Vandalia High Senior Wins Top Prize In Young Innovator Competition

(L to R) Mike Hawks, Welding Instructor at OKAW Vocational Center; Ben Strobel; and Steve Groner, Competition Coordinator for Kaskaskia College

Ben Strobel, a graduating senior at Vandalia High School, earned first place recognition for his entry into the Young Innovator Competition sponsored recently by Kaskaskia College.

Ben used plasma cutting skills learned at the Okaw Vocational Center for his entry. Steven Groner, competition coordinator remarked that “when a large and heavy package arrived with this entry, I knew that it was going to be unique.” Strobel had sent a shiny metal sheet with the competition’s name cut out of it, along with numerous photos of yard decorations, wall signs and other examples of precise metal cutting. KC officials pointed out that Computer Integrated Manufacturing, or CIM, is a marketable skill as many useful and critical parts created using the same techniques Strobel used for his project.