Yukoners win at national skills competition

From hairstyling to 2D animation to plumbing, Yukoners have some serious skills. Once again, this was clear at the Skills Canada National Competition held last week in Quebec City.

From hairstyling to 2D animation to plumbing, Yukoners have some serious skills. Once again, this was clear at the Skills Canada National Competition held last week in Quebec City.

For the first time at the national competition, Skills Yukon won two gold medals in one year. Yukon tradespeople also took in two silvers and almost reached the podium twice more with a pair of fourth-place finishes.

“We’ve come back with five and six medals respectively, but we’ve never come back with so much gold and silver. It’s really great,” said Dan Curtis, president of Skills Yukon. “In all these years we’ve only gotten a couple golds, so we’re really excited to get two in one year. It’s really amazing.”

For both the two Yukon gold winners, Denis Godin and Nathan Peterson, it’s their third consecutive medal at the nationals.

Godin, who won in mechanical computer-assisted drafting, captured the Yukon’s first-ever gold at the nationals in 2009.

“I was really happy that I was able to get those results,” said the 19-year-old. “It’s always a tough competition and I thought I did well.”

[image2]

Godin, who won a silver last year, will be starting his third year at the University of Alberta for industrial design this fall. He is currently working at FSC Architects & Engineers for the summer.

“In the past I’ve worked for Quantum Machine Works, where I got most of my training, and I worked for Icefield Tools (Corporation) last year,” said Godin. “I’m being introduced to architectural drafting, which is a lot different from mechanical drafting,”

Paterson’s gold came in heavy-duty mechanics, adding to a gold from last year and a bronze in 2009.

“I wasn’t expecting a gold, but I guess it all worked out,” said Peterson. “It was fun competing.”

For his medal, Peterson had to complete some hydraulic work on an excavator, electrical work on a truck and a pair of engine projects over a 12-hour competition. The toughest part was, “The stress of the judges and people watching,” said Peterson, who hones his craft while working at Pacific Truck and Trailer Repair in Whitehorse.

A good indication for the future, the two silver medalists were both first-time competitors. Geordo Matechuk won his silver in plumbing while fellow Yukoner Mike Trainor won his in electrical installations.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Curtis of Trainor’s medal. “He’s a first-year guy at Yukon College and to go against third- and fourth-year people, in one of the most competitive disciplines in Canada, and to get a silver really speaks for his employer. He works for Dynamic Systems and they’ve done a great job with him.”

Yukon’s two fourth-place finishes came from Leah Battersby for sheet metal mechanics and David Lister in secondary mechanical CADD.

Lister, one of eight secondary school competitors out of Whitehorse, missed getting a medal by just four points out of 1,000.

“We came really, really close with the fourth places,” said Curtis.

Established in 1998, Skills Yukon won just two medals over the first decade at the nationals. However, over the last four appearances, the Yukon has won 21. A total of 21 Yukoners competed in 16 trades at this year’s nationals, which was the largest ever with over 500 participants.

“We had great representations, as we always do,” said Curtis. “We had a lot of people here from Yukon College and Yukon industry. Yukon industry has really come to the plate. They really take care of their apprentices and give them good resources to ensure they will be able to make it. We are so pleased that industry is really making this happen, more than any level of government, or even the schools.

“That’s why we are having the success that we are, because of the industry involvement.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Copper Ridge resident clears their driveway after a massive over night snowfall in Whitehorse on Nov. 2, 2020. Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for the Whitehorse and Haines Junction areas for Jan. 18. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Winter storm warning for Haines Junction and Whitehorse

Environment Canada says the storm will develop Monday and last until Tuesday

Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mushers race in preparation for FirstMate Babe Southwick

The annual race is set for Feb. 12 and 13.

The Yukon government is making changes to the medical travel system, including doubling the per diem and making destinations for medical services more flexible. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Subsidy for medical travel doubled with more supports coming

The change was recommended in the Putting People First report endorsed by the government

Chloe Sergerie, who was fined $500 under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> on Jan. 12, says she made the safest choice available to her when she entered the territory. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Woman fined $500 under CEMA says she made ‘safest decision’ available

Filling out a declaration at the airport was contrary to self-isolation, says accused

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fire damage, photographed on Jan. 11, to a downtown apartment building which occurred late in the evening on Jan. 8. Zander Firth, 20, from Inuvik, was charged with the arson and is facing several other charges following his Jan. 12 court appearance. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
More charges for arson suspect

The Inuvik man charged in relation to the fire at Ryder Apartments… Continue reading

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

Most Read