Nanaimo Machinist Wins Silver Medal at Canadian Skills Competition
On May 23, 2009, Mike Kleywegt, a CNC Machinist trained by Nanaimo manufacturer, VMAC, won the silver medal at the 15th Canadian Skills Competition 2009 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Mr. Kleywegt, who joined VMAC as a co-op student, won the gold medal in the CNC Machining category at the British Columbia Skills Canada competition in April, qualifying to compete in the national competition.
The CNC Machining category of the competition turned out to be a real challenge for competitors. Contestants received only 20 minutes orientation on Mazak CNC machines, and were then given a drawing and just 3.5 hours to program and manufacture the part. The competition spanned a couple of days with components being produced on turning and machining centers. The Mazak CNC machine itself presented a unique challenge as they operate off a proprietary control system with which Mike Kleywegt had no experience. “It was kinda like two stepping with a drunk girl,” said Mr. Kleywegt. Despite the challenges presented by the competition, Mike Kleywegt demonstrated his exceptional skill level and won the silver medal.
Started in 1994, the Canadian Skills Competition (CSC) remains the only event of its kind in Canada. It is the only national, Olympic-style, multi-trade and technology competition for young students and apprentices in the country. Every year, the event brings together approximately 500 young people from all regions of Canada, along with their parents and advisors, to compete in over 40 trade and technology areas. The competition provides an opportunity for young Canadians studying a skilled trade or technology to be tested against exacting standards and against their peers from across the nation. Students vie to win the honour of being crowned the best in their chosen discipline.
VMAC engages two co-op Students every year as part of their community support programs and dedication to training the best in the trades and manufacturing fields.
VMAC is a manufacturer of air compressor systems for the mobile-mechanic, tire service, utilities and construction industries. Specializing in UNDERHOOD and Hydraulic Above-Deck Systems, VMAC is credited with developing the lightest and most compact mobile air compressors available in the industry.