CWI Celebrates First SkillsUSA National Title

Published: June 28, 2016

College of Western Idaho (CWI) is celebrating a historic trip to the 2016 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference held June 20-24 in Louisville, Kentucky. A group of CWI students and recent graduates won medals in a school record five events, including the College’s first-ever SkillsUSA national championship. Steve Silva brought home the honor with his first-place performance in the Prepared Speech competition. Since 2010, CWI students have medaled at the SkillsUSA national event 11 times. 

Silva’s success is remarkable considering this is his first year participating in competitive speech. (Read Steve’s story here.) The Canyon County native graduated this spring from CWI’s Heavy Equipment Technician program. With his gold medal, Silva will receive a SkillsUSA scholarship that he plans to use at Boise State University.

Following his win, Silva shared: “Winning the gold means I learned that even though something seems massively difficult, and maybe not doable, that things are possible if you break them down and finish them a step at a time. You can accomplish massive things.”

CWI students continued their success with silver medal finishes in a pair of events. Dustin Loya placed second in Telecommunications Cabling, while Tera Filan, Adam Hayman, Trent Jensen, and Zack Lager earned silver in Quiz Bowl.

Laura Gilmore and Josiah Duff concluded CWI’s trips to the podium with bronze medals in their respective events. Gilmore won bronze in CNC Turning Specialist, while Duff placed third in Electronics Technology.

The SkillsUSA national conference brought more than 6,000 high school and college students together from around the United States. Visit to learn more.


Jennifer Couch

(208) 562-3508


About the College of Western Idaho:

The College of Western Idaho is a public, open-access, and comprehensive community college committed to providing affordable access to quality teaching and learning opportunities to the residents of its service area in western Idaho. CWI has seven campus locations throughout Southwest Idaho providing higher education and 21st Century technical skills acquisition. The college is dedicated to improving the community’s economic well-being by responding with highly-educated and productive graduates. The foundation for the area’s only community college was created by a supermajority of voters in Ada and Canyon counties on May 22, 2007. For more information about the college, visit or call (208) 562-3000.


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