Skills USA finds the best and brightest in Nevada

Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 4:10 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Students were in a competition all morning to test their knowledge about all aspects of automotive care hoping to garner a perfect score.

Called “Skills USA” the annual event takes places all across the U.S. hoping to find the best and brightest students who want to make automotive repair--all aspects of it their careers.

“Collision repair,” says Madison Lawrence from Coronado High School in Las Vegas of where she wants to take her career. “Because going with what we are now, everything is turning into an electric vehicle. And based off of crashes of electric vehicles, they still need body work done.”

Madison and 16 other students tried to diagnose cars that had been altered not to work.

The stations included electrical, brakes, and safety inspections to name just a few. Students received 15 minutes at each station and were scored on what they detected wrong with the car.

“We just took the qualifying test and four of us made it through,” says Zachary Taylor from Shadow Ridge High School in Las Vegas. “So, we were pretty hyped about that, and we’ve just been studying for months.”

It would be rare for a student to score perfectly. And keep in mind they are also scored on customer service and even professionalism.

“It is not as easy as plugging in a tool and it says do this,” says Wyatt Ziebell, a TMCC Auto Mechanic Professor. “You have to have the diagnostic knowledge of understanding what the computer is telling you. And then do the correct fix on a car to get that car fixed correctly the first time. And not the third of fourth of fifth time.”

During this year’s competition no schools from northern Nevada were represented.

That’s unfortunate as Skills USA is one way for a student to challenge themselves and discover where their strengths and weaknesses are. The student with the most strengths will undoubtedly have the highest score and take home first place Friday morning.

Should a student receive a high enough score Thursday, he could end up at the national Skills USA in Atlanta Georgia in June.