March 22, 2022


Students now qualified to advance to state competition

Holland, MI- Four seniors from the Careerline Tech Center Diesel/Heavy Equipment Mechanics program at Careerline Tech Center took the top four places in the Regional SkillsUSA Diesel Equipment Technology competition at Lansing Community College Friday, February 25.

group of diesel students and teacher

Photo L – R: Caleb Bouchard, Diesel/HEM Parapro Dale DeLange, Christopher Carpin, Randal Fletcher, Caleb Prince

Caleb Bouchard from Coopersville High School earned first place, homeschooled student Christopher Carpin took second place, Randal Fletcher from West Ottawa High School brought home third place and homeschooled student Caleb Prince took fourth place. 

The Diesel/HEM program at Tech offers a two-year program for those who would like to continue their studies. During the first year, students learn about the operation, maintenance, and overhaul of diesel-powered equipment and complete at least one engine overhaul. Students who continue with the program learn to troubleshoot and repair customer-owned equipment in their second year. 

Jason Alberda, Diesel/HEM Instructor for Careerline Tech Center said students have placed first through third before but never the top four. “It is always great to see students from our class be successful,” Alberda said. “I am always amazed at how smart our students are and how much they learn and know during the two years they are in this program at the Tech Center.”  

Students spent nearly three hours demonstrating their technical skills and knowledge. Categories included running engine, drivetrain components, braking system, electrical, hydraulic, shop practices, engine fundamentals and measurement. Soft skills were also evaluated in a mock employment interview.

“I enjoyed learning different skills at the Tech Center and applying them at the SkillsUSA Contest and seeing how they are used in different situations,” Bouchard said.

Chris Carpin said he is thankful for his first and second-year Diesel/HEM instructors. “I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them,” Carpin said. “I’m grateful I’ve made it this far and I plan to continue forward and get better in this field.”

The top three regional winners move on to the State Level Diesel Equipment Technology competition on Saturday, April 9th in Grand Rapids.

First through third place received automotive tools for their accomplishments. The students decided to share their tools with Prince and each gave him tools from their prize package. 

“This group has always wanted to learn at the highest level and would often assist others in the class,“ Diesel/HEM instructor Keven Wiersma said. “These four young men are very deserving of this hard-earned recognition and we are excited to watch them compete at the next level.”

Operated by Ottawa Area ISD, Careerline Tech Center prepares high school juniors and seniors for tomorrow's workforce by providing career and technical education in more than 25 career areas. CTC serves students from public and private high schools, as well as those who are homeschooled, within the following local school districts: Allendale, Coopersville, Grand Haven, Hamilton, Holland, Hudsonville, Jenison, Saugatuck, Spring Lake, West Ottawa, and Zeeland.

For more information, contact Michelle Ready at 616. 738-8940 x. 4093