Local high school student’s machining skills getting him noticed



By Ron Giofu


The machining talents of a General Amherst High School student are taking him places. Devin Paquette captured the gold medal in precision metal trades at the “Get Skilled” competition at St. Clair College March 24. His success there entitled him to compete at the “Skills Ontario” competition in Toronto May 7-9.

Paquette said he had to create a jack screw from raw materials, including bringing it down to size and machining it. He got furthest along on the project during the “Get Skilled” competition in Windsor and claimed first place.

“It’s nice to be the best,” he said. “You feel you actually accomplished something.”

General Amherst student Devin Paquette won a gold medal in the precision metal trades category at the recent “Get Skilled” competition at St. Clair College. He now advances to the “Skills Ontario” competition in Toronto May 7-9.

Paquette said he was pleased to finish in first place in the competition.

“I was pretty happy,” he said. “My dad was there. He was pretty enthusiastic. He’s a machinist too.”

Paquette notes that he works at Centreline in Windsor in addition to still going to school and enjoys training to be a machinist. He said that is his focus for what he wants to with his future.

“I like the creativity and doing your own thing,” he said. “You have to have the skill to do it on your own.

Rodney Levesque, Paquette’s teacher, said each student was eligible for a $500 scholarship by going into the “Get Skilled” competition, though added Paquette wasn’t able to accept it because he is going towards an apprenticeship.

General Amherst’s Devin Paquette (second from right) stands with the winners at the awards ceremony at the “Get Skilled” competition at St. Clair College. (Special to the RTT)

Levesque said practical components in the precision metal competition included milling, lathe work, job interview skills and shop safety skills.

Overall, the “Get Skilled” competition included other components such as construction, automotive, animation, culinary arts, CAD and welding to name a few. Those disciplines are also offered at General Amherst High School.

“It’s a very large event,” said Levesque.

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