CRESTON — Southwestern Community College (SWCC) automotive collision repair/refinish students Zach Mullen of New Market and Garrett Hogue of Lenox took home second and fifth place finishes respectively at the 2014 SkillsUSA Championships held June 25-26, 2014, in Kansas City, MO.
Mullen, a 2012 graduate of Clarinda High School, placed second nationally in the automotive refinishing technology category. He received his diploma in collision repair/refinish from SWCC in June 2013 and his associate of applied science degree in auto collision repair/refinish in May 2014. He is the son of Bill Mullen and Diane Mullen, both of New Market.
Hogue, a May 2010 graduate of Lenox High School, placed fifth nationally in the collision repair technology category. He received his diploma from SWCC’s collision repair/refinish program in June 2013 and his associate of applied science degree in auto collision repair/refinish in May 2014. He is the son of Matt and Coleen Hogue of Lenox.
The SkillsUSA Championships showcase the best career and technical students in the nation. Hogue and Mullen qualified for the national competition by placing first in state competition at the Iowa SkillsUSA 2014 competition in Ankeny on May 2, 2014. At the SkillsUSA National Championships, more than 6,000 contestants competed in 98 events.
Southwestern is one of 11 community colleges in Iowa with an automotive collision repair program. SWCC’s collision repair/refinish program is one of two programs in Iowa to have the ASE (The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence)/NATEF (National Automotive Technician Education Foundation) certification and the only program in the state to have the I-CAR (Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair) Gold Class designation. SWCC's collision repair/refinish program is based on the I-CAR Enhanced Delivery curriculum and offers hands-on experiences in the classroom. Courses are taught by ASE-certified instructors who have platinum level I-CAR designations.