DC students win gold, silver and bronze medals at Skills Ontario Competition

Durham College (DC) is proud to announce that seven DC students earned six medals – two gold, two silver and two bronze – in post-secondary categories at the 29th annual Skills Ontario Competition, Canada’s largest skilled trades and technology competition, which took place in Toronto from May 7 to 9.

Students Zachary Unger, Building Construction Technician, and Keeshan Sharma, Automotive Technician – Service and Management (Motive Power Technician), owned the podium, winning gold medals in the carpentry and auto service technology categories, respectively.

Judges evaluated Unger on his carpentry skills for residential construction, requiring him to interpret drawings and assemble framing systems such as floors, walls and roofs. For his part, Sharma tackled real-life auto-repair situations related to engines, electrical function and vehicle performance, among other skills. Unger and Sharma’s wins means they will be representing DC and Ontario against the best and brightest in their categories in Canada, when they participate in the Skills Canada National Competition 2018 held in Edmonton, Alberta, on Monday, June 4 and Tuesday, June 5. 

Emilie Smith, a student in DC’s Advanced Baking and Pastry Arts program, took a silver medal in the baking category. Smith earned tops marks for her proficiency in baking cakes and pastries using her own recipes. In addition, Liam Duffy, who is enrolled in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program and studies at DC under the School-College-Work initiative, picked up a silver medal in the culinary art category after demonstrating his skills in cooking and displaying hot and cold dishes.

In the horticulture and landscape category, Tianna Ghersini and Andrew Campbell won bronze as a team. The Horticulture Technician students showcased their skills by building a garden, which components may include plant selection and placement of landscape rocks. Apprenticeship Plumbing student Tanner Woodhead also earned bronze in the plumbing category, which assessed knowledge of the plumbing system, including gas and water pressure, and quality of work.

“Congratulations to all of the Durham College students who earned incredible success at the annual Skills Ontario competition,” said Dr. Rebecca Milburn, associate vice-president, Academic at DC. “Their accomplishments are a direct reflection of quality programs, the support of mentorship of their professors and the hard work and commitment they have demonstrated throughout their studies.”

The DC students competed against peers from across the province in contests that included theoretical and practical components, as well as a job interview related to their technical career paths.

The competition is presented annually by Skills Ontario, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting skilled trades and technologies to Ontario youth.

Overall, 18 DC students competed in various categories including auto service technology, baking, culinary arts, coding, IT network system administration and plumbing.