Lakeland Community College welding student, Dominick Filutze recently placed first in the SkillsUSA Ohio individual welding competition. Lakeland’s welding fabrication team, made up of students Roger Eubank III, Cory Dages and Mason Vermilye, received first place in the team welding fabrication category.
Ian Pike, an information technology and computer science student, also placed first in the Computer Programming competition, which required competitors to produce an application based on real world specifications in under four hours.
The SkillsUSA Ohio Championships take place during the SkillsUSA state conference held annually each spring in Columbus, Ohio. The SkillsUSA Ohio Championships are competitive events that conduct over 100 different contests in trade, technical and skilled service occupations over the course of the three day conference.
While Lakeland has had many students compete in the SkillsUSA welding category, Pike is the first Lakeland student to compete in the Computer Programming event, placing first in Ohio in 2018 and again in 2022.
“We couldn’t be prouder of Ian and this accomplishment for Lakeland. He previously competed in SkillsUSA competitions at the high school level and was very successful. After enrolling at Lakeland, Ian started an official club on campus for the chapter,” explained Melinda O’Connor, SkillsUSA adviser and IT&CS adjunct professor. “SkillsUSA offers many opportunities for students to build relationships with business and industry through leadership, volunteering and competitive events. Our students do an amazing job and I would love to continue to see our chapter grow. There's truly something for everyone."
Lakeland’s welding program has a rich history of competing in SkillsUSA Ohio competitions, with students placing first in the state for 10 consecutive years. This year’s competition included a field of 18 individual welding competitors as well as 14 teams in the team fabrication competition.
“We are extremely proud of our students and the work they’ve put in to get to this point. After spending weeks preparing for this competition, it’s great to see them recognized,” shared Lakeland Welding and Fabrication Technology program coordinator and instructor, Ryan Eubank. “These competitions bring out the best of the best in their respective fields. For our students to consistently advance to the national level really speaks to the hard work and dedication of the students in our program.”
Pike, Filutze, Eubank III, Dages and Vermilye will now have the opportunity to represent Lakeland and Ohio at the SkillsUSA National Championships June 20-24 in Atlanta, Georgia, where winners from all 53 state and territorial SkillsUSA associations will compete.
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. Founded in 1965 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, the association serves more than 300,000 member students and instructors in middle schools, high schools and colleges each year. This diverse talent pipeline covers 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, the majority STEM-related. More than 600 corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA at the national level. Learn more at www.worldskillsusa.org.