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Aims Auto Students Succeed at State SkillsUSA Challenge

GREELEY, CO – April 27, 2018 – Aims sent eight Automotive students to the state SkillsUSA Challenge in Colorado Springs last week. The competitors had recently placed in the top three at a regional competition that was hosted at the Aims Automotive and Technology Center in February.

The students competed against other automotive students from across the state in a variety of collision and repair categories. Five students placed and two earned gold medals and invitations to the national competition in June. 

  1. Frankie Dabbiero, of Berthoud, took second place in post-secondary collision
  2. Nicolas Moeller, from Greeley, placed third place in post-secondary damage appraisal
  3. Ramon Figueroa, of Holyoke, came in second place in post-secondary refinishing
  4. Jo Boden, from Loveland High School, won the secondary collision category
  5. Michael Kunkel, of Greeley, won the post-secondary damage appraisal

Boden and Kunkel will move on and compete at the national completion in Louisville, Kentucky held from June 25-30. They will compete against 160 other automotive students from around the country. The SkillsUSA National event has over 16,000 students competing in all trades from 49 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

SkillsUSA is a national career and technical education organization designed to ensure America has a skilled workforce. The organization serves middle school, high school and college/postsecondary students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations. Local, state and national programs are designed for students to develop and demonstrate personal, workplace and technical skills that serve as a blueprint for career readiness.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a nine percent increase in demand for qualified automotive body repair technicians over the next decade, a better than average outlook compared to other fields. The average salary of auto body technicians is $41,570. Aims has programs in auto body repair and auto service technology where students are consistently placed in jobs with repair centers and automotive manufacturers.

“Qualified auto technicians are in high demand and the Aims Automotive program provides an amazing opportunity to get hands-on experience in a state-of-the-art facility,” said Aims President/CEO, Dr. Leah L. Bornstein. “Our instructors enjoy working with such talented students. Year after year we are able to send students to the national competition and we couldn’t be more proud of Jo and Michael, as they go on to Louisville to represent Aims and northern Colorado,” she added.

In addition to the success of the Aims students at the state completion, Aims instructors, Mike Hanscome and Kyle Cadarette instructors were awarded certificates representing three years of growth in SkillsUSA.

About SkillsUSA
SkillsUSA is a national partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA is an individual membership organization serving middle school, high school and college/postsecondary students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations. SkillsUSA is recognized as a successful model of employer-driven youth development training program by the U.S. Department of Labor. At the National SkillsUSA Championships, more than 6,000 students compete in 100 occupational and leadership skill areas each June. These national competitions establish industry standards for entry-level workers in many fields.

About Aims’ Automotive Programs
The Aims Automotive program is an accredited program with certificates and degrees in Collision Repair and Service Technology. Recognized as one of the leading automotive programs in Colorado, the program has a 91 percent total positive placement in automotive service according to 2015-16 graduate reports. Visit for more information.