CWI, Commercial Tire Partnership Producing Skilled Employees

Published: April 18, 2023

Commercial Tire is empowering its employees and setting them up for success thanks to a partnership with College of Western Idaho (CWI). The tire chain store sponsored 14 of its employees to go through a six-week Auto Maintenance Training program through CWI, where they learned skills in automotive service, maintenance, light repair, and more.

Commercial Tire reached out to CWI Dean of Industry, Engineering, and Trades, Pat Neal, and Work-Based Learning Center Director, John Russ, to discuss more training opportunities for their employees. After conversations, Department of Transportation Technology Chair, JohnD Thompson, developed an 80-hour training course based on the three-credit Auto Maintenance (AUTO 115) course for Commercial Tire employees.

To be considered for the course, Commercial Tire employees had to apply to the stores leadership team and provide three letters of reference. Once accepted, the 14 employees had their training paid for, including textbooks, tools, and toolbox, courtesy of Commercial Tire.

The course is designed to facilitate an entry-level experience in the automotive industry through learning experiences provided in a classroom and web-based training. Instructors believe the course will help the student prepare mentally and physically for industry demands and be successful in the automotive profession. Students enrolled in the course will be able to identify, demonstrate, and utilize automotive theories and fundamentals to service and maintain vehicles.

Throughout the training, Commercial Tire employees were able to earn wages while learning.

“The students were very engaged and grateful for the opportunity Commercial Tire had created,” said Thompson. “The excellent company culture was evident from the first day of the class. I really respect Commercial Tire for working proactively to help their employees grow and achieve success in the industry. I believe the employees appreciate the investment Commercial Tire has made and that created a positive environment for all involved. The students will have more confidence in the future which will propel them to accomplish their goals.”

“At Commercial Tire, we strive for growth and finding the best methods of how we can get better at serving our customers and taking care of our employees,” said Vice President of HR and Safety at Commercial Tire, Brandy Sielaff. “By partnering with the CWI, we can begin to develop a relationship with a promising group of individuals who are working to grow in the industry, continue their education, and find means to support their needs and dreams. The automotive industry is constantly evolving, and with CWI, we can find ways to help our Employee Owners, future and present, develop their skills and new talents to shift with the business and empower them to build their foundation through new methods of training and learning.”

All 14 of the Commercial Tire students completed the training and earned their certificate on Wednesday, April 13. They are now all eligible to earn college credit for the AUTO 115 course. The intent is to have Commercial Tire employees consider the CWI Automotive Technology program as a pathway for their job and careers.

“Commercial Tire’s willingness to invest in its workforce in a partnership with CWI Automotive Technology program speaks to the level of commitment Commercial Tire has to its employees and patrons,” said Assistant Vice President of Economic Development, Christi Gilchrist. “Commercial Tire expects the highest level of service from its employees. Its willingness to invest in upskilling their employees speaks volumes for the company. CWI appreciates partnerships and the Commercial Tire partnership is a stellar example of education and industry supporting one another.”

For more information on CWI’s Automotive Technology program, visit the program page or contact JohnD Thompson at

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