Fabtech “Weld-Off” Highlights SkillsUSA Quality
On November 3, I departed for Atlanta to attend the 2010 Fabtech conference. It was great to see our partners from the American Welding Society (AWS), Lincoln Electric, Miller Electric and many more. I was there to see our top welding students in the “Weld-Off” Semifinals that will help determine our SkillsUSA WorldTeam competitor for London 2011. As a former welding student and instructor myself, I can say I have never been more impressed than by the quality of the work I saw these six top students perform. Their technical skills were truly world-class, but so were their leadership and professional skills. I spent time with each of them, and they were all well-mannered, well-spoken, well-groomed and extremely polite. These are the times that demonstrate SkillsUSA’s mission of empowering our members to be world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. WorldSkills Australia participated in the event to “practice and benchmark” against our students. The AWS Weld-Off was administered by two SkillsUSA alumni, Nick Peterson (Miller Electric) and Brandon Muehlbrandt (Lincoln Electric), both of whom are successful corporate representatives and former international welding medalists.
I was honored to announce the three semi-finalists during the closing banquet. The three will train and compete between now and June, and the final competition to determine the SkillsUSA WorldTeam welding competitor will be held during NLSC in June. The semi-finalists are Alex Pazkowski and Bradley Klink from Michigan and Zachary Brown from Mississippi. During the closing banquet AWS President John Bruskotter (Louisiana) and President-Elect John Mendoza (Texas) presented all six students with $1,000 scholarships. Bruskotter attended the SkillsUSA NLSC last June and is a big fan (he’s also a SkillsUSA alumnus) and Mendoza is a great supporter of our Texas college/postsecondary program.
You can view my comments from Fabtech and the Weld-Off on YouTube below:
Here is a message from Nick Peterson: