WorldSkills USA Will Go for Gold in International Welding Competition, Oct. 17-20 in Cleveland
Jane Short or Karen Kitzel
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SkillsUSA competitor will represent U.S. against field of international young talents
Leesburg, Va. — Jordan Packer of Utah will compete in the upcoming WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition on Oct. 17-20. The international welding competition will be held at the Lincoln Electric Welding Technology and Training Center in Cleveland.
Packer is the sole U.S. competitor for the event, which is part of a series of 61 competitions being held over 12 weeks in 15 countries and regions across Europe, North America and East Asia between Sept. 7 and Nov. 26, 2022.
“I am extremely excited to represent the greatest country on the planet,” Packer says. “Being able to represent the
United States by doing something I love is incredible.” Packer, age 21, will test his skills against other competitors from around the world. He earned the right to compete through his performance at the USA Final Weld-Off held last March at Alabama Robotics Technology Park. Sponsored by the American Welding Society (AWS), the Weld-Off consisted of four modules completed in 18 hours over three-and-a-half days. To prepare, Packer practiced a minimum of 75 hours a week to master gas metal, gas tungsten, flux cored and shielded metal arc welding, all while balancing school and family life.
“Competing at this level requires the highest level of dedication and work ethic that you can muster,” says Packer, who is completing the welding technology program at Utah State University Eastern. Once he earns his associate degree, he plans to earn a bachelor’s in manufacturing engineering with a welding emphasis at Weber State University (Utah). While he will soon use his skills and knowledge to open his own business, his focus for now is on his education and the upcoming WorldSkills Competition.
For his training, Packer has been working closely with members of the AWS WorldSkills USA Competition Committee, including previous WorldSkills competitors Chandler Vincent and Ray Connolly, the WorldSkills chief expert for welding. “Nothing is more of a priority than your practice,” Packer says. “You are an Olympic athlete, and your life revolves around that competition.”
“Exceptional students like Jordan Packer see WorldSkills as an opportunity to push themselves while growing their technical skills and mental toughness,” says Chelle Travis, SkillsUSA’s executive director. “While Jordan hopes to stand on a podium with a gold medal around his neck, I know whatever outcome this experience brings will help create even stronger purpose behind the passion for a trade skill he so clearly loves.”
Jordan joined SkillsUSA in 2015 as a high school sophomore at Provo (Utah) High School. He competed in Welding three years in a row at the state level. In 2021, he was the state gold medalist for the college/postsecondary division and competed at the 2021 virtual SkillsUSA Championships, later earning his spot to represent SkillsUSA on the 2022 WorldSkills Special Edition Competition at the AWS Weld Off.
Over 1,000 competitors from 58 countries and regions will participate in the WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition. These events reestablish the biennial cycle of WorldSkills competitions that was disrupted due to the pandemic. Lincoln Electric Training Center is hosting two events in October: the WorldSkills Special Edition Construction Metal Work competition and the Welding competition. Samsung Electronics is the overall event sponsor for the WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition.
Follow Jordan Packer and the WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition in Cleveland @WorldSkillsUSA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and the hashtag #WorldSkillsUSA.
SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of education and industry founded in 1965 to strengthen the nation’s skilled workforce. Driven by employer demand, SkillsUSA helps students develop necessary personal and workplace skills along with technical skills grounded in academics. This SkillsUSA Framework empowers every student to succeed at work and in life, while helping to close the skills gap in which millions of positions go unfilled. Through SkillsUSA’s championships program and curricula, employers have long ensured schools are teaching relevant technical skills, and with SkillsUSA’s new credentialing process, they can now assess how ready potential employees are for the job. SkillsUSA serves nearly 400,000 members annually in our nation’s high schools, colleges and middle schools, covering over 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Labor as integral to career and technical education. SkillsUSA has served 14.2 million members since 1965. For more information, visit www.skillsusa.org.
Every two years, competitors from 85 countries and regions around the world compete in more than 60 different trade skills at WorldSkills. The next WorldSkills competition takes place Sept. 10-15, 2024, in Lyon, France, showcasing trade skills from construction and building technology, creative arts and fashion, information and communication technology to manufacturing and engineering, personal services and transportation and logistics. 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