Written By Benz Seo

HOLLAND — Recent Zeeland West graduate Adam Leeuw credits the Careerline Tech Center for helping him learn so much through two years of the Diesel/Heavy Equipment Mechanics program at CTC. 

Leeuw put that learning to the test last month, competing in the Diesel Equipment Technology competition at the 2021 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Virtual Conference. 

More than 20 students across the country competed after excelling at state-level competitions, but Leeuw came out on top, winning the competition’s gold medal. 

“I was honestly a little surprised,” Leeuw said of hearing his name announced. “I had won state, but this was going up against everyone else that won their state. The way they read it off, third place then second place, I thought ‘there’s no way.’ Then they said my name. It’s still kind of hard to comprehend.” 

The competition consisted of nine stations including a written test, a virtual job interview, drive axle and brakes for semis, transmissions, hydraulics, operator environment, failure analysis, live engine and vehicle inspection.

Adam Leeuw was part of the Diesel/Heavy Equipment Mechanics program at the Careerline Tech Center this year. The class worked to repair the truck of a fellow student earlier this year.

Other than the written test and interview, each station required competitors to analyze, diagnose and/or repair different aspects of trucks and heavy equipment. 

“It was quite a bit of stuff,” Leeuw said. “The one I was nervous about was the one with the live engine. I was a little nervous just to see what that entailed, but when I was done I felt pretty confident.”