Writer: Ben Burke
Three Brigham Young University-Idaho automotive students swept the state SkillsUSA competition held April 12 in Boise, with the first-place finisher going on to nationals this summer.
SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization comprised of educators and industry leaders to help train students in vocational jobs and gain future employment in various careers.
Competing against top automotive students from other Idaho colleges, participants were tested on their total automotive knowledge by solving problems in various scenarios ranging from electrical malfunctions, brake inspections, service to the manual drive train and even customer service. Brian Firth was awarded the gold medal, Rick Lewis won silver, and Michael Geer won bronze. Firth now has the opportunity to compete against 49 other state winners in the national competition in Kansas City, Mo., this June.
"Our students' success in SkillsUSA over the past few years has caused an increased level of respect for and interest in both BYU-Idaho and the Church," said Justin Miller, instructor in the Department of Automotive Technology. "These kinds of events spark a lot of conversations among other educators and members of industry about the quality of our students and program here at BYU-Idaho."