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2 TCC students won first places in state SkillsUSA competition


HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – (July 1, 2008) – Tidewater Community College’s automotive technology program has launched another student on a championship path.

Chris Caulkins of Virginia Beach made the top 10 in a category of the national SkillsUSA Championships held in Kansas City last week. He took ninth place in the Automotive Service Technology, college/postsecondary level. In the same category, he won first place at the state level in May, along with Brian Wagner in the Diesel Equipment Technology category, joined by Brandon Pereira with second place and Christopher Bonin in third place – a TCC state sweep in diesel.

Caulkins, a student in one of TCC’s manufacturer-based programs – Chrysler Automotive Program (CAP) – started at TCC last August and is a graduate of the Virginia Beach Technical & Career Education Center.

In his first year at TCC he earned a 3.89 cumulative grade point average (out of 4). Caulkins also has six ASE certifications and plans to be an ASE Master Certified Technician before he graduates. He has taken an active role in TCC’s chapter of SkillsUSA, where he serves as the club’s president. The chapter is at work on a project vehicle – a 1986 Dodge Omni GLH – which they hope to have ready for the 2009 Grassroots Motorsports Challenge.

Scott Benson, service manager at Hall Dodge, says, “The CAP program has been a great benefit to us and to Chris. We’re happy to support CAP at TCC.” Benson also serves on TCC’s automotive technology advisory board.



Laurie White
Media Relations

Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - enrolls over 38,000 students annually, the second largest undergraduate student body in Virginia. The 35th largest community college in the nation, TCC is among the 20 fastest-growing large two-year institutions in the United States. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-six percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit