For the Star Journal
Students from five area high school recently participated in Nicolet College’s High School Auto Competition, testing their diagnostic and repair skills in the inaugural event held in the college’s high-tech Auto Lab.
Top individual honors went to Jed Everson, Rhinelander, first place; Lucas Price, Rhinelander, second place; and Tommy Olson, Crandon, third place. Overall team trophies went to Rhinelander, first place; Crandon, second place; and Mercer, third place.
Of all the skills training Nicolet offers in the trades, the auto field has undergone one of the more dramatic technological advancements over the past decade, said Jeff Labs, interim dean of Trade, Industry and Apprenticeships at Nicolet.
“These students get it,” Labs said. “They know that learning how to operate the technology, whether it’s the diagnostic equipment in the shop or the computers in our vehicles, is the way to go for a successful career today as an auto technician.”
Labs added that every year many students enroll in Nicolet’s two-year Automotive Technology associate degree program to acquire the exact skills dealerships, repair shops, and other automotive enterprises are looking for in new employees.
“Nicolet offers a comprehensive training program that starts with the basics and uses that as the foundation for students to learn more advanced skills,” he said. “What we’re seeing is that many get jobs in the field while they are students and they continue taking classes to learn more advanced skills and earn their associate degree.”