March 13, 2024


Holland, MI- Four seniors from the Careerline Tech Center Diesel/Heavy Equipment Mechanics program at Careerline Tech Center took the top places in the Regional SkillsUSA Diesel Equipment Technology competition at Lansing Community College on Friday, February 23.

Diesel winning students with their new tools

Zackary DeKryger from Allendale High School earned first place in the Diesel Technology contest while homeschooled students Gavin Grifhorst and Jacob Moore both took second place. Zeeland High School student Tristan Overweg earned second place in the Heavy Equipment Operator contest. 

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 it is always great to see their students challenge themselves to be better. “It is rewarding to see students move out of their comfort zone and try new things,” Alberda said. “We are very proud of our program and our students and look forward to seeing what they can accomplish in the future.”  

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 am excited I was given this opportunity and I’m looking forward to continuing on to higher levels of the competition,” DeKryger said. 

All four students will move on to the State Level Diesel Equipment Technology competition on Saturday, April 13th in Grand Rapids.

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 29 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

Pictured L to R
Jacob Moore, Gavin Grifhorst and Zackary DeKryger