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Pickens Technical College student Colten Messer won the Post-Secondary Gold Medal award for Motorcycle Service Technology at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. In March, Mile High Harley-Davidson presented Messer with a brand-new Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Ultra motorcycle. This fine piece of machinery will not only help students in the Motorcycle Service Technology class, but it will also serve as inspiration for those students in the program working hard to learn how to service and repair motorcycles and readying themselves to enter a lucrative and worthwhile career.

PTC has many examples of students who have used the instruction and hands-on experience they gathered in its many programs and areas of study to reach high career goals and win regional and national recognition in competitions like SkillsUSA. SkillsUSA pits students at many levels of education against each other in a competition to see who has learned the most in their field. In these timed events, students from across the state test their skills with tasks set before them and judged by experienced workers in their field. Each state has its own competition featuring the best students. Those students who perform well at the state level move on to the national competitions.

Mr. Messer beat out 17 other state champions in his competition to bring the prize to Pickens. Motorcycle Service Technology instructor Tom Laing is extremely proud of Messer and all his students, many of whom have gone on work comfortably in the motorcycle dealership and mechanical service industry over the years. Laing has 14 years of experience in the field and has spent 10 years teaching students all aspects of Motorcycle Service Technology elements, including how to run their own motorcycle repair business. Laing is a certified technician for many American and Metric Power Sports brands like Kawasaki, Yamaha, and, of course, Harley-Davidson.

As more students show the country what PTC is made of, enrollment in the Motorcycle Service Technology program is sure to increase, giving Laing more opportunities to turn out excellent motorcycle technicians and potential business owners in the future. With the resources available to the students at PTC’s Motorcycle and Power Sports Program, Messer’s success in competition is no surprise. It just goes to show how successful students can be if they latch on to the lessons and experience coming from teachers like Laing.

Students who sign up for the Motorcycle Service program at PTC can expect to gain all the competencies for a Motorcycle Service Technology Basic Technician Certificate and an Expanded Certificate, both of which will get you in the door of a motorcycle repair shop and possibly on your way to running your own motorcycle repair business. Messer showed what can happen when applying all the skills and training he learned in the Power Sports department at PTC. What will you do with your training?