Dominic Ferrante, a 2014 graduate of Troy Buchanan High, competed in a national diesel mechanics competition where he placed ninth. He had previously won top honors in the state competition. This is through SkillsUSA.
During the national competition held in Kansas City, he was tested through ‘hands-on competition’ which was timed. He was tested in areas such as precision measuring, welding and torching, truck inspection (chassis/cab), live engine diagnostics, transmission, rear-drive train, air brakes and a job interview.
“I believe there were 14 stations altogether with 25 minutes at each one. It (judging) took most of the day.”
He studied diesel mechanics as a student at Pike-Lincoln Tech Center. Buzz Mendonza was his instructor.
“Mr. Mendonza worked with us students our junior year and told us about the challenges and benefits the SkillsUSA program presented to us,” said Ferrante. “He worked with us after class on his own time.”
That was a challenge that Ferrante couldn’t pass up. He spoke of working with his father where he was usually ‘under the car’ learning from him beginning at a young age.
SkillsUSA is an applied method of instruction for preparing America’s high performance workers in public career and technical programs. It provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development. More than 285,000 student and instructors join SkillsUSA annually and more than 1,100 business, industry and labor sponsor activities at the national level. It returned to Kansas City for the National Leadership and Skills Conference. More than 4,500 students (all state contest winners) competed.
Ferrante will continue his education at the State Technical College of Missouri (formerly Linn Tech). Ferrante is employed at Auto Lube Plus in Troy, working part-time after school and full-time in the summer. He is the son of Vince and Donna Ferrante.