Welter-Weyker team earns trip to New York by winning Milwaukee area competition
Two Grafton High School seniors are headed to the National Automotive Technology Competition in New York City.
Zackery Welter and Colin Weyker joined forces to win the 21st annual Technicians of Tomorrow contest sponsored by the Automobile Dealers Association of Mega Milwaukee on Jan. 27 at the Milwaukee Area Technical College campus in Oak Creek.
Five finalist teams representing Milwaukee area high schools vied for the title, which includes an all-expenses-paid trip to New York on April 6 to 8.
Welter and Weyker demonstrated superior skills on a written test, work stations and a “bugged” 2015 Chrysler 200 vehicle that they repaired in less than one hour.
The team was sponsored by 5 Corners Dodge in Cedarburg, which provided the students with technical advice, parts and a familiarization vehicle.
“Roman Wenninger and the whole staff at 5 Corners Dodge are huge supporters of our program,” said Carl Hader, Grafton High School’s automotive technology instructor, who mentored the winning team.
“Not only do they help us at competition time, but they employ our interns and our graduates. They are always ready to step up as business partners and help us offer a great automotive educational program.”
Besides their trip to the national event, Welter and Weyker each received a Wisconsin Auto and Truck Dealers Association scholarship offer of $3,000 tuition to a state technical college and $3,525 worth of Snap-on Tools for post-secondary automotive education.
Hader, who is in his 36th year as Grafton’s automotive technology instructor, has now guided teams to the New York finals 14 times since 1994. Grafton has nine top-five national finishes, including three titles, the best record of any school in the United States.
Last year, a Grafton duo won the national contest as Team Lexus. This year, the school will be Team Mazda.
“It’s really pretty cool that our little village has the most prolific winning and best top-five record at this national event,” Hader said.
Hader noted that students from throughout Ozaukee County continue to open enroll at Grafton High School to participate in its nationally certified auto technology training program, as well as other courses in manufacturing, woodworking and computer-aided design.
Image information: GRAFTON HIGH SCHOOL seniors Zackery Welter (left) and Colin Weyker qualified for the National Automotive Technology Competition by winning the ADAMM Technicians of Tomorrow contest Jan. 27.
Photo by Sam Arendt