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Eight Aims Automotive Students to Compete in the State SkillsUSA Competition

GREELEY, CO – February 26, 2018 – Aims recently hosted a SkillsUSA Challenge competition at the Automotive and Technology Center in Windsor. College and high school students from all over the region made their way to the Aims Windsor campus to compete in a variety of collision and repair challenges. Students were also participated in mock job interviews during the day. Twenty-nine Aims students competed and eight will compete in the state competition in April held in Colorado Springs:

  1. Kaiden Brier of Windsor took top honors in the post-secondary collision category.
  2. Frank Dabbiero of Berthoud finished closely behind Brier in the post-secondary collision category. Dabbiero competed at the national level in this contest last year.
  3. Ramon Figuero of Holyoke will also return to the state competition for the second consecutive year for his first-place finish in post-secondary refinishing.
  4. Nicolas Moeller of Greeley placed in post-secondary total loss and damage appraisal.
  5. Michael Kunkel of Fort Collins placed in post-secondary total loss and damage appraisal.

In the secondary-education division, Aims Concurrent Enrollment students also placed and will move on to the state competition. Aims Concurrent Enrollment students are local high school students that take classes at Aims and earn certificates while still in high school to get a head start on their career and education.

  1. Jo Boden of Loveland won the secondary collision category.
  2. Anahi Najera of Greeley won first place in secondary refinishing.
  3. Raul Salazar of Greeley won second place in secondary refinishing.

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.

See photos from event

“Our automotive program continually produces successful results at the SkillsUSA competition,” said Aims CEO and President, Dr. Leah L Bornstein. “The automotive instructors are doing a phenomenal job of preparing highly skilled automotive technicians and are helping to bridge the gap in the shortage of skilled workers in America’s workforce.”

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. 

All eight of these students will travel together and represent Aims as they compete against the best students in the state in their respected categories. Students who take first place at the state competition will be invited to compete this June at the national competition held in Louisville, KY. Aims students have had recent success at the state competition with all six students competing finishing in the top four last year and two students winning gold and moving on to nationals.

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. www.skillsusa.org

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 www.aims.edu/academics/auto for more information.