GRCC Automotive Technology students win 2nd, 3rd in SkillsUSA



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications

(616) 234-4213

April 26, 2017 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Students in Grand Rapids Community College's Automotive Technology program won second and third places in the recent SkillsUSA state championship.

First-time competitor Bentley Streling placed second, and Adam VanPortfliet won third place. VanPortfliet placed first last year.

The automotive mechanical service competition included nine timed work stations that tested the participants' skills in engine mechanical; suspension, steering and alignment; brakes; electrical systems; engine performance; drive train; environmental, health and safety; electronic service information; and new vehicle prep. Competitors also had to demonstrate endurance and the ability to work under pressure during the five-hour event.

Streling has studied automotive technology in high school and college for three years. After finishing the GRCC program, he plans to pursue a bachelor's degree in automotive management at Ferris State University.

"GRCC's automotive program has given me confidence in my ability, and placing second in the state is proof that my commitment to education has paid off," said Streling, who plans to try for first in next year's SkillsUSA competition.

VanPortfliet also plans to earn a bachelor's degree in automotive management at Ferris after completing GRCC's program. He eventually wants to pursue a master's degree in technical education.

“The automotive program at GRCC has been instrumental in preparing me for not only SkillsUSA, but also my career as an automotive technician," he said.

Those interested in GRCC's Automotive Technology Program may contact Benjamin Smith at or Chad Lodenstein at for more information. 

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.