Students from Careerline Tech Center show outstanding performance in diesel technology competition

Students from Careerline Tech Center show outstanding performance in diesel technology competition

A quartet of students from the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District’s Careerline Tech Center recently received honors at the Regional SkillsUSA Diesel Equipment Technology competition held last month. The competition, which took place at Lansing Community College on Feb. 23, saw students from the CTC’s Diesel/Heavy Equipment Mechanics program claiming the top three spots in the Diesel Technology contest, with another student earning second place in the Heavy Equipment Operator contest. Zackary DeKryger from Allendale High School came in first place in the Diesel Technology competition, while homeschooled students Gavin Grifhorst and Jacob Moore both received second place. Additionally, Zeeland student Tristan Overweg secured second place in the Heavy Equipment Operator category.

During the competition, students had the opportunity to demonstrate their technical skills and knowledge in various areas including running engines, drivetrain components, braking systems, electrical systems, and hydraulics. Soft skills were also evaluated through mock employment interviews. DeKryger expressed his excitement at the opportunity and his eagerness to continue to higher levels of the competition.

Each of the students who participated in the regional competition will now advance to the state competition scheduled for Saturday, April 13 in Grand Rapids. The Diesel/HEM program at CTC offers a two-year program where students learn about the operation, maintenance, and overhaul of diesel-powered equipment in their first year, completing at least one engine overhaul. In the second year, students continue to develop their skills by troubleshooting and repairing customer-owned equipment.

Program instructor Jason Alberda shared his pride in the students and the program, noting the rewarding experience of seeing students step out of their comfort zone and try new things. The program looks forward to seeing what their talented students will achieve in the future. Subscribe to receive unlimited digital access to local news coverage and stay updated on the latest achievements of these skilled students. For more information, contact reporter Mitchell Boatman at

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