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Trans Tech Club Shines at South Dakota SkillsUSA Earning Five Medals

How does a Western Dakota Tech Transportation Technology education compare to others in the state? Excellent, if judging by the results of the Trans Tech Club's performance at the South Dakota SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Conference Competition at Lake Area Technical Institute, in Watertown, April 6-7.

"Our Western Dakota Tech representatives were up against the best of the best that the three other Tech schools in South Dakota could produce," said Dick Towne, Western Dakota Tech Trans Tech Club Advisor and Transportation Technology Program Director - Heavy Duty Instructor - Welding. "Our students did extremely well, earning one first-place medal, three second-place medals, and one third-place medal. Congratulations to the medal winners and thank you to all the Trans Tech Club members who competed in Skills USA."

Two Western Dakota Tech second-year Transportation Technology Heavy Duty students, Alex Rous (Diesel Skills) and Tucker Jones (Job Skills Demonstration), placed second in their respective categories.

Two first year Transportation Technology Heavy Duty students, Isaac Utterback (Job Skills Demonstration) and Kallen Rittberger (Job Skills Demonstration), placed first and second in their respective categories. The first-place finish provides Utterback the option to represent Western Dakota Tech at the national SkillsUSA competition in Louisville, Ky., on June 19.

Nora Hudak, Transportation Technology Light Duty student, placed third in her category (Job Skills Demonstration).

The South Dakota SkillsUSA conference showcased more than 200 Career and Technical Education students, from schools across the state, who competed in hands-on contests in 42 different trade, technical, and leadership fields.

During the state competition, students worked against the clock and each other proving their expertise in occupations like electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, medical assisting, and culinary arts. All contests took place with the help of industry, trade associations, and labor organizations. Test competencies are set by industry. In addition, leadership contestants demonstrated their skills, which included extemporaneous speaking and conducting meetings by parliamentary procedure. 

In addition to receiving gold, silver, and bronze medallions, many students also received prizes, such as tools of their trade and/or scholarships, to further their careers and education. The medal winners were announced and recognized during a special Awards Ceremony following the competition at Lake Area Tech.

Western Dakota Tech thanks the Faculty who teach our students and provide advisement to the Trans Tech Club, including Towne; Kenny Moore, Lead Advisor, and Transportation Technology - Light Duty Instructor; and Guest Advisor Bill Urban, Precision Machining Program Director.

The South Dakota SkillsUSA Championships is for high school and college-level students who are members of SkillsUSA. The program is a national partnership of students, teachers and industry, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA chapters help students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled, and service occupations excel. SkillsUSA has more than 300,000 students and instructors as members.


About Western Dakota Tech
Western Dakota Tech was established in 1968 and is the only technical college that serves the western South Dakota region.

Western Dakota Tech offers programs in a variety of fields, including Business and Computers, Construction and Manufacturing, Energy and Environmental Technologies, Health Sciences, Legal and Public Services, and Transportation Technologies.

More than 86 percent of Western Dakota Tech's most recent graduates are working, continuing their education, or are enlisted in the military.

Western Dakota Tech faculty, staff, and administration focus their efforts on helping students gain the skills and experiences they need to succeed. Through hands-on learning, internships, and industry partnerships, Western Dakota Tech students graduate ready to make a real and immediate contribution to their employers and to their communities.

For information about Western Dakota Tech, call (800) 544-8765 or (605) 718-2565 or send an email to Visit us on the web at

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