CWI Students Showcase Talents at SkillsUSA Competition

Published: April 13, 2023

College of Western Idaho (CWI) students showcased their talents at the 2023 SkillsUSA Idaho State Leadership and Skills Conference! The event, hosted at Nampa Campus Micron Education Center (NMEC) on April 6, saw CWI students from various programs participate in both the leadership and skills competitions where they brought home 17 medals — two bronze, seven silver, and eight gold.

SkillsUSA is a nonprofit organization serving middle school, high school, and college students. In partnering with students, teachers, and industry, the organization works to provide a skilled workforce in America. Lab Materials Manager, Kelly McDaid, serves as CWI’s SkillsUSA advisor and is joined by several CWI instructors who act as competition-specific SkillsUSA advisors; JohnD Thompson, Sean McConnachie, Justin Moore, Scott Didriksen, Jake Weber, Vince Palagi, Robert Novak, Jared Hemley, and Malcom Diamond.

Both high school and college students from all over the state of Idaho competed in these events and many industry partners assisted in running competitions. This gave CWI an opportunity to showcase the equipment, lab space, and student experience to a variety of prospective students and industry partners.

Students competed in several different categories, including Diesel Technology, Information Technology, CNC Machining, Welding Fabrication and Sculpture, Collision Repair, Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair, Robotics, Electronics, Mechatronics, and Drafting.


  • Jessica Tilford – Automotive Refinishing
  • Martin Kay – Electronics Technology
  • Sara Ives – Internetworking
  • Ben Morgan – Job Skill Demonstration
  • Ben Morgan – Power Equipment Technology
  • Michael Hertel & Malachi Pender – Mechatronics (team)
  • Kiel Skaggs, Cameron Vaughn, Jordan MacDonald – Welding Fabrication (team)
  • Cambridge Ward – Welding Sculpture


  • Ronan Stewart – CNC 3-Axis Milling Programmer
  • Nathan Hobbs – Diesel Equipment Technology
  • Nathan Hobbs – Job Interview
  • Eric Proksch – Electronics Technology
  • Jacob Skeen – Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Benjie Kallberg – Mechatronics
  • Quinlan Solleder – Mechatronics


  • Austin States – Diesel Equipment Technology


  • Jessica Tilford
  • Omar Salazar
  • Nicholas Williams
  • Nolan Czapiewski
  • Eric Proksch
  • Tobias Leib

Students who received gold medals in their events secured a place at the SkillsUSA National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, this June.

Best of luck to our CWI student delegation traveling to nationals!

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