Education Sparks Future

Photo of Jessica Argyle
Author: Jessica Argyle
Published: December 12, 2019

“CWI has empowered me by showing me I can do amazing things if I put my mind to it,” said 2019-2020 scholarship recipient, Bradley Dougal.

Bradley, a student at College of Western Idaho (CWI), earned his Welding and Metals Fabrication certificate in 2019 and is now working on a certificate in Machine Tool Technology.

“My passion for welding started in high school during my junior year. Once I started welding, I fell in love with it. The metal working, making things out of nothing – it was really amazing to me. It was like heavy-duty Legos basically, and I really enjoyed that part.”

While learning to weld at the College, Bradley’s stellar performance stood out to Mike Wheeler, Department Chair of Manufacturing and Welding.

“Brad was a great student that made the most of his time here at CWI. He worked very hard to build his skills and it has paid off for him in the welding trade—he had a great job lined up before he graduated and has been doing great work ever since,” said Wheeler.

Since earning his Welding certificate, Bradley has launched a career he thrives at and finds meaning in. As a welder for Shilo Automatic Sprinklers, Inc., he says the training he received at CWI opened doors for him he didn’t think were possible.

“I work for a company who welds for Lowe’s and many other businesses all over the country. Less than six months after starting school at CWI, I became head welder. Hopping right out of high school, I wouldn’t have been able to do that for sure.”

Bradley is a 2019-2020 recipient of the Nagel Foundation scholarship. The Nagel Beverage Company, started in 1895 by John Henry Nagel, became the Pepsi franchise for the Treasure Valley in 1935. Prior to selling the business in 2009, Nagel built a brand new facility in Nampa.

“When we built that facility,” said Curt Goldgrabe, Executive Director of the Nagel Foundation, “we had to hire welders from other parts of the country to come in and do specialized welding on stainless steel tanks. We had to hire people to come in and train our people how to use modernized and computerized equipment.”

Keeping the legacy of the Nagel Beverage Company alive, the Nagel Foundation is focused on enriching and giving back to the community through education and service.

“We have so many new companies coming into our valley and so many opportunities for people to take advantage of with all the growth happening here, but in order to take advantage of it they need skills. We know that what CWI is doing in terms of training is working, and we want to be a part of it.”

During the 2019-2020 academic year, the Nagel Foundation awarded 36 scholarships to second-year career and technical education students at CWI. Bradley, one of this year’s recipients is grateful for the financial boost to his education.

“Having the Nagel scholarship under my belt has relieved so much financial stress,” Bradley said. “Being able to relieve some of that stress has helped me to focus more on school, to work on my grades, and make my welds better without having to worry.”

Bradley and Goldgrabe met for the first time at CWI Foundation’s annual Opening Doors Benefit Event, Nov. 12.

“Brad is one unbelievably talented man,” said Goldgrabe. “He is going to go places.”

“Having someone put so much belief in me was amazing to me,” said Bradley. “I’m just another kid who is trying to go to college – you know, nothing special. Having someone put belief and trust in what I can do was super inspiring for me.”

After earning his Welding certificate and now as he works on his Machine Tool training, Bradley has zero student debt.

“Thank you to the Nagel Foundation and to CWI for the opportunities I have been given. Without CWI, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Following graduation, Bradley plans to work hard, buy a house, have a family, and build a trophy truck.

During the Opening Doors event, Goldgrabe announced the Nagel Foundation will be renewing their scholarships for the upcoming academic year. Currently, Nagel Foundation scholarships are open to CWI students in the Welding and Metals Fabrication, Machine Tool Technology, Drafting Technology, Advanced Mechatronics, Automotive Technology, and Network and System Administration programs.

Scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year open Jan. 2, 2020. 

Opening Doors highlight video featuring Bradley and the Nagel Foundation

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