(March 27th, 2023) – The NCK Technical College held its 19th annual GMAW welding competition. The college division was Wednesday, March 1. The high school competition was Thursday, March 2 and Friday, March 3. Participants for the college competition included NCKTC- Beloit, NCKTC-Hays, Salina Area Technical College, Hutchinson Community College, Central Community College- Hastings, NE, Central Community College- Columbus, NE, and Central Community College, Grand Island, NE.

The competition allows students the opportunity to demonstrate their blueprint reading skills to fabricate various weldments and showcase their ability to weld in all positions using the GMAW process. A written test is also given to evaluate their technical knowledge of the GMAW process. Blueprints were developed by Matt Brown and Derek Larimore of Caterpillar Work Tools in Wamego and the written test was developed by Wes Mosier. The blueprints and test were presented to the students the day of the competition to ensure a fair and equitable contest. Weld inspection was done by Certified Welding Inspectors, advisory members and industry professionals. Machines were donated by Lincoln Electric, Miller Electric, and wire was donated by ESAB electric. Matheson Gas supplied shielding gas, Caterpillar Work Tools of Wamego, AG-CO Beloit and Bohnert welding supplied the metal. Prizes were donated by Matheson of Hastings, NE, AG-CO Beloit, Lincoln Electric, Miller Electric, Winkel Manufacturing- Glen Elder, Outlaw Leather, Markal, Benchmark Abrasives, Everlast, Blue Demon and Webber Gross Welding- Bazine, KS.

The College competition held Wednesday, March 1 went well for NCK Tech of Beloit, with 7 students in the top ten. 1st- Brayden Doughman- (NCKTC) Canton, 2nd- Hunter Teasley- (NCKTC) Pratt, 3rd- Gunner Sheetz- (NCKTC) Belleville, 4th- Ross Eckroat- (NCKTC) Hays, 5th- Colten Bohlen- CCC Hastings, 6th- Evan Claassen- (NCKTC) Whitewater, 7th- Eli Schmidt- (NCKTC) Junction City, 8th- Alexis Gutierrez-CCC Columbus, 9th- Aiden Bock- CCC Hastings, 10th- Mavrik Griffin- (NCKTC) Minneapolis.

Thursday, March 2 and Friday, March 3 the high school competition was held with 48 schools and 167 competitors from Kansas and Nebraska. The high school students have drastically improved over the past years and did a fantastic job of showcasing their blueprint reading and welding ability.

Individual placings were: 1st- Jesse Gillgannon- Seaman, 2nd- Bradley Bogert- Quinter Tech, 3rd- Michael McConnaughy- Sterling, 4th- Connor Griffith- Salina Tech, 5th- Dane Free- Salina Tech, 6th- Brennen Newbrey- Gothenburg, 7th- Kevin Salazar- Salina Tech, 8th- Mason Herrick- McPherson, 9th- Jace Schowengerdt- Salina Central, 10th- Riley Gillespie- Quinter Tech.

Top three teams were 1- Salina Tech, 2- Quinter Tech, 3- Deshler, NE.

The competition is not possible without the great support of various business and industry leaders along with volunteers from NCK Tech. Thanks for helping make NCK Tech a great place!