Vernon residents Dominique Zimmermann (left) and Derek Volling won medals at the B.C. Skills Canada competition.

Vernon residents Dominique Zimmermann (left) and Derek Volling won medals at the B.C. Skills Canada competition.

OC sweeps skills competition

Nearly a dozen Okanagan College trades and technology students have returned home after podium finishes

If the future of our region is dependent on a skilled workforce, the Okanagan is in good shape.

Nearly a dozen Okanagan College trades and technology students have returned home after podium finishes at the B.C. Skills Canada competition, held earlier this month in Abbotsford.

The college earned 11 medals (three gold, four silver and four bronze) in a series of timed high-pressure skills competitions ranging from automotive collision repair to IT network systems administration.

“I’m extremely proud of the results of our students,” said Jim Hamilton, Okanagan College president.

“The Skills B.C. competition is a great measure of how our students perform in the real world. They are faced with hands-on applied challenges and are given a set amount of time to make repairs, trouble shoot and come up with relevant solutions. The medals are evidence of our students’ skills and the great instruction they receive.”

Winners of the provincial competition are eligible to compete at the nationals, held in June in Toronto. The Okanagan College students who will represent the province in Toronto are: Vernon’s Dominique Zimmermann, gold in aircraft maintenance; Kelowna’s Ken Anderson, gold in automotive service; and James Webber, gold in electronics, also from Kelowna.

For the second year in a row, Okanagan College swept the electronic engineering competition, taking all three podium spots.

Other medalists from Vernon include Derek Volling, aircraft maintenance (bronze); Russell Relling, automotive collision repair (silver); Josh Wams, electronics (silver); and Bryer Edwards, IT network systems administration (silver).