Casper College hosting Wyoming SkillsUSA for CTE students

The Wyoming SkillsUSA championship is taking place in Casper this week.
Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 10:25 AM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The Wyoming SkillsUSA championship is taking place in Casper this week. It’s a three day event in which college and high school students from around the state compete for a chance to go to the national championship.

During the Wyoming SkillsUSA Championship, competitions are held for career and technical education students. One of the competitions being held is for auto tech students. Overseeing the competition is Casper College Auto Tech Instructor Christopher Carroll. Carroll is ASE certified, and has more than 30 years in the auto industry. He describes the different competitions.

“We try to cover all the skill areas for automotive repair. I do an electrical station, we do an alignment station, a brake station. We cover scan tools, tires and wheels. So a little bit of everything on the car.”

Over 40 high school and college students are competing in auto tech. Teams are given 12 minutes at each station to learn the tools, then properly use them to diagnose the issue. High school student and skills competitor Brandon Abraham appreciates the hands-on experience.

“This is my main focus. I plan on getting a diesel certification, but auto is my main thing right now. And just trying to get stuff done, and maybe get an auto certification done here in the future.”

Carroll adds, “That little spark they get when they start working on cars... And solve a problem... Yeah, that’s what we want to see. The industry needs bright young minds. And we try to encourage them to pursue a career in it.”

Though Carroll doesn’t discourage getting a college degree, he believes they’re not always needed. “No this is really a good avenue. They don’t have to do a four year degree. Our program is nine months. And really they can go to work in the industry after this. So it’s really more related to the field that they want to pursue. So the trades is a really good way to get an education, without doing the whole college experience.”

For Abraham... Getting to represent his school, and the state of Wyoming, would be an honor. “It would be really great. Because I feel like I would represent the school really well. Being able to show what rocky mountain high school is capable of, with their skills team.”

The winners will go on to compete in the National SkillsUSA Championships this June in Atlanta.