CRESTON, Iowa—Six career and technical education students from Southwestern Community College (SWCC) in Creston will be advancing to national competition at the 2018 SkillsUSA Championships, from June 25-29, 2018, in Louisville, KY, after qualifying at state competition on April 27, 2018, in Ankeny.

In the Iowa carpentry competition, SWCC won both the secondary and post-secondary divisions. Levi Parrott of Afton, SWCC student and East Union High School student, received first place in the secondary division, and JD Gordon, SWCC sophomore of Winterset, won the post-secondary division.

First place in electrical construction wiring-secondary division went to Cory Marquardt of Creston, SWCC student and Creston High School student. Marquardt plans to pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree in electrical technology from SWCC this fall.

A team of SWCC students placed first in the welding fabrication-post-secondary division. Team members included Nate Venteicher, sophomore of Greenfield; Tanner Wambold, sophomore of Greenfield; and Greg Moore, freshman of Essex.

Other Iowa place winners from SWCC included the following:
• Automotive refinishing technology-post-secondary division - Jamie Young, sophomore of Humeston, second place
• Collision repair technology-post-secondary division - Josh Halterman, sophomore of Lenox, third place
• Carpentry-secondary division - Merik Gaule, SWCC student and Southwest Valley High School student of Corning, second place
• Carpentry-post-secondary division - Grady Johnson, sophomore of Danville, IL, second place
• Sculpture art-welding-post-secondary division – Zach Brewer, sophomore of Fontanelle, third place

Each April, Iowa SkillsUSA chapters gather in central Iowa to compete in more than 70 career and technical-related contests. The top three place winners are recognized. Meanwhile, the top place winner qualifies for the national contest, which features opportunities to compete against students from all 50 states along with Puerto Rico and The U.S. Virgin Islands.