Students win big at Ontario Technological Skills Competition

College takes home four medals: two gold and two silver

Durham College is proud to announce that four of its students received top recognition in their fields of study at the 23rd annual Ontario Technological Skills Competition, hosted by Skills Canada – Ontario, which took place in Waterloo, Ont. from April 30 to May 2.

During the awards ceremony held on May 3, Plumber apprentice Ryan Voscek received gold in the Plumbing category and third-year Computer Systems Technology student Mike Wade received gold in the IT Network Systems and Security Administration category. In addition, third-year Graphic Design student Ben Martin received silver in the Graphic Design – Studio Production category and third-year Computer Systems Technology student Alistair Belyea received silver in the IT Network Systems and Security Administration category.

The competition, the largest skilled trades competition in Canada, with more than 1,900 competitors and 30,000 spectators, saw students judged on both theoretical and practical components.

“Participation in the Ontario Technological Skills Competition provides our students with the opportunity to showcase their talent and skills,” said Judy Robinson, vice-president, Academic.  “The entire Durham College community is very proud of the students who competed this past week and are particularly thrilled with the accomplishments of Ryan, Michael, Ben and Alistair. I congratulate each of them on their impressive success.”

Voscek was assessed on his knowledge of plumbing systems with a focus on accuracy of installation, quality of workmanship and gas and water pressure testing. Wade and Belyea were assessed on their ability to set up and run a network suitable for a small to medium-sized business including their ability to manage and configure Windows and Linux servers and build a network using Cisco networking hardware.

In addition, Martin was challenged on various aspects of studio production including practical skills in such applications as Adobe InDesign, Corel Paint or Macromedia Freehands, design basic knowledge and technical competence.

All four students also participated in a job interview category, which required them to bring a prepared résumé and be ready to answer interview questions related to their technical career path.

The Ontario Technological Skills Competition was a great experience,” said Martin. “There was so much positive energy around all the programs that we have available here in Ontario.  I learned just how dedicated each school is to providing information for future students and my success at the competition shows that the Graphic Design program at Durham College has provided me with the skills I need for my future. ”

Voscek and Wade will move on to compete at the 18th annual Skills Canada National Competition being held in Edmonton, Alta. from Sunday, May 13 to Wednesday, May 16 with hopes of eventually progressing to the 2013 WorldSkills International being held in Leipzig, Germany from Tuesday, July 2 to Sunday, July 7, 2013.

Skills Canada – Ontario is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting skilled trades and technologies to Ontario youth through various programs and initiatives such as in-school presentations. The organization also facilitates qualifying and provincial competitions like the Ontario Technological Skills Competition.

“The success of our winners speaks to their dedication to learning and perfecting their skills and to our wonderful faculty who facilitate their learning and champion them along the way,” added Robinson. “We wish Ryan and Michael all the best at the upcoming Skills Canada National Competition and in their future career paths.”