Galen Yocham advances to the SkillsUSA State Precision Machining Competition.
Northeast Technology Center students Mason Gibson and Galen Yocham –
both of Inola – traveled to Tulsa Tech’s Broken Arrow Campus on
Wednesday for the Precision Machining regional competition through
SkillsUSA. Gibson and Yocham are enrolled in the Computer Aided
Manufacturing (CAM) Program at Northeast Technology Center’s Claremore
Campus, and both walked away winners.
“I am really proud of these guys, because it was a tough
competition,” said CAM instructor Shawn Christian. “We were competing
against Tulsa Tech students on their home turf, and while it’s a
friendly rivalry, it feels good to walk away with the win.”
SkillsUSA is a national student organization that offers training and
career opportunities through annual competitions. Depending on the
program, students may compete at regional, state or national levels.
“At this first level of competition, students have to place first or
second to advance to the state level competition,” Christian said. “The
guys did great, but having a few more weeks of practice before the state
competition will help them sharpen their skills. The competition only
gets tougher from here.”
Precision Machining is one of the categories that requires a
qualifying regional, and as first place finishers, Gibson and Yocham
advance to the state competition. NTC students will compete in two other
categories in addition to Precision Machining – CNC Mill and CNC Lathe –
however these do not require a regional qualifier.
“In total, we’ll have six students representing us at the SkillsUSA
State Competition, and I hope to take every one of them to nationals
this summer” said Christian. “Competing against their peers will only
make them better machinists, and they’ll also be able to make
professional connections that can result in great career opportunities.”
The CAM Program is only offered at NTC’s Claremore Campus, and enrollment is now underway for the 2016-2017 school year.
“Machining is not what most people might think,” said Christian. “Our
shop is full of high-tech computer equipment, and the job options are
both endless and lucrative.”