Kish College students finish as medalists in SkillsUSA competitions

For Immediate Release:

The Kishwaukee College SkillsUSA chapter had a strong showing in competitions this year, including champions and medalists at the state and national levels.

Photo Caption: Members of the Kish SkillsUSA team competed in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference Championships in Atlanta, Georgia. Pictured left to right are Ethan Gieseke, fourth place finisher in Power Equipment Technology; Tyler Faber, first place finisher and national champion in Heavy Equipment Technology; and Don Flink, Assistant Professor of Diesel Power Technology and coach of the Kish SkillsUSA team.

SkillsUSA is a national organization helping prepare students for trade professions. SkillsUSA annually hosts competitions for career and technical education (CTE) students to showcase their hands-on training and abilities.

In April, Kish’s SkillsUSA chapter had 19 students qualify for the SkillsUSA Illinois State Leadership & Skills Conference Championships in East Peoria, competing in Heavy Equipment Operation, Power Equipment Technology and Diesel Equipment Technology with finalists in each field.

In Heavy Equipment Operation, Tyler Faber finished in first place to earn the state title. In Power Equipment Technology, Jacob Schmidt earned first place and a state title, Faber finished in second place, and Ethan Gieseke earned third place. In Diesel Equipment Technology, Warren Flink earned fifth place.

Faber and Gieseke qualified to compete with more than 5,000 students in the week-long SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference Championships in Atlanta, Georgia, in June. Faber earned the gold medal and national championship in the Heavy Equipment Operation category, and Gieseke earned fourth place in the Power Equipment Technology category.

The Kish team was coached by Assistant Professor of Diesel Power Technology Don Flink.

“We are proud of all the hard work and dedication our team showed throughout the year in competition,” Flink said. “These are fantastic results for our students and showcase the skills you can learn and build upon at Kishwaukee College.”

Kish’s SkillsUSA team includes members from the various Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs the College offers. To learn more about CTE opportunities at Kish, visit