LIMA — Students at Apollo Career Center celebrated their 4th Maker Cup win from the MakerFest skilled trades competition Tuesday at the career center.
The competition was an experience that seniors Andrew Klay and Klarissa Staley said has helped prepare them for future careers.
Klay, who placed first in the metal inert gas welding competition Oct. 18, said he had a great experience.
“I was very excited until I got in the room, and then I got really nervous,” said Klay. “But once I got started, it went away and it was really fun.”
At his current job, he does MIG welding and plans to open his own business once he graduates.
Staley, who placed first in the chicken fabrication competition, said she had a wonderful experience. She said her culinary art courses prepared her for the competition.
“I enjoyed it because I like competitions,” said Staley. “Once I graduate, I plan to go on to college for culinary arts so that I can become a chef.”
The skilled trades competition was one of multiple events during MakerFest, a three-day event for Lima-area talent to connect with employers in manufacturing, healthcare, service and skilled trades. It is a Link Lima workforce initiative of Greater Lima Region Inc.
A total of 31 Apollo students were recognized and presented with medals for their performance in the competition.
The students were also awarded the Maker Cup trophy for winning the skilled trades competition, beating out Wapakoneta High School, Lima Senior High School, Tri Star Career Compact and Vantage Career Center.
Students at Ada High School were also awarded individual medals and the STEM Maker Cup at Ada High School Tuesday.
Apollo Superintendent Keith Horner said he is extremely proud of the students.
“It’s a great experience,” said Horner. “The best part is the experience for these kids because winning and losing kind of comes and goes in life. But if you can continue to have the good experiences, you’ll continue to learn and grow.”
Jeff Sprague, CEO of the Allen Economic Development Group, said the competitions help showcase the talent in the area.
“The school quality in the region is top notch, so it’s great to work with the schools and allow the community to become aware of the quality that we have in our educational system in northwest Ohio,” said Sprague. “Competition was stiff for this and STEM competition so other schools are out there and they are competing and are great resources.”
Doug Arthur, Link Lima/Allen County program director, said the competitions help attract talent to the area.
“We are changing the way the community and people outside view the greater Lima region,” said Arthur. “We are ready for folks to notice us and come check us out, but first they will have to want to be here, and MakerFest is a great tool for good press.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.