Automotive students take awards at skills competition

Automotive students take awards at skills competition »Play Video

WINCHESTER, Ore. -- Some talented Umpqua Community College students brought home some of the hardware from a skills competition over the weekend.

On Saturday, 11 students traveled to Portland for a technical education competition that specialized in diesel vehicles.

The team walked away with nine medals and two first place finishes, qualifying for the nationals in June.

UCC has been taking part in Skills USA since 1985, and advisers say this was their best year ever.

"I think we've just grown our program to the point where it's just so much higher than it's ever been, both in the automotive, and in the welding," said automotive instructor Kevin Mathweg.

Students competed in automotive, welding, small engines and power equipment technology.

Jack Essary is one of the first place finishers, and he believes what he's learned at UCC  will help to launch him into a successful career. "Getting back here and getting back to the basics and the school knowledge, is really going to help, and it's going to really make me more prepared for my career field."

The competition took place at Portland Community College at Rock Creek.