Date:  August, 2015

For Immediate Release

NCK Tech Students Shine at National Competition

Photo Caption: NCK Tech Welding students, Vance Appleby, Caleb Jarchow, and Nathan Kuhn receiving their gold medals.

The 2015 SkillsUSA National Championships took place June 22-26 in Louisville, KY.  NCK Tech had five students and two advisors participate in the competition.  The conference has categories for both postsecondary and secondary students from across the country enrolled in career and technical education programs.  Over 6,000 students competed in 100 hands-on skills and leadership contests.


The three-person team of Vance Appleby of Clay Center, KS; Caleb Jarchow of Deschler, NE; and Nathan Kuhn of Victoria, KS brought home a gold medal for NCK Tech by winning the national championship in the collegiate Welding Fabrication event.  The event requires the team to use their welding and fabrication skills to build a designed project from a given material.  Each team is required to be skilled in the multiple welding and cutting processes, as well as using common tools and blueprints.  All three welding students are recent graduates of the NCK Tech Welding program taught by Mr. Kyle Kopsa and Mr. Curtiss Anderson.  Just last year, the program produced another national champion in the individual Welding competition.  “Kyle has continually demonstrated that his program is not only one of the best in the area, but also in the nation,” stated NCK Tech President Eric Burks.  “We are very proud of the work Kyle, Curtiss, and their students have invested to prepare for this first place finish.”  Kopsa and Burks also want to thank several area businesses for their contributions of materials and guidance including, AGCO, Finn-Kool, Landoll, Winkel Manufacturing, Caterpillar, and CPS. “  Our program would not be where it is without their support,” said Kopsa.


NCK Tech also produced a national medalist in Electronics Technology program. Cole Calhoun of Lyons, KS won the silver medal in the college-level competition.  In this event contestants must demonstrate knowledge of analog and digital circuitry; the ability to troubleshoot electronic circuits; the ability to construct and test experimental circuits; and the ability to design and select circuit components.  Cole just completed his first year of NCK Tech’s Electronics Engineering Technology program taught by long-time instructor Kevin Vering.  In Mr. Vering’s near 35-year career at the College, he has produced several national medalists from his program.  “We are very proud of Cole and his success at the national level,” said Burks.  “Kevin has done a fantastic job with his program over the years and we’re really excited about his continued success at SkillsUSA.”