UBTech Graduate and BHI Employee Announced Finalist For WorldSkills Competition in France 2024

Kristopher Morgan, a UBTech graduate and diesel mechanic at BHI, has not just excelled in his career but has now solidified his position as one of the final two competitors representing the United States at the prestigious WorldSkills competition in France, scheduled for September 2024.

Morgan’s journey from an online charter school student to a promising diesel mechanic is a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and seizing unique opportunities. In 2021, he discovered the chance to pursue tuition-free college courses in a hands-on environment at UBTech, and without hesitation, he enrolled in the diesel program, fueled by his lifelong dream of becoming a mechanic.

“I always wanted to be a mechanic,” shared Morgan. “And because my mom drove trucks, my interest naturally gravitated towards the diesel field.”

In 2022, Morgan graduated from UBTech with his diesel certificate, a dual-enrollment achievement with his high school diploma. Turning down multiple scholarship offers from other universities, he chose UBTech, the Uintah Basin’s college, due to its comprehensive education that he believed provided him with all the skills needed to excel in the workplace.

“I loved everything about the diesel program at UBTech,” Morgan emphasized. “We were able to work on the trucks from the CDL program, and the hands-on experience provided was fantastic. I was able to graduate high school and go straight into the workforce doing what I love, rather than having to go to a university for another four years.”

Formerly the diesel instructor for over eight years, Justin Jorgensen, now a CDL instructor, played a pivotal role in shaping Morgan’s educational journey. Morgan expressed, “My instructor was amazing. He related everything with a story and taught in a way that led me to excel.”

Jorgensen added, “Kris took what he learned in this program and took it to a whole new level. I taught how it worked, but Kris applied the science and physics principles like an engineer.”

The UBTech experience opened doors beyond Morgan’s expectations as he discovered the opportunity to compete in diesel mechanics competitions through SkillsUSA. Motivated by this chance, he promptly became a member of the UBTech chapter. No stranger to competition, Morgan’s background in archery, where he ranked among the top 8 archers in the U.S., equipped him with a laser-focused mindset, a quality that proved invaluable in his diesel competitions.

Under Jorgensen’s mentorship, Morgan clinched the Gold Medal at the Utah Leadership and Skills Conference, earning a spot in the National Competition in Atlanta, Georgia. Setting a goal to land in the top three, Morgan’s ecstatic reaction to winning the silver medal marked the beginning of a promising career.

Recently hired at BHI as a diesel mechanic, Morgan shared, “BHI is a fantastic company. They are really great to work with, and I feel not only part of a team, but I feel surrounded by friends.”

Adam Morrill, the Fleet Foreman at BHI overseeing Morgan, attests to his skills, stating, “At just nineteen years old, he is sharp and highly skilled. There’s no stopping him.”

As Morgan embraced his career in the diesel industry, an unexpected opportunity unfolded in December 2023. His national silver medal in 2022 qualified him to compete for the spot to become the United States representative at the WorldSkills competition in France, in September 2024, a rare and exciting prospect for the diesel category.

Angela Hanberg, UBTech SkillsUSA Coordinator, emphasized the extraordinary nature of this opportunity. “For diesel to be offered at the time of Kris’s competition is phenomenal. Add that with the support of BHI and his real-world experience, to say we are excited for Kris is an understatement.”

When Morgan informed BHI about the potential time-off for this prestigious competition, the company not only supported him but also shared in his excitement.

“I told him I’d support him 100 percent and upon discussion with management they echoed the same,” said Morrill. If chosen as the U.S. Representative, Morgan will receive training for the WorldSkills, requiring time off. BHI is committed to keeping Morgan employed and covering his benefits during this period.

Calling upon his mentor once again, and with help from other diesel mechanics at BHI, Morgan diligently submitted projects through December and into the new year, facing elimination rounds with each challenge.

Having submitted his latest project with eager anticipation, Morgan recently received the exhilarating news that he has secured a coveted spot as one of the top two finalists contending to become the national representative of the United States at the WorldSkills competition.

“Being a candidate for the WorldSkills competition is truly remarkable,” Morgan expressed. “Receiving that email and jumping into the projects was overwhelming, but it represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I am genuinely thrilled.”

As Morgan diligently works on his final project, the anticipation continues to build. In the upcoming weeks, the announcement of his final ranking will add another chapter to this extraordinary journey. Stay tuned as Morgan edges closer to realizing his dream on the global stage.

Kristopher Morgan, UBTech diesel graduate, and BHI employee, received the announcement of being one of the top two finalists contending to become the national representative of the United States at the WorldSkills competition in France. Photo credit: Jeremy Gudac / BHI

Kristopher Morgan, UBTech diesel graduate and BHI employee, says he was able to graduate high school and go straight into the workforce doing what he loves thanks to the diesel program at UBTech. Photo credit: Jeremy Gudac / BHI

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