Skip to content

Best of the West

Students competing in SkillsUSA

Resellers support SkillsUSA participants in Western states

As they gear up for the upcoming 2024 SkillsUSA National championship in Atlanta, competitors are inspired by this year’s contest theme—”SkillsUSA: No Limits.” Across the nation, Mastercam and its Reseller network are joining forces with SkillsUSA to help prepare the next generation of programmers and machinists.

In the West, CAD/CAM CONSULTING SERVICES, INC. (CCCS), San Diego, California, supports the competitions in key areas. Robert Dusenbury, Technical Applications Director, and Patrick Aiple, Technical Support/Instructor, served as advisors for SkillsUSA Championships in California, held in April at the Ontario Convention Center. Aiple also served as a judge for the lathe competition. As a past WorldSkills International Competitor and a WorldSkills Germany CNC Milling Champion, he understands competition requirements and the critical need to replenish the shrinking skilled labor pool.

“SkillsUSA is a great opportunity for young machinists,” said Aiple. “This country has to prepare employees for the future. We need machinists.”

As a sponsor of SkillsUSA and Global Partner for WorldSkills, Mastercam provides personnel who work behind the scenes and on the scene to help ensure that events run smoothly. Throughout the series of competitions, resellers are onsite to offer technical support, serve as judges—whatever is needed. Teams that use Mastercam are confident knowing that CAD/CAM experts are ready to advise and troubleshoot. If unforeseen circumstances arise, help is immediate. When a participant’s computer crashed during the California state competition, for example, Aiple lent the student his laptop and she was able to complete her part programming.

“Every second counts,” said Graham Hargreaves, CCCS Marketing Manager. “Reseller support gives students, beyond their developed skillset, the best fighting chance to succeed in these competitions. It’s really important that Mastercam is involved in SkillsUSA—it’s the future of manufacturing. We want to make sure that students are trained, knowledgeable, and can compete to the best of their abilities. Ideally, they will transfer these skills to lucrative careers in manufacturing.”

Through its reseller network, Mastercam provides free technical support to SkillsUSA CNC participants, and six-month timed licenses of the Mastercam Educational Suite with Multiaxis are offered at no cost. The support continues at the global level. Aiple will assist Kaden Stanczyk, who was chosen to represent the United States in CNC Milling at the 2024 WorldSkills Competition in Lyon, France. Stanczyk is a precision machining student from Mid-State Technical College, Rapids, Wisconsin.

“I am training the Wisconsin CNC milling competitor who is going to WorldSkills in September,” Aiple said. “I am showing him tips and tricks, strategies, and how to choose the right Mastercam toolpaths and parameters. I really enjoy being a mentor for WorldSkills because this competition changed my life. It led to great opportunities.”

Another Mastercam Reseller lending a hand to young programmers and machinists in the Western states is MLC CAD Systems, LLC (Sandy, Utah). The company was heavily involved in planning and coordinating Utah’s state competition, which was held in March at Mountainland Technical College, Lehi. Executing the successful event was a true team effort. Utah schools, local industry, and the MLC CAD team appreciate the experience and results of their collaboration.

“It was so fun to work hand-in-hand with educators, students, and our machining community,” said Patrik Warren, Mastercam sales and applications, MLC CAD Systems LLC. “Our local NUNTMA (Northern Utah Chapter, National Tooling and Machining Association) group really stepped up to develop all of the material for the event as well as coordinate the competition. They held meetings to discuss the process and develop the projects and got buy-in from local machine shops. Many chapter members donated their time to serve as judges for the competition.”

Technology and talent came together as future CNC programmers and machinists excelled at their chosen trade. “I was very impressed by the skill level of all of the competitors that participated and look forward to helping next year,” added Warren.

According to Hargreaves, despite the success of the competitions, the realm of skills on display at SkillsUSA flies under the radar in the U.S. The same holds true for manufacturing itself.

“Most people do not realize that each day, their world is touched by manufacturing thousands of times before they ever leave their homes,” he said. “If it doesn’t come out of the ground, it’s manufactured. And if it does come out of the ground, it will be touched by manufacturing—transported, processed, et cetera. Manufacturing connects the entire world.”

By fostering its connections with educators, students, and industry, Mastercam remains committed to promoting and supporting CNC careers while shaping the future of manufacturing.

For more information on Mastercam’s SkillsUSA program, please visit or to find out more about SkillsUSA, please visit