MMCRU Industrial Tech Class

Friday, May 6, 2022
Members of the MMCRU Industrial Technology class who participated in SkillsUSA were: Back row from left to right: Kaden Galles, Carson Loutsch, Mitchell Schnepf, Josh Wetter, Cody Simons, Michael Rupp, Gunner Grage, Front row from left: Hayven Hollingshead, Dawson Pick, Brenin Stodden, Torey Tentinger, Makenzie Meyer, Elizabeth Pedersen, Keaton Weiler, and Owen Alesch.
Photos contributed.

Several students at MMCRU were recently awarded the opportunity to participate in the Skills USA program competing at the state leadership and skilled trades competitions in various events. They had numerous students medal in the top three in the state. That qualified them to compete at the nation level in Atlanta, Georgia this summer.

Matt Hansen is the Industrial Technology instructor at MMCRU High School and the Skills USA Adviser. When asked what it means for the students to participate in the program, he had this to say, “It is just an outstanding feeling to be able to participate in these events again as Covid really wrecked things the last two years. These kids have never got to compete at the state competition so I came into this just hoping kids would enjoy the opportunity and get excited about Skills USA. To come and have almost all of our competitors medal in the top three in the state and qualify for nationals is just a huge honor for these kids and really validates the education they're receiving here at MMCRU.”

Students who are in the Industrial Technology class had a wide range of reasons for participating. Hayven Hollingshead, who has always been interested in building things, says that the Industrial Technology class gives students the opportunity to gain many skills that will help thoughout their lives. Hayven is mostly interested in woodworking so a favorite project turned out to be engraving the top of a nightstand with a pheasant scene.

Mitchell Schnepf found plumbing the most challenging, but enjoyed the aspect of being able to be a leader for his team. He likes the experience of communicating with partners and teachers to solve problems.

Many students were influenced by parents and grandparents when it came to enrolling in the Industrial Technology course. Cody Simons explained his reason, “My late grandfather(Chuck Simons) is my inspiration for taking welding. He was a good welder and welded for other people in the area when he was alive. I really enjoy welding. It's a skill that many people don't know have. I have really enjoyed learning it and it's something I will use my entire life.”

Dawson Pick also found welding to be his favorite, as did Kaden Galles, who would like to become a John Deere technician.

Keaton Weiler would like to become a mechanical engineer, so the design and engineering thought processes interested him. He liked having to “think your way through a problem, especially to help others.”

And the class is not just a “guy thing.” Elizabeth Pederson is interested in architecture design. “I am having a lot of fun working on my own custom house,” she explained. Her favorite project was making a dining room table.

A favorite project of many students was helping to build an 8’x12’ garage. Design, framing, and flooring were the most interesting to many students, but there were many challenges to this project. While Carson Loutsch mentioned reading plans, Joshua Wetter brought up how things didn’t always work as originally planned. Sheet-rocking around a weird window was what Owen Alesch remembered.

Many of the students expressed an interest in entering the Industrial Technology fields after finishing high school, which is part of what SkillsUSA is all about.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. They help each student excel. As nonprofit national education association, SkillsUSA serves middle-school, high-school and college/postsecondary students preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations.

SkillsUSA mission is to empower its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. They improve the quality of our nation’s future skilled workforce through the development of SkillsUSA Framework skills that include personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics.

Their vision is to produce the most highly skilled workforce in the world, providing every member the opportunity for career success. SkillsUSA serves more than 333,527 students and instructors annually. This includes 19,019 instructors who join as professional members. Including alumni, SkillsUSA membership totals over 394,000. SkillsUSA has served nearly 14 million annual members cumulatively since 1965 and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor as a successful model of employer-driven workforce development.

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