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Tuesday, 17 May 2016 19:29

Upper Cape Tech Student Advances to National SkillsUSA Competition While Working in Shop Co-op Program

Upper Cape Cod

Collision repair students from Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical High in front of the Bourne Bridge in Cape Cod, MA

Hard work, dedication and a close attention to detail all paid off for Fred Teed, who will soon be competing in the national SkillsUSA competition being held in Louisville, Kentucky, June 20-24. 

The senior at Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical High School is one of 40 students enrolled in the school’s collision repair program. 

In February, they participated in a SkillsUSA district competition held at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School on February 26. In the collision repair category, Teed received a gold medal and Tim Fitzgerald, a junior, received the silver medal. In the painting and refinishing category, senior Stephen Fay received the gold medal and Brian Miller, a junior, received the silver medal. 

All four students went on to compete at the state competition held on April 29 in Blackstone Valley. Teed received the gold medal and Miller received bronze; however, only gold medal recipients advance to the national competition.

“I cannot wait to compete at the national level,” said Teed. “I have been practicing my repairs that are going to be at the competition and will continue to train until I get on the plane to Kentucky.”

“I knew he was capable and he really worked hard after school and at Cape Collision [where he is part of a work co-op program] to prepare himself and it paid off,” said Gabe Coutinho, one of Teed’s collision repair instructors at the technical high school. “When I heard he won, I felt like a proud father. We’re very happy for him; he deserves it.”

Coutinho teaches in the collision repair program with Robert Balanca and Timothy Arruda at the tech school, which is based in Bourne, Massachusetts.

“The importance of competing in the SkillsUSA competition is the fact that our students can show pride in learning and measure their skills and progress against students from other school programs,” said Coutinho. “Skills is also a great motivator and incentive to work hard and pay attention during class; it teaches teamwork and consequences in a real-life way.”

The technical high school aims to teach students in grades 9-12 all aspects of collision repair. “We combine a mixture of ‘live’ learning (customer vehicles) and project-based learning (individual/team projects),” said Coutinho. “Our students are very passionate about their school and technical programs.”

Throughout the year, the school alternates a five-day academic week and a five-day technical week. Since 2001, the program has been certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) in painting and refinishing, mechanical and electrical, non-structural and structural repairs. It is also recognized for its language arts integration component. 

Eleventh grade students are eligible for a co-op program where they have an opportunity to spend time working in body shops. “They receive real-life practical experience while working and most of the time it leads to full-time employment upon graduation,” said Coutinho. Currently, there are six seniors and three juniors from the technical school who are participating in the co-op program. 

Teed happens to be one of them. He is currently working at Cape Auto Collision in Plymouth. Kevin Gallerani, the owner of the shop, has been involved in co-op programs for the last 10 years. “I was very excited to hear that Fred received the gold,” said Gallerani. “We have let him do a number of things in our shop because he is a great young technician and we want him to stay in the trade.”

After learning that Teed received the gold medal at the regional level, the team at Cape Auto has spent time helping him reinforce his skills. “We are very proud of Fred. He is a smart kid and works very hard.”

 

Click here to read how Fred Teed is preparing for the national SkillsUSA competition and his journey ahead.

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