Grain Valley senior Chance Marler's silver medal was awarded on a Tuesday afternoon, just a few hours after he competed in the SkillsUSA West Central District contest for Automotive Service Technology. But the training that saw him through to victory has been over a year and a half in the making.
"It started with Automotive Technology I my junior year," Chance shares. "That's where I really learned the mechanical tasks I had to perform. Using what I learned my junior year to work over the summer for US Lawns on their fleet trucks and professional lawn mowers helped, too."
The competition contained multiple parts, from a 100-question exam with a focus on diagnostic and repair content to customer service and job interview assessments. Grain Valley senior Jordyn Harris took third place in Automotive Service Technology, with another CTC student, Diego Gonzalez Aguilar of Blue Springs, taking first.
"SkillsUSA is an outstanding organization," says Chance and Jordyn's CTC Automotive Technology instructor Bill Lieb. "Students get to compete in the areas they train in, whether it be automotive, CPR, or customer service. But they also get to see how everything they're doing at their home high schools, the math, the English, the public speaking, how it all matters."
It's an organization that graduates appreciate long after they leave, even going so far as to encourage other students to get involved.
"It was actually two other Grain Valley students, Carson (Davis) and Tanner (Todd), who did Automotive last year and went to State, that got me into SkillsUSA," Chance shares. "Tanner even went on to Nationals. This was my first year doing SkillsUSA, and I'm glad they encouraged me."
Chance will travel to Linn, MO in April and compete in the SkillsUSA Missouri State Leadership & Skills Conference.
Foreground: CTC SkillsUSA Students. Photo courtesy CTC
GVHS Senior Chance Marler, second from right, advanced to State competition after competing in the SkillsUSA West Central District contest for Automotive Service Technology (CTC student Diego Gonzales-Aguilar is pictured next to Chancellor and took first place; both will advance to State). Photo courtesy CTC.