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Okanagan College graduates top of their game at Skills Canada

Skills Canada gold medal winner Josh Wams, left, with Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton at the graduation ceremony.
Image Credit: Contributed
June 14, 2015 - 1:31 PM

Graduating Okanagan College students demonstrated their expertise once again at the 2015 Skills Canada National Competition held in Saskatoon in late May. Josh Wams won gold in Electronics and bronze medals went to Ethan Delichte in Automotive Service Tech and Nathan Schulte in Plumbing.

The gold medal earned by 20-year-old Vernon resident Wams, marks the fourth year that an Okanagan College student has earned a podium finish in the Electronics category at the national skills testing event.

“It was an amazing experience, it felt like the Olympics but for trades and skills. There was a great team spirit throughout the competition,” says Wams. “It’s good to have proof that the College prepared me for putting my skills to work at a national level.”

The challenging competition saw Wams and his co-competitors use and program an accelerometer—it is the electronic equipment that allows smart phones to flip screen images from horizontal to vertical when tilted. Participants then designed, built, troubleshot and programed a printed circuit board-PCB over the three days of scheduled testing. The students all had the same circuit board to assemble which used small surface mount components. These components are the building blocks of all electronic gadgets we use every day.

Wams’ coach, Okanagan College instructor Kevin Bradshaw, pointed out that Wams’ exceptional soldering skills with the assembly of the circuit board was what set him apart.

“When I was studying at the College we had tons of hands-on training opportunities,” says Wams. “We were given the tools to learn, some of which is expensive equipment. It’s pretty great that a school has those resources for students to practice on.”

Wams studied the two-year Electronic Engineering Technology diploma program at the College, and plans to pursue an Electronic Engineering degree at UBC Okanagan.

Bronze medalist Delichte, completed the fourth level of his Automotive Service Technician Apprentice at the College and is currently employed at Car Craft Automotive. Also earning a bronze finish was Schulte, who studied in the Plumbing and Piping Foundation program and he is working at Modulux. Each were coached respectively by Okanagan College instructors Jamie Bloomfield and Bruce Slater.

“I congratulate Josh, Ethan and Nathan on their exceptional merit in demonstrating their skill set on the national stage, placing them at the top of their industry,” says Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. “Training the future workforce of our region and country is at the core of what we do at the College. Our students’ successes are testaments of the quality of training available to them right here in the Okanagan.”

The Skills Canada National Competition sees more than 500 students from across the country compete in over 40 skilled trade and technology contest area each year. During the Skills BC Provincial competition held earlier in the year, Wams, Delichte, and Schulte each won a gold earning them spots in the nationals. College students also earned a silver and three bronze medals at the provincial level.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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