Two Roadrunners and a Hawk receive scholarship awards from Opus

The pressure is on. Can you successfully measure the rotating torque on a limited slip differential and determine the necessary remedial action? How about test, diagnose and service ABS speed sensors, toothed ring, and circuits using an oscilloscope?

If you are a high school student capable of demonstrating mastery in these two skills, along with 98 other tasks, you might just achieve a top score in the SkillsUSA comprehensive automotive diagnostic and repair competition conducted annually in states across the country.  What’s more, if your state’s SkillsUSA competition takes place at the same time it hosts the annual I/M Solutions Conference, you might just receive a scholarship award from Opus.

Since 1993, the competition has been held to not only recognize students for excellence and professionalism in the field of automotive service technology, but also to evaluate their preparation for employment, which extends into math, science, communications, research and other areas.SkillsUSA is a nationwide partnership of high school students, teachers and industry leaders working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.  The competition is open to active SkillsUSA members enrolled in career and technical programs with automotive technician or automotive service technology as the occupational objective.

That Opus would be excited about recognizing student excellence makes a lot of sense when you consider I/M companies focus not only on inspecting vehicles for safety and emissions, but also on ensuring failing vehicles are properly repaired and maintained. As an industry we strive to raise the bar of repair excellence and help promote honesty and effectiveness among repair techs. We believe vehicle compliance and ongoing maintenance ultimately helps preserve human life.

This year the Nevada Skills USA competition was held on April 12th. Competing students faced a 100-question exam covering all aspects of vehicle performance and compliance, which included performing extensive tasks at 13 hands-on workstations. When the smoke cleared (so to speak) and judging completed, three top students were selected to be honored the following month at the National I/M Solutions Conference, which this year was held in Henderson, Nevada.

The setting for the presentation of awards couldn’t be more appropriate. The National I/M Solutions Conference is hosted by a different state jurisdiction each year and is attended by 200 government agencies and vendors that operate vehicle inspection and safety programs.

As the conference is hosted by a particular state, Opus honors the top students from that state who competed in SkillsUSA. This was our third consecutive year presenting the award.

Honored this year were three deserving students from two Las Vegas area magnet schools: Daniel Chavez-Montero from the Northwest Career Technical Academy (“Hawks”) and “Roadrunners” Robert Troncoso and Jonathan Keating from the Southeast Career Technical Academy.

Presenting the awards for Opus were Sandra McCulloch (CEO), Jim Sands (Vice President of Business Development), and Tom Fournier (Chief Technology Officer), who were pleased to hand each student a check for $1,000 to continue enhancing their skills in automotive repair and to honor them for upholding the values of our industry.

The awardees were SkillsUSA Automotive Service Technology contestants who superbly demonstrated their ability to perform jobs and skills based on the task list outlined by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Workstations consist of on-vehicle simulations, bench and component testing, and a written test. Contestants are judged on technical competency, accuracy, quality, safety and ability to follow directions.

Opus looks forward to recognizing more SkillsUSA achievers next year at the I/M Solution Conference in New Jersey, and in 2020, when the conference moves south to Georgia.

For now, two Silver State Roadrunners and a Hawk are ready to achieve the next stage of their career development.