National SkillsUSA competition nets big win for Bates Technical College student

Posted: July 11, 2019

The SkillsUSA competition is an event displaying the best career and technical education students in the nation.

TACOMA, Wash. –For the second consecutive year, Bates Technical College Motor Cycle and Marine Technology program student Kevin Neill won the gold medal during last month’s SkillsUSA National Skills and Leadership Conference, held at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.

Competing in the Motorcycle Service Technology category, Neill performed tasks representative of those encountered in a dealership’s service department.

Said Neill, “As a recent graduate, the competition was an opportunity to take what I had learned at Bates Technical College and again put it to the test, challenging my technical skills as well as my capacity to react, respond and adapt to the unknown,” he said.

Judges evaluated the competitors on various technical skills using Harley-Davidson motorcycles, including performing electrical diagnostic and parts manuals, electrical diagnostics, precision measurement, chassis/suspension service, transmission and drive systems, power train systems and more. Judges looked for clean and organized work habits, correct use of reference materials, the ability to follow directions, and good technical skills.

“While I may not know what the future holds for me,” said Neill, “I know that my time at Bates has helped make me into someone who has the determination and discipline to become whatever the future may require.”

The 55th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference attracted more than 6,500 career and technical education students who competed against each other and the clock in categories that range from precision machining and information technology to customer service and job interview. Each contestant is a state-level gold medalist.

To learn more about the Power Sports and Equipment Technology program, go to, or call 253.680.7000. To learn more about SkillsUSA, go to

About SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is a vital solution to help close the skills gap. This nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry ensures America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. Founded in 1965 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, the association serves more than 360,000-member students and instructors each year in middle schools, high schools and colleges. 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 support SkillsUSA at the national level. SkillsUSA programs are integrated into career and technical education through a framework of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. Local, state and national championships, designed and judged by industry, set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide needed recognition to its students. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and other workplace credentials. For more information, go to

About Bates Technical College

Founded in 1940, Bates Technical College offers certificate and degree opportunities in nearly 50 career education programs, and serves approximately 3,000 career training students and 10,000 more community members annually in extended learning, distance learning, high school, and other programs. For more information, go to, or call 253.680.7000.

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