For six years in a row, a Joliet Junior College automotive student has taken first place at the Illinois Skills USA Competition – and this year was no different when Tom Hahn, a first year JJC automotive student from Homer Glen was named the first place winner. Second year JJC automotive student John Palkovitz of Lockport received second place, a feat he accomplished during last year’s competition as well.
Both students said they excelled during the competition because their JJC automotive professors prepared them well through instruction in the classroom and in the labs. Hahn and Palkovitz added that the up-to-date equipment in the labs also gave them an advantage over other student competitors.
“The resources here are phenomenal,” Palkovitz said. “JJC has the best of everything, and they train the best. The teachers get to know you here, and they really want to help you. JJC has really set apart Tom and me from the rest of the competition.”
“Winning first place was such an empowering feeling. It was such a good payoff,” Hahn added.
Hahn plans to transfer to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale after he graduates from JJC. He wants to work with hybrids as an automotive engineer in alternative fuels.
Palkovitz, who graduates from JJC this May, plans to attend SIU Carbondale in the fall. His career goals include working for GM.
Because Hahn won first place, he will represent JJC and the state of Illinois at the National Competition in Kansas City, Mo. June 23-28.
For more information about the automotive service technology program at JJC, visit www.jjc.edu/academics/divisions/career-technical/technical/automotive-service-tech, or contact program coordinator Jim Coleman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-280-2576.