Thaddeus Stevens College Students Place Second in National Manufacturing Competition

Four students that recently graduated from Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology achieved second place in a national manufacturing competition hosted by Project MFG.

Quinn Baughman, Ryan O’Donnell, Matt Mykut, and Nate Robbins, all second-year students who have now completed their associate degrees, competed with dozens of teams from across the country to make it to the final, four-team national competition. Each level of the annual tournament involves real-world scenarios, challenging the team to demonstrate critical skills needed to succeed in modern advanced manufacturing. Quinn, Ryan, and Nate majored in Computer Integrated Machining, while Matt majored in Metals Fabrication and Welding

During the national competition, known as ‘Clash of the Trades’, each team was tasked with creating parts for a hip replacement based on actual medical equipment. Teams used CNC mills and lathes to fabricate a medical sterilization device called an autoclave. They were scored on programming, machining, welding, assembly, and testing. The competition occurred in May at Greenville Technical College in South Carolina, and the Clash of the Trades YouTube show premiered on July 10.

“It’s about communication, resolving issues, and having fun at the end of the day,” Baughman said.

Part of Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology’s mission is to create a pipeline for a thriving workforce in the state of Pennsylvania. The school focuses on high-demand career paths with family-sustaining wages. The graduating class of 2021 had a 97 percent job placement rate.

“Our students are learning in-demand skills they can use to immediately make an impact in the workforce,” said Pedro A. Rivera II, President of Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology. “We partner with regional industry leaders to ensure our programs are meeting today’s economic needs, and we can see the results: Graduates equipped to think critically and apply hands-on expertise to keep businesses thriving. We’re so proud of this team, and we know they are one example of many who will succeed in their careers because of their time at Thaddeus Stevens College.”

Project MFG’s mission is to elevate the next generation of skilled trades, including through tournament-style competitions giving students real-world manufacturing experience with industry experts. Many critical industries such as transportation, medicine, technology, and defense face shortages and skills gaps, and this program aims to showcase opportunities available and how they will impact the future workforce.

You can watch the Clash of the Trades show on YouTube: 


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