GCC 2nd Annual Electronics Skills Challenge draws over 200 high School Students, Industry Professionals

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Guam – “These are the future employees of GTA,” said Paul Ibanez, GTA manager, after judging the cable termination, or “Rack and Jack” portion of GCC’s second annual CTE High School Electronics Skills Challenge today in the College’s Multipurpose Auditorium. Ibanez called it “overwhelming” to see 200 high school students interested in the networking profession.

GTA is one of seven competition sponsors. Other sponsors included L & K Communications, Pacific Data Systems, Marianas Electronics, G4S Security Systems, IT&E, AllStar Quality Business Systems, and the Guam Power Authority.

Edwin Cadag, a computer tech II at GPA, said, “Any time you have a pool of students with these skills, it makes it easier to recruit or choose employees for your workforce.” Cadag, who took Cat V and fiber optic cabling courses and attended the CISCO Academy at GCC, noted, “I-T is everywhere, in any company. It’s a major part of the success of a company.” He says it is good to know that these students are gaining skills that they will use in the real world.

“These types of events reinforce the partnership between GCC and the workforce,” said Cheri Wegner of Marianas Electronics. She says it is important that the students are learning the basic skills that companies require. “When I do a networking job, I know they know how to run, splice, and terminate,” she said of potentially hiring some of the students in the competition.

[Southern High School juniors Alexandro Jackson and Sheena Dizon compete in the Rack & Jack competition at the second annual GCC CTE High School Electronics Skills Challenge today in GCC’s Multipurpose Auditorium]

All of the employers present paid close attention to the winners: Vinci Levie Ebidag, from Southern, who won the Rack & Jack; Juniver David from Okkodo, who placed first in the NIC Card Installation; and the team of Shane Cruz and Jose Castro from George Washington, who won the Router Configuration Challenge.

This year’s competition was different, according to Rick Tyquiengco, GCC Electronics Department chair, in that three students from each high school who scored the highest on a written electronics test were able to compete in today’s competition. “We had 15 competitors each in the Rack & Jack and NIC card events, and six teams in the Router competition – three from GW and three from Okkodo,” said Tyquiengco. Another difference was that this year, GCC encouraged industry representatives to set up booths and interact with the students, according to Tyquiengco.

Enrollment in the GCC CTE Electronics programs in the five public high schools has increased this year to 347 students, with the following breakdown per school:

GWHS: 53

JFKHS: 64

OHS: 97

SHS: 62

SSHS: 71

Suggested photo captions:

Mike Salas, a senior at Okkodo High School, completes his Rack and Jack, or cable termination, during the second annual GCC CTE High School Electronics Skills Challenge today in GCC’s Multipurpose Auditorium.

Southern High School juniors Alexandro Jackson and Sheena Dizon compete in the Rack & Jack competition at the second annual GCC CTE High School Electronics Skills Challenge today in GCC’s Multipurpose Auditorium.