SkillsUSA WorldTeam Selected to Compete In International Competition of Young Skilled Workers

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SkillsUSA, the organization that represents the United States in the WorldSkills Competition, will send 20 career and technical education students to Leipzig, Germany, in July 2013 to compete in the 42nd biennial international event.

“WorldTeam will meet and compete in Germany with young workers from all around the globe and the team will represent our country well,” said Tim Lawrence, executive director, SkillsUSA.

SkillsUSA, the organization that represents the United States in the WorldSkills Competition, will send 20 career and technical education students to Leipzig, Germany, in July 2013 to compete in the 42nd biennial international event. The students will test their skills against more than 1,000 students representing over 60 countries and regions from around the world competing in 45 skill official competitions and one demonstration contest.

The competitors representing 19 skill categories are to be the official U.S. representatives at the international competition, where 5,000 international experts, delegates and judges will gather. Three thousand volunteers will be recruited to assist with the event, and 200,000 student and public spectators will attend the competition.

As the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) stated in its book Learning for Jobs, “Increasingly, countries are recognizing that good initial vocational education and training has a major contribution to make to economic competitiveness,” Simon Field from OECD said. “The wealth of nations will come to rely more on the skills of their people than on other sources such as natural resources.”

“WorldTeam will meet and compete in Germany with young workers from all around the globe and the team will represent our country well,” said Tim Lawrence, executive director, SkillsUSA. “And, just as in sports competitions, winning contestants will be awarded medals and honors. The difference between this and sports, however, is that nations rise on the success of their workforce. Skilled, capable and flexible workers are the backbone of any nation’s economy and this competition highlights that fact.”

The competitors earned the right to be members of WorldTeam by winning local, district and national contests under the SkillsUSA Championships program and then by participating in an application and interview process. Competitors must be under the age of 23.

Chosen to compete in the WorldSkills International Competition are the following students:

  •     Autobody Repair – George Mason, Lexington Technology Center, Lexington, S.C.
  •     Automobile Technology – Kieron Kohlmann, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Mich.
  •     Beauty Therapy – Savanah Miller Dunn, Western Technology Center, Sayre, Okla.
  •     Bricklaying – Dylan Ennis, Central Cabarrus, Concord, N.C.
  •     Cabinetmaking – Daniel Berrios, Bethlehem, Pa.
  •     Car Painting – Nate Wagner, Harkness Career and Technical Center, Cheektowaga, N.Y.
  •     CNC Milling – Joshua Bedell, Pinellas Technical Education Center, Clearwater, Fla.
  •     CNC Turning – Ronald Olkowski, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Mich.
  •     Cooking – Matthew Lorman, North Point High School, Waldorf, Md.
  •     Graphic Design Technology – Sarah Parker, Ronald Reagan High School, Pfafftown, N.C.
  •     Hairdressing – Brooke Robison, Mecosta Osceola Career Center, Big Rapids, Mich.
  •     IT Networks Systems Administration – Marcus Cain, Duke University, Durham, N.C.
  •     Mechatronics – Antony Costantini, The Technology Center, Fremont, Ohio
  •     Mechatronics – Jarrod Nichols, The Technology Center, Fremont, Ohio
  •     Plumbing and Heating – Nicholas Michalenko, Smith Vocational, Northampton, Mass.
  •     Print Media Technology – Heather Ashe, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, S.C.
  •     Refrigeration and Air Conditioning – Christopher Kuhn, Lorain County Joint Vocational School, Oberlin, Ohio
  •     Restaurant Service – Amala Edwards, New England Culinary Institute, Montpelier, Vt.
  •     Web Design – Michael Angel, Essex High School/Center for Technology, Essex Junction, Vt.
  •     Welding – Alexander Pazkowski, Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor, Mich.

To date, the following sponsors have generously provided financial and/or in-kind or pledged support to the SkillsUSA WorldTeam: Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Fund (Anchor Sponsor); 3M Company; American Welding Society; Architectural Woodwork Institute; Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers (AWFS); Automated Manufacturing Technology contest national technical committee; Automotive Service Technology contest national technical committee; Carhartt, Inc.; Carrier Corp.; Cosmetology contest national technical committee; Deere & Company; FESTO Corporation; Diesel Equipment Technology contest national technical committee; Frederick County Career and Technology Center; National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE); Pivot Point International; SkillsUSA Florida; SkillsUSA Maryland; SkillsUSA Massachusetts; SkillsUSA Michigan; SkillsUSA North Carolina; SkillsUSA Ohio; SkillsUSA Pennsylvania; SkillsUSA South Carolina; SkillsUSA Wisconsin; Snap-on Inc.; Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.; Unilever Food Solutions; and, the World Organization of Webmasters (WOW).

SkillsUSA must raise the money for each competitor to train for and travel to the WorldSkills Competition and the cost is substantial. To donate funding or in-kind support, go to http://skillsusa.org/compete/worldteamdonate.shtml.

The WorldSkills Competition (WSC)
SkillsUSA is a member of WorldSkills International (WSC) headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands. This organization sponsors the biennial WorldSkills Competition (WSC). Participation in the WSC has provided a vehicle for comparing our career and technical students and methods of training with that of our major free-market competitors. The training technologies displayed at the WSC exemplify the ultimate standard in skilled workforce preparation. As such, they offer important lessons for technical instructors and for SkillsUSA’s corporate partners, whose productivity depends on employees with up-to-date skills. WSC results are one of the benchmarks by which a country’s global economic competitiveness is judged.

WorldSkills was founded in 1950 and currently has members from 48 countries, with efforts constantly being made to expand the membership. In 1973, President Richard M. Nixon recognized SkillsUSA (then known as VICA) as the official organization representing the United States. Only one organization may represent a country in the official delegation and certify that country’s international contestants. To learn more about the WorldSkills Competition, go to http://www.worldskills.org.

About SkillsUSA
SkillsUSA helps students discover and grow their career passions. As a nationwide partnership of students, instructors and industry working together, SkillsUSA works to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It helps every student excel. The nationwide career and technical education student organization annually serves more than 320,000 high school, college and postsecondary students—and their instructors—in technical, skilled, and service occupation instructional programs. Career and technical education is learning that works for America. SkillsUSA has the active support of more than 1,100 corporations, trade associations, business and labor unions at the national level. Over 10.5 million people have been annual members of SkillsUSA since its founding as the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America in 1965. SkillsUSA programs teach leadership, citizenship and character development to complement technical skill training. The organization emphasizes respect for the dignity of work, ethics, workmanship, scholarship and safety. For more information, go to http://www.skillsusa.org

For more information about the upcoming WorldSkills International Competition, visit http://www.worldskillsleipzig2013.com. For information about SkillsUSA, contact Tom Holdsworth at 703-737-0607, THoldsworth (at) skillsusa (dot) org or Jane Short at 703-737-0612, jshort (at) skillsusa (dot) org.

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