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Students and grads shine in skills competition

Holland College students and graduates representing the province at the 17th Skills Canada National Skills Competition in Quebec City recently brought home two gold, two silver, and two bronze medals, showing the rest of the country that the Island may be small, but our competitors are well-prepared to compete against the other provinces.

Derrick MacDonald, a graduate of Holland College's Electrical Technology, Industrial Electrical Technician program, placed first in the Automation and Control competition; and Tabitha Lewis, a Hotel and Restaurant Management student placed first in the Restaurant Service competition. Kurtis Arsenault and Brian Bridges, from the college's Electromechanical Technology program, both garnered silver medals in the Mechatronics competition. Bronze medals went to Christian Richard, a graduate of the Precision Machinist program, in the CNC Machining competition; and Applied Degree in Culinary Operations student Mathias Giermindl placed third in the Cooking competition.

Kent Sheen, program manager for the college's trades and industrial technology programs said the competitors performed well at the nationals because of their dedication and that of their instructors and mentors.

"The students from Prince Edward Island are competing with the cream of the crop at the nationals," he said. "The key to their success is the time and energy that they, their instructors and their mentors invest in the preparation. These are top competitors, so the time and energy that goes into preparing for an event like the nationals is crucial to their success. We're very proud of them.

Chef Austin Clement, program manager for The Culinary Institute of Canada, home of the Hotel and Restaurant Management and Applied Degree in Culinary Operations programs, agreed.

"Our students can stand shoulder to shoulder with any competitor. They work hard, and their instructors and mentors have high expectations. That helps them prepare for the high-energy, high-stress atmosphere of competition," he said.

Started in 1994, the Skills Canada National Competition remains the only event of its kind in Canada. It is the only national, Olympic-style, multi-trade and technology competition for young students and apprentices in the country. Every year, the event brings together approximately 500 young people from all regions of Canada, along with their parents and advisors, to compete in over 40 trade and technology areas. The competition provides an opportunity for young Canadians studying a skilled trade or technology to be tested against exacting standards and against their peers from across the nation.

In this picture; Tabitha Lewis, a student in Holland College's Hotel and Restaurant Management program, proudly shows off the gold medal she won in the National Skills Competition held in Quebec recently. Lewis was one of six Holland College students and graduates who won medals in the competitions.


For more information about this release, please contact:
Sara Underwood, Media and Communications Officer
Tel: 902-566-9695
Date: Monday, June 20, 2011