Skip to main content

PPCC Skill Trade Students Score Big at National Competition

Pikes Peak students earned one gold and two silvers at the 53rd annual National Leadership and Skills Conference & Competition in Louisville, Kentucky.

Pikes Peak Community College skill trade students proved an overwhelming force at the recent 53rd annual National Leadership and Skills Conference & Competition in Louisville, Kentucky. We sent 11 students who'd taken first place in the Colorado competition.

This national conference was the big time - a showcase of career and technical education students. More than 16,000 people — including students and teachers participated in the weeklong event. More than 6,000 outstanding career and technical education students –– all state contest winners ––competed hands-on in 100 different trade, technical and leadership fields. Students worked against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations such as electronics, computer-aided drafting, CNC machining, diesel power equipment, auto collision technology and criminal justice. Contests were run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations, and test competencies are set by industry.

For some of our students, this was the first time PPCC has ever competed in their competition. We are extremely happy to report all of students did exceptionally well.

A huge congratulations to Wil Elwood (CAD) who brought home a Gold medal in Technical Drafting and Ryan Sturt and Ryan Sullivant (ELT) who placed Silver in Robotics Search and Rescue! George Miller placed 4th in Electronics Technology. Most of our students came home with prizes, cash, and some with scholarships and certifications.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Jeff Cooper of the Petritz Foundation and Dave Jeffrey of JPM Prototype & Mfg., Inc for their generous donation during our fundraiser. Also our appreciation to Student Government and many private donors for their support of our students. Also a special shout out to our amazing IT Department and Dennis Hurrell in making sure we had all the equipment we needed shipped and received in order to compete. Our trip would not have been possible with all of you!

PPCC has a lot to be proud of sending the following students to represent Pikes Peak Community College and the state of Colorado at this National competition!


Mike Friedel- DPT

Michele Koster- CAD/ELT/MAC

Ralph Mills-ACT


Bruce Driml- Auto Collision Repair

Wil Elwood- Technical Drafting (Post-Secondary)

Alex Ferguson- Diesel Equipment Technology

Ethan Gorra and Henry McCullohs- Additive Manufacturing

George Miller- Electronics Technology

Ben Nix- Criminal Justice

Clayton Plummer- CNC Milling

Ryan Sturt and Ryan Sullivant- Robotics Search and Rescue

Anna Swanson- Technical Drafting (Secondary 9th of 45)