SkillsUSA Team Sees Big Success at Nationals

Published: June 30, 2023

Ten College of Western Idaho (CWI) students took their talents to the 2023 Skills USA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, and represented the school well. From June 19 - 23, CWI students competed in seven different competitions and brought home five medals – four bronze and one silver. Additionally, three CWI students received Skill Point certificates which are given only to students who achieve a threshold score defined by the industry associated with their competition.

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. Competitors who win gold in their state competitions have the opportunity to compete in The National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC). NLSC gathers over 16,000 attendees from all over the country with students competing in 110 different competitions. CWI students competed in seven of these competitions; Automotive Refinishing, Electronics Technology, Internetworking, Power Equipment Technology, Mechatronics, Welding Fabrication, and Welding Sculpture.

Competitions CWI students competed in at NLSC

  • Jessica Tilford — Automotive Refinishing, fourth place and Skill Point certificate
  • Martin Kay — Electronics Technology, third place and Skill Point certificate
  • Sarah Ives — Internetworking, second place
  • Kiel Skaggs, Cameron Vaughn, Jordan MacDonald — Welding Fabrication, third place
  • Ben Morgan — Power Equipment Technology, ninth and Skill Point certificate
  • Michael Hertel and Malachi Pender — Mechatronics, sixth place
  • Cambridge Ward — Welding Sculpture

When students were not competing, they were welcome to partake in various workshops, browse the vendor expo, and watch other competitions. This provided chances for students to build connections with others from across the country and network with potential future employers.

Sarah Ives, CWI’s silver medalist in Internetworking, said, "simply being able to compete at NLSC was an honor, but placing second in the nation was the cherry on top of this incredible experience."

Congratulations to all of the CWI students who provided such a strong presence at NLSC this year! To get involved in SkillsUSA, reach out to CWI’s Skills USA Advisor, Kelly McDaid, at

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