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MCTC Electrical Construction Students Awarded “Tools for Tomorrow” Scholarship

Posted on: November 3rd, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

MCTC Construction Electricity Students receiving scholarships.MCTC Electrical Construction students Kevin Swanlund and Mark Zerr were recipients of this year’s Tools for Tomorrow scholarships given by Grainger.

“We’re proud of being students in this program,” said Swanlund. “We’re both nontraditional students, and this program gave us the opportunity to move ahead with our career when we needed it.”

To promote the innovation and importance of careers in the industrial skilled trades, Grainger, in conjunction with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), launched the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow scholarship program in 2006 to help students in the industrial skilled trades realize their educational and career goals. This year, Grainger will award a Grainger Tools for Tomorrow scholarship to 250 students at community colleges in the U.S., half of which are awarded to military veteran students. Upon graduation, each student receives a customized Westward® toolkit from Grainger to jump start their career.

“We have a huge need for skilled workers in the trades, and that’s why Grainger coordinates these scholarships,” said Terri Joski-Lang, market manager for Grainger.

“It’s not easy being a young person with a family trying to go back to school,” Zerr said. “It’s a tough thing to balance, and Grainger cares enough to help us.”

The two students were given their scholarships at a ceremony on Oct. 30 in the MCTC Science Building. They are among only nine Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship recipients in the state of Minnesota.

MCTC Students Participate in SkillsUSA Minnesota Competition

Posted on: April 8th, 2014 by insidemctc 1 Comment

SkillsUSA 2014 ParticipantsEleven Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) students recently competed in the SkillsUSA Minnesota leadership and skills conference. Several students won awards for their hard work and creative projects in the fields of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) and Electrical Construction. SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations as well as health occupations.

“We’re fortunate our students were able to compete at actual industry sites this year,” said Greg Skudlarek, MCTC HVACR instructor. “Not only do they get real industry experience, it also makes the playing field more level for students coming from across the state.” The competition drew more than 800 career and technical education students who competed in more than 80 hands-on trade, technical and leadership contests. Students from 25 campuses of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and 30 high schools from across Minnesota participated in the competition in Bloomington.

MCTC students have participated in the SkillsUSA competition for several years. In addition to students from the College’s HVACR and Electrical Construction programs, competing students in past years have represented the Machine Tool Technology and Welding and Metal Fabrication programs.

The 2014 national competition will take place this July in Kansas City.

Photo: MCTC students participated in the 2014 SkillsUSA state competition in Bloomington. From left to right: Stalin Ballesteros, Electrical Construction; Andrew Oliver, Electrical Construction; Dylan Mudgett, HVACR; Dave Archambault, HVACR; Alex MacDinald, HVACR.

MCTC Students Participate and Win in SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Conference

Posted on: May 17th, 2013 by insidemctc 1 Comment
MCTC students and faculty.

From left to right: MCTC instructor Greg Skudlarek and students Reed Sweeney, Tom Pederson, Andy Gurskis and John Singel.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College students competed in the SkillsUSA Minnesota Leadership and Skills Conference last month, and several of them won awards for their hard work and creative projects. SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations as well as health occupations. Top SkillsUSA state performers include the following MCTC students:

  • Andy Gurskis, 2nd place, HVACR
  • Reed Sweeney, 4th place and honorable mention, HVACR
  • Max Foutch, 3rd place, Industrial Motor Controls
  • Tom Hermes, 4th place and honorable mention, Industrial Motor Controls
MCTC students and faculty

From left to right: Tom Hiltner, Tom Hermans, Max Foutch, Mark Eckstein and Dean Weikle.

In July, 2012, MCTC HVACR student Chad Rubey placed fifth out of 28 college competitors in the national SkillUSA Championship. At the annual national-level SkillsUSA Championships, over 5,600 students compete in 94 occupational and leadership skill areas.

SkillsUSA programs include local, state and national competitions in which students demonstrate occupational and leadership skills.

Transforming a Lifelong Passion into a Valuable Trade

Posted on: November 1st, 2012 by insidemctc No Comments

Thomas HermansThomas Hermans always had a natural attraction to electricity. As a child, he pulled cords from cabinets, lights, and televisions, inspecting how things were made. Now, Tom is turning his lifelong passion for electrical discovery into a trade through the Electrical Construction and Technology program at MCTC.

Tom has the opportunity to learn from experienced instructors and train in MCTC’s state-of-the-art training labs. “I’m excited about the technological developments in the industry,” said Tom. “You can do so many innovative things with computers and automation today, and the employment opportunities are endless.”

When Tom graduates in the spring of 2013, he will add the title of electrician to his repertoire which includes pipe organist, sound engineer and semi-truck driver. Following graduation, Tom anticipates joining the electrical union to complete his remaining electrician training hours. He will eventually pursue his journeyman’s and master’s licenses.