Tech Ed students advance in SkillsUSA contest


Southwestern Illinois College students dominated a state technical education competition held recently in Springfield, Ill.

Fifteen SWIC competitors won medals at the recent SkillsUSA competition for students from across Illinois, held April 13.

  • In the Precision Machining competition, Cody Coffin of Collinsville placed first, Gregory Kersulis of Waterloo placed second and Justin Deterding of Prairie Du Rocher placed third. Coffin earned the highest score in the history of the event in this category.
  • The team of Tom Vojas of Collinsville, Charlie Barger of Collinsville and Adam Peters of Worden all placed second in the Automated Manufacturing competition; the team of Jordan Norman of Glen Carbon, Mike Campbell of Collinsville and Pat Meyer of Waterloo placed third.
  • In CNC Milling, Jacob Sams of Collinsville placed first and James Edmundson of Collinsville placed second.
  • In the CNC Turning Competition, Campbell placed first and Nicholas Hausmann of Mascoutah placed second.
  • In the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration competition Jared Agney of Shelbyville placed first.
  • In the Welding competition, Mitchel McFarland of Collinsville placed first.
  • In the Collision Repair Technology competition, Lucas Mund of Columbia placed second.

SkillsUSA is a national technical education organization that partners educators, employers and students to teach greater skills to Americans, according to its website.

Contestants compete at the local, state and national level. The first-place winners in this competition will go on to compete at the national competition held in Kansas City this June.

“I was overjoyed,” Coffin said of taking home the honor of being the best PMT competitor ever. “I think this program is really worth it. It is worth every penny. I’ve learned so much.”

In order to win, Coffin had to create machine parts using a variety of equipment found in a machine shop. He was then judged based upon the quality of the work and the time it took him to complete it.

He plans to graduate in spring 2014.

“If someone is interested in this trade, I highly recommend this program,” he said.

Campbell said he agreed his education helped him win his medal.

“It feels really good,” he said. “It’s only my second time competing.”

For more information on the SWIC Technical Education programs, contact the division at 618-931-0600, ext. 7476.