Highlights Importance of a Competitive, Highly Skilled Workforce
Leesburg, Va. — The SkillsUSA WorldTeam received four Medallions of Excellence in the WorldSkills Competition Oct. 14-19. SkillsUSA represents the United States and sent a team of 11 to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to compete in 10 skill categories during the 44th biennial event.
Medallions of Excellence are awarded to competitors who earn 700 or more points from a maximum possible 800 points. Recognized with a Medallion of Excellence were: Chandler Vincent from Price, Utah, in Welding; Krzysztof Zamajtys from Bohemia, N.Y., in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning; Asher Chicoine from East Hampton, Mass., in Plumbing and Heating; and Kylie Burkey from Bristol, Tenn., in Hairdressing. Vincent also received the Best of Nation award, given to the competitor with the highest points for each country’s team.
The students tested their skills against 1,251 competitors from 58 member countries working in 51 occupational areas. Competitors from 17 to 22 years old demonstrated their excellence in a variety of trade and technology contest areas. Considered “the best of the best,” contestants compete for four days in occupational skill areas from economic sectors including manufacturing and engineering technology, information and communication technology, construction and building technology, transportation and logistics, creative arts and fashion, and social and personal services. Accompanied by their teachers, trainers and industry technical committee experts, these young people compete before the public in contests that are run and judged by industry using demanding international standards. The competition brings together young people from around the world in their chosen professions. They represent the best students selected in local and national skills competitions for education.
Competitors earned the right to be members of the SkillsUSA WorldTeam by being members of SkillsUSA and by winning local, district and national contests in the SkillsUSA Championships program. Candidates then participated in an application and interview process. The selected members then completed a full training program to prepare for the WorldSkills Competition.
Members of the SkillsUSA WorldTeam who competed were:
- Automobile Technology: Jonathan Robertson, Blue Springs, Mo.
- Bakery: Jordyn Baker, Anchorage, Alaska
- Bricklaying: Luke Dutton, Salisbury, N.C.
- Hairdressing: Kylie Burkey, Bristol, Tenn.
- Mechatronics (team): Joshua Whittington, Hogansville, Ga., and Corey Cleghorn, Tifton, Ga.
- Plumbing and Heating: Asher Chicoine, East Hampton, Mass.
- Print Media Technology: Chandler Kerr, Severn, Md.
- Refrigeration and Air Conditioning: Krzysztof (Chris) Zamajtys, Bohemia, N.Y.
- Web Design: Riley Johnson, Carrboro, N.C.
- Welding: Chandler Vincent, Price, Utah
WorldSkills was founded in 1950. In 1973, President Richard M. Nixon recognized SkillsUSA (then known as VICA) as the official U.S. representative. The United States first entered the WorldSkills Competition in 1975, represented by the SkillsUSA organization. The next WorldSkills Competition will be held in Kazan, Russia, in 2019.
SkillsUSA is a vital solution to the growing U.S. skills gap. This nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry ensures America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. Founded in 1965 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, the association serves more than 300,000 member students and instructors each year in middle schools, high schools and colleges. This diverse talent pipeline covers 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, the majority STEM-related. More than 600 corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA at the national level. SkillsUSA programs are integrated into career and technical education through a framework of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. Local, state and national championships, designed and judged by industry, set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide needed recognition to its students. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and other workplace credentials. Additional information on the SkillsUSA WorldTeam is located at: www.skillsusa.org/competitions/worldskills/.
Over its 65-year history, WorldSkills International 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 International 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.
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