Grant Kennedy (l) and Ben Falconer from Aims Community College will represent Colorado for the second year in a row. Falconer finished first in the nation last year and is striving to win Nationals again.  Alicia Grauberger and Brandon Barrandey (l.) from Morgan Community College will also represent Colorado at Nationals this year. Center is their instructor and Alicia’s father, Tim Grauberger.Kelly Hebert, (l.) WarrenTech instructor, congratulates Weston Emmerich for winning the gold medal in Automotive Technology.Instructors Kelly Hebert (l.) and Tom Millard (r) recognize Cameron Bailey for winning first and heading on to National competition in June.

Students statewide demonstrated their skill sets in Collision Repair Technology, Automotive Refinishing, and Automotive Technology

Colorado Springs, Colo.~Thirty-five high school and post-secondary students competed in the Collision Repair Technology and Automotive Refinish divisions of the 2016 Colorado SkillsUSA competitions at Pikes Peak Community College, April 8.

     The students came from six Colorado schools: Morgan Community College, WarrenTech, Pickens Technical College, Aims Community College, Pikes Peak Community College, and Primero High School.

The finalists for the college Automotive Refinish division were: Brandon Barrandey, first, Morgan Community College; Kyle Metcalf, second, Pikes Peak Community College; Chris Gindro, third, Pickens Technical College.

At the high school level Automotive Refinish; Benjamin Falconer, Aims Community College, took first, Austin Grider, Aims Community College finished second, and Julian Trujillo, Primero High school, placed third.

 In the Collision Repair Technology competition the finalists in the college division were: Grant Kennedy, first, Aims Community College; Luke Sabey, second, WarrenTech, and Jalen Tilman, third, Pickens Technical College.

At the Collision Repair Technology high school level, Alicia Grauberger, Morgan Community College, placed first, Andrew Rogstad, WarrenTech, second, and Alfred Lee, Pikes Peak Community College, took third.

In addition, Luke Sabey from WarrenTech finished first in Job Interview at the college level and will also be heading to Nationals in June to compete in this leadership skill.

“There was amazing support from industry again this year,” said Craig Minnie, welding judge and collision technician from Mahnke Auto Body Brighton. In addition to the 26 industry judges and support staff running the contest, there were 19 sponsors helping with the cost of the contest, Minnie said. “This outstanding support demonstrates how the collision industry values local technical schools, their instructors, and these future technicians,” he said.

Industry partners helping with the event included: LKQ Corp., Keystone Automotive, PPG Industries, I-CAR, A&H Finishing, ABRA, Kent Automotive, Mahnke Auto Body, Hertz Local Edition, Akzo Nobel, Snap-On Tools, Axalta, Sherwin Williams, National Coatings and Supply, 3M, Aces of Denver, Wilson's Auto Body, Boulder Bump Shop, and CCCIS, shared Minnie.

In the Automotive Technology completion, there were 37 contestants from 17 schools.

WarrenTech swept first, with Weston Emmerich, taking first at the college level, and Cameron Bailey taking first at the high school level. They will both be heading to Nationals in Louisville, Ky, June 20-24 for the 52nd National Leadership and Skills contest. To get to the national conference, students had to first compete in regional events within their state with top performers then battling for wins at the state contest.

In addition, Dustin Ore placed second at the college level, from Arapahoe Community College, and Geoffrey Parker, from Pickens Technical College, finished third.

At the high school division of Automotive Technology, Tyler Huck from Bollman Tech placed second, and Austin Justman from Montrose High School, finished third.

Industry sponsors for the Automotive Technology competition included; American Honda, Toyota, CARQUEST, Colorado Automotive Teachers Society, State Farm Insurance, AutoZone, and Service Uniform.

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.