CRESTON, Iowa—Southwestern Community College (SWCC) electrical technology student Cory Marquardt, of Creston, came home from the 2018 SkillsUSA Championship, held June 25-29, 2018, in Louisville, KY, with some new hardware, a gold medallion indicating a first place national finish.

Marquardt, who graduated in May 2018 from Creston High School, competed and won the electrical construction wiring-secondary division after qualifying at the state competition in Ankeny in April. Marquardt has been a student in SWCC’s electrical technology Career Academy during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years. Through Career Academies, high school students can take college courses, earning both high school and college credit for their efforts. He qualified for nationals during the 2017 SkillsUSA competition as well.

Josh Keul, SWCC electrical technology instructor, said Marquardt has a great deal of knowledge in the field at an early age.

“Cory is a quick learner and is able to comprehend and retain a great deal of knowledge for a student just entering the electrical program,” Keul said. “He has a very bright future ahead of him in a field that can be lucrative and in-demand.”

Marquardt plans to enter SWCC’s electrical technology program full-time in the fall and, due to the credits he earned in high school, will be able to complete his Associate of Applied Science degree in electrical technology in just one year. This summer he is working for a plumbing and heating business in Creston.

He is the son of John and Wendy Marquardt of Creston.

In addition to Marquardt’s win, other top 10 finishers at nationals for SWCC included an eighth-place finish for SWCC’s welding fabrication-post-secondary division team made up of Nate Venteicher, sophomore of Greenfield; Tanner Wambold, sophomore of Greenfield; and Greg Moore, freshman of Essex, as well as a ninth-place finish for JD Gordon, SWCC sophomore of Winterset, in the carpentry-post-secondary division.

During the SkillsUSA Championships, more than 6,200 contestants compete in 100 events. According to its website, SkillsUSA is a multi-million-dollar event that occupies a space equivalent to 20 football fields. The purpose of the championships is to reward students for excellence, to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance and to keep training relevant to employers’ needs.


MarquardtCory KeulJosh

Pictured above (L to R): Josh Keul, SWCC electrical technology program instructor, and Cory Marquardt