Project MFG Announces Danville Community College as Winners of First National Skilled Trade Championship Featured in Clash of Trades

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A community college with an enrollment lower than 4,000 is highlighting three of their own -- as national champions.

“We are so impressed with the grit and determination demonstrated through the competition. Every single individual exceeded expectation and it is clear the trade workforce is building momentum.” said Ray Dick, founder of RD Solutions, LLC and Global Learning Accelerator.

Last night, three Danville Community College students welded, programmed and machined their way to the title of national champion in the inaugural Project MFG National Championship that premiered last night in “Clash of Trades” on Project MFG’s YouTube channel.

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Industrial Base and Sustainment (IBAS) Program supports Project MFG and their creation of a new reality show that intends to change the perception of the skilled trades by highlighting trade skill competitions, the stories of individuals entering the field, and the high-tech, future-focused work being done in the U.S. manufacturing industry.

Koby Carter, Trent Oswald and Chase Smith are the Danville Community College team who beat out 100+ other competitors (23 teams) from eight states in state, regional and national rounds of competition. For their national challenge win, Danville Community College is awarded $35,000: $20k scholarship for the school and $5k in prizes for each of the three students. Here is a teaser of the three students from Danville Community College.

“We are so impressed with the grit and determination demonstrated through the competition. Every single individual exceeded expectation and its clear the trade workforce is building momentum,” said Ray Dick, founder of RD Solutions, LLC and Global Learning Accelerator.

The final four teams are featured on “Clash of Trades” which premiered last night on Project MFG’s YouTube channel. The teams were asked to build their own trophy, which had three components – a stand, midsection and the surprise feature element on top. The results were brought in front of a panel of experts and judged on technical merit as well overall achievement.

Last night’s finale of the 2020 competition series, that was delayed by COVID, pitted the four team finalists (Calhoun Community College, Danville Community College, Southwestern Illinois College and Tennessee College of Applied Technology) against one another.

Each team is comprised of current or recently graduated students who are learning skilled trades, like programming, welding and machining. The teams work together in a challenge that mirrors real-world, hands-on skill sets needed to succeed in advanced manufacturing.

Project MFG competitions and the reality competition show that highlights them, “Clash of Trades,” was started, in part, as studies show the manufacturing industry is experiencing exponential change and new technologies are not eliminating jobs as some predicted. Studies have found the reverse – more jobs are being created (2018 skills gap in manufacturing study). The skills gap may leave more than 2 million positions unfilled if more young people don’t enter the skilled trades. The US Department of Defense declared this deficit as one of the most vital challenges for the US defense industrial base (US DOD Nov2020 release).

The 2021 Project MFG season begins next month and culminates this fall in the next Project MFG National Championship. Future episodes of “Clash of Trades” will be created to share the action of the competitions and stories of the competitors with general audiences. Whether you are a student, school or sponsor, join in Project MFG competitions by selecting “I Want To Participate” on

For trade students, there continues to be a chance to win a $2500 scholarship when you opt in for Project MFG’s Clash of Trades now thru May 1, 2021.

About Project MFG
Project MFG shines a light on the need and opportunities for skilled trades by focusing on the development of new talent to provide a path forward for individuals and our country. Project MFG competitions throughout the United States promote the trades across industries and help advance the next generation of highly skilled trade professionals. As an integrated workforce development and recruitment effort, Project MFG collaborates across communities, the private sector and government to expand the US industrial base workforce.

Project MFG is a program of the Global Learning Accelerator Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit, funded by the Department of Defense, and operated and managed by RD Solutions, LLC. The mission of the Global Learning Accelerator is helping people find the nexus between their passions and what the world needs.

For more information about Project MFG and the Clash of Trades from April 20, 2021, please visit our website:

Check us out on social: @ProjectMfg on Twitter, Project MFG on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

For media inquiries, please contact Robb Yagmin at 913.908.0028 or email

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