Highlights Importance of a Competitive, Highly Skilled Workforce
Leesburg, Va., Aug. 29, 2019 —The WorldSkills USA team won a bronze medal in Heavy Vehicle Technology and earned four Medallions of Excellence at the WorldSkills Competition held Aug. 22-27 in Kazan, Russia. SkillsUSA, the organization that represents the United States in the WorldSkills Competition, fielded and trained the team of 22 career and technical education competitors.
Based on total points scored overall, the U.S. team moved up 15 places in world rankings when compared to the 2017 WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Ryan Meppelink of Zeeland, Mich., was awarded a bronze medal for Heavy Vehicle Technology and Best in Nation for having the highest score for the team.
Medallions of Excellence, awarded to competitors who earn 700 out of 800 possible points, were earned by Paul Danenberg of Boise, Idaho, in Automobile Technology; Ryan Fincher of Cedartown, Ga., in Welding; Rebekah Hagberg of Bloomington, Ill., in Hairdressing; and Dylan Wertz of Tiffin, Ohio, in Car Painting. The team narrowly missed earning four additional Medallions of Excellence.
The 2019 WorldSkills USA team members tested their skills against 1,354 competitors from 63 member countries working in 56 occupational areas. They competed for four days and demonstrated their excellence in a variety of trade and technology contest areas. Accompanied by their teachers, trainers and experts from industry, these young people competed before the public in contests that were run and judged against demanding international standards. They represent SkillsUSA’s top students as determined through state and national skills competitions and further trial projects and run-offs.
Members of the WorldSkills USA team:
- Automobile Technology: Paul Danenberg, 21, Boise, Idaho
- Auto Body Repair: David “D.J.” Fors, 19, Lunenburg, Mass.
- Aircraft Maintenance: Alex Millikan, 22, Trinity, N.C.
- Baking: Daylan Torres, 20, Fall River, Mass.
- Bricklaying: Kelby Thornton, 19, Midland, N.C.
- Cabinetmaking: Ethan Harrison, 18, Blackfoot, Idaho
- Car Painting: Dylan Wertz, 19, Tiffin, Ohio
- CNC Milling: Scott May, 19, Port Huron, Mich.
- Cooking: Julia Spondike, 21, Lorain, Ohio
- Cyber Security: Mawadda Abuhamda, 17, Chandler, Ariz.
- Cyber Security: Jason McGee, 18, San Tan Valley, Ariz.
- Graphic Design Technology: Anthony Moore, 19, Adrian, Mich.
- Hairdressing: Rebekah Hagberg, 18, Bloomington, Ill.
- Heavy Vehicle Maintenance: Ryan Meppelink, 20, Zeeland, Mich.
- Mechanical Engineering: Benjamin Campbell, 19, Nampa, Idaho
- Mechatronics: Ryan Hittepole, 20, Albemarle, N.C.
- Mechatronics: Curt Love, 20, Oakboro, N.C.
- Plumbing and Heating: Timothy Girouard, 19, Southampton, Mass.
- Print Media: Brittany Whitestone, 20, Westminster, Md.
- Restaurant Service: Robert “Colt” Schultz, 17, League City, Texas
- Web Design: Matthew Vreman, 20, Parrish, Fla.
- Welding: Ryan Fincher, 21, Cedartown, Ga.
3M was the lead sponsor of the 2019 WorldSkills USA team. “3M and WorldSkills USA share a commitment to addressing the shortage of qualified skilled workers across many industries,” said Mojdeh Poul, executive vice president, 3M Safety and Graphics Business Group. “As a global science-based company, we recognize that science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills are the foundation for many trades. This sponsorship is about inspiring the next generation of skilled workers.”
Other proud team sponsors were Ferguson and Lowe’s.
Since 1950, WorldSkills has come to symbolize the pinnacle of excellence in vocational training. It provides a unique means of exchange and comparison of world-class competency standards in the industrial trades and service sectors of the global economy. The continued growth of WorldSkills attests to the fact that traditional trade and craft skills, along with newer technology’s multi-skilled occupations, make an essential contribution to the economic and social well-being of people everywhere. For more information, go to: www.worldskills.org.
3M applies science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $32 billion in sales, 3M’s 91,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at www.3M.com or on Twitter @3M or @3MNews.
Jane A. DeShong Short, Program Manager
Karen Kitzel, Associate Director