Andrew Pittman is set to graduate from Georgian College in June and starts a full-time job in tool and die on Monday. He’s also a gold medal winner in CNC Machining at the Skills Ontario competition held May 1 to 3 in Toronto.
Pittman lead the Georgian team to a first-place finish, helping to write the most recent chapter in Georgian’s gold-plated wins in Ontario and Canadian skills competitions. Impressively, his teammate Augusto Marzinotto of Minesing earned a bronze medal in the same category. Pittman now moves on to compete in the Skills Canada competition in CNC Machining, to be held in Winnipeg in June.
This marks several years of top-place wins for Georgian College provincially and nationally. Jonathan Adair, a recent graduate of the Mechanical Technician – Precision Skills program, won the Canadian national championships in 2016 and is currently training to represent Canada at the world championships in Abu Dhabi in November.
In 2014, Tyler Magri, enrolled in the same Georgian program, won the national championship and travelled to Brazil that year to compete in the world championships.
This week, Pittman and Marzinotto spent two days at the Toronto Congress Centre, competing in machining, first on the milling machine and then on the lathe.
“You have three and a half hours – the first hour is to figure out a game plan based on blueprints you have never seen before. Then you have two and a half hours to make the object,” said Pittman. “I knew I had all the skills to do that, but the big challenge is that you are being timed.”
Pittman is thrilled to finish with a gold medal, and he offered congratulations to Marzinotto, a first-year student, on his bronze win.
“It was an awesome experience,” Pittman said. “The whole competition is very impressive. It doesn’t matter what trade you are in, everybody is out there, working hard on their specialty.”
Georgian faculty member and team coach Jurgen Hierholzer was extremely happy with the performance of his students.
“I try to pick the top students from our Precision Skills program and get them ready for the competition early on,” he said. “The competition gets tougher every year. I have to keep up to date with what other colleges are doing and put any effort in to stay a step ahead of them. I am very proud to have two students from Georgian on the podium collecting gold and bronze medals. Now Andrew will have to train for the Skills Canada national competition. No time to rest just yet!”
Pittman, a Barrie resident, recently completed his academic studies at the Barrie Campus and will formally graduate at convocation ceremonies in June. He has already secured a full-time job in tool and die maintenance at the Honda plant in Alliston, where he starts on May 8. He says a shop teacher at his high school steered him towards the precision skills field, and Pittman is glad he chose Georgian.
“Georgian has great machines and great teachers who really support you,” he said.
In an additional Georgian connection, Pittman’s mother is Rita Pittman, a longtime co-op consultant with Georgian’s Co-operative Education and Career Success department. She was on hand to see her son win the gold medal, since she was staffing a Georgian College booth during the event.
Georgian also entered the team of Zachary Osbourne and Jason Madden-Bresolin in the Precision Machining category, with faculty member Michael Hurtubise as trainer and coach. In a tough field, they did not place.