It’s been a sweet ride for a recent Metropolitan Community College graduate. Not only has Jonathan Robertson brought home the silver for MCC, he is also the reason the MCC-Longview campus will be the home of a brand new Chevrolet Corvette.

David Patience, MCC-Longview automotive department coordinator, describes the picture: “Quinn in the SkillsUSA Missouri T-Shirt, Jonathan with the big silver medal (and the indelible smile), and myself.”

Robertson and fellow MCC-Longview classmate Quinn Kielty put the skills they learned through the General Motors Automotive Service Educational Program (GMASEP) to the test as regional finalists in the SkillsUSA 2016 National Leadership and Skills Contest, in Louisville, Ky.

From June 20-26, SkillsUSA, a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce, hosted students from across the country in series of competitive events.

“Pretty amazing week indeed,” says the students’ mentor and coach, David Patience, automotive department coordinator at MCC-Longview.

The SkillsUSA Championships are competitive events showcasing the best career and technical education students in the nation. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels.

“Both Quinn and Jon won gold medals at the state level, just to qualify for this amazing event,” says Patience.

Thousands competed in the multi-million-dollar event that occupied a space equivalent to 16 football fields.

Robertson excelled in an automotive service technology contest, where contestants were run through an array of 12 stations plus a written exam. These 12 stations were designed to test every relevant skill in the automotive industry, from precision measuring and meter usage to customer service.

A silver medal was presented to Robertson on June 24 for his work. He also received numerous tools, service equipment and scholarship offers as part of his award package.

Kielty did MCC proud as well. “He did an excellent job of explaining and demonstrating proper service procedures on automotive drum brake systems,” Patience says.
Kielty landed solidly in the nation’s top 20 with a 14th place finish.

MCC Longview automotive program will also be receiving a vehicle donation from General Motors in recognition of Robertson’s win. Patience says the donation is expected to be in the form of a 2016 Corvette.