Madison College student wins Skills USA award again

May 9, 2013

From “Car lover gets his career in gear” — Most young guys love hot cars. It’s been a passion that started when Henry Ford cranked his first engine.

But at 19 years old, Brady Beth of Reedsburg has found a way to turn his love of cars into what is already an award-winning profession.

Last month, Beth won the coveted first place award from Skills USA, once known as VICA, Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, for the second year in a row for his successful completion of auto body collision-related tasks.

He was competing against about 40 other entrants from technical schools around the state in his category.

It’s the first time in Madison Area Technical College-Madison history that any student has won a first place Skills USA award two years in a row.

Both years, Beth completed completed 12 welds with perfection, and repaired seven dents, two cracked fenders, and a crack and a tear in a plastic bumper.

There also were written tests and a mock job interview.

Just after that, he succeeded at a real job interview and got a position with Avenue Auto Body in Middleton, where he will go to work full-time after he graduates in two weeks.

“I like to make cars look new again,” Beth said. “To see something wrecked up, you can make it perfect again.”

He gives a great deal of credit to his MATC-Madison auto body and collision instructor, Tim Hoege.

“He’s really good at what he does,” Beth said. “He’s helped me a lot.”

Beth worked for Koenecke Ford since he was 16 alongside his dad, Dale Beth, another auto body technician.

“I was supervising and watching them,” Beth said with a smile. “But at 16, I actually started working on cars there.”

Not only did Beth take first place at Skills USA two years in a row, last year he place 13th at the Skills USA national competition in which he competed against contestants from 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and Guam.

He’ll try at the nationals again next month in Kansas City, Mo.

“It’s very difficult to win the state event twice,” Hoege said. “It’s quite a competition. Some people have the touch. Brady can see what has to be done and visualize it before it’s done. You need to visualize it completed in your head before it’s done. He can do that.”

Beth said he won’t be happy with 13th this year at nationals.

This year better be the top five,” Beth said. “This year I know what to expect.”

Last year he came in first place with the Specialty Equipment Market Association, or SEMA, Car Show competition in which contestants are selected based on an auto-body idea submission. Beth’s was chosen among the top five and he painted an image on the hood of a Honda Civic to gain first place.

The SEMA Show is touted as the world’s largest auto trade show event that is said to bring more than 60,000 domestic and international buyers together.

Hoege said many winners of the Skills USA competition are picked up by major auto market companies as sales representatives or executives.

“These companies want these winners because they know they have the passion and the drive to want the best out of themselves,” Hoege said.

Beth said future plans include dreams of owning his own business, but he’d like to stay close to home.

“I want to stay in the Reedsburg area,” Beth said. “I’d rather work here.”



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