The IBT team helped out future electrical, mechanical, and pneumatic specialists at the state-level SkillsUSA competition in Kansas, held in April 2015.
Brent Hanson, the Business Group Director of Fluid Power at IBT Industrial Solutions, volunteered to act as a judge for the electrical portion of the competition, reviewing the work of participating high school and college students, and offering feedback and career guidance.
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“We’re supporting the education of future specialists in our field,” Hanson said, adding that he enjoyed interacting with the students and telling them about the day-to-day tasks of his job. “This is a way that IBT can invest in our future workforce. Many of these students will one day become our employees, partners, and customers.”
The statewide competition was held at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas. Two secondary school and four post-secondary school teams participated.
“I’ve been a part of SkillsUSA for over 15 years, and it really helps to educate the students,” said Chris Reuter, the owner of Innovative Education Systems. “I love coaching young men and women about what work is like in the real world. These are things they don’t get in the classroom from an instructor.”
In his business, Reuter owns a manufacturer’s rep firm that supplies specialized training equipment. The equipment teaches industrial maintenance, troubleshooting, and motor control in a safe environment that is instructor-faulted. In his work with SkillsUSA, he’s the Mechatronics Chairperson for the state of Kansas.
“We get to interview with the participants, share resumes, and give them a solid perspective on what they can do better to get a good job,” Reuter said. The winning Kansas team was from Hutchinson, Kansas, performing the best on several tasks—such as completing an electric wiring circuit, programming a PLC, calculating the right speed for a gear ratio box, and troubleshooting a faulted piece of equipment.
The winning team will go on to represent the state of Kansas at the national SkillsUSA competition in June 2015, held in Louisville, Kentucky. More than 20,000 people attend the national competition annually.
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. The organization helps students excel in their field.