth place in the nation was Scott Massick of Knoxville. He competed in the Welding Sculpture division. The competition is designed to assess the ability of the competitor to develop a design and produce a welding sculpture of that design as well as deliver a presentation regarding all aspects of the creation of that design. 

SkillsUSA is a national partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. The mission of the group is to empower members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.

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