SkillsUSA WorldSkills Competitor Wins Bronze in International Welding Competition, Oct. 17-20 in Cleveland
Jane Short or Karen Kitzel
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SkillsUSA competitor represented the U.S. against a field of international young talents
Leesburg, Va. — Jordan Packer of Utah won a bronze medal in Welding at the international WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition, held Oct. 17-20 at the Lincoln Electric Welding Technology and Training Center in Cleveland. Packer was the sole U.S. competitor for the event, which was part of a series of 62 WorldSkills 2022 Special Edition competitions held between Sept. 7 and Nov. 26 in 26 cities and 15 countries and regions across Europe, North America and East Asia. The WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition, presented by Samsung, is the official replacement for WorldSkills Shanghai 2022, which was canceled in May due to the pandemic.
For his training, Packer worked closely with members of the American Welding Society (AWS) WorldSkills USA Competition Committee, including previous WorldSkills competitors Chandler Vincent and Ray Connolly, the WorldSkills chief expert for welding. “I have a deep gratitude for everyone who made this event a reality, particularly Lincoln Electric and Samsung,” Packer said.
“Leading up to the competition I didn’t have time to feel anything, but I knew that I had done everything in my power to prepare,” Packer adds. “This was the experience of a lifetime to say the least. Encountering so many new cultures and being able to create new friendships across the globe was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I loved meeting new people, being introduced to so many cultures and creating many new friendships across the globe and it made me so happy to see my country’s flag on the podium knowing that the team and I made that happen.”
“SkillsUSA had a fantastic experience at the Lincoln Electric Training Center during the WorldSkills Special Edition in Cleveland for the welding and metalworking competitions,” said Darren Gibson, SkillsUSA program director for career competition events. “Our competitor, Jordan Packer, worked incredibly hard and honored the United States with his bronze medal win. He joins an elite group of international competitors for WorldSkills USA who have shown the nation and the world what they can do through career and technical education and SkillsUSA.”
Packer earned the right to compete through his performance at the USA Final Weld-Off held in March of 2022 at Alabama Robotics Technology Park. Sponsored by 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.
“I’m so proud of the way Jordan handled the competition. He was professional in every way and dedicated to being the best he could be,” said Chelle Travis, SkillsUSA’s executive director. “To win bronze is such an incredible accomplishment and I know this experience will help him create an even stronger purpose behind his passion for welding.”
Jordan joined SkillsUSA in 2015 as a high school sophomore at Provo (Utah) High School. Through SkillsUSA, 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 SkillsUSA Championships, later earning his spot to represent SkillsUSA on the 2022 WorldSkills Special Edition Competition at the AWS Weld-Off.
“Nothing was more of a priority to me than practicing for the competition,” Packer said. When asked what comes next, Packer replied, “I’ll be going back to school to finish my associate degree at the welding technology program at Utah State University Eastern and will consider going on to get a bachelor’s degree in welding engineering.”
Over 1,000 competitors from 57 countries and regions participated in the WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition in Cleveland. These events reestablished the biennial cycle of WorldSkills competitions that was disrupted due to the pandemic. Lincoln Electric Training Center hosted two events in October: The WorldSkills Special Edition Construction Metal Work competition and the Welding competition. Samsung Electronics was the overall event sponsor for the WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition.
“This truly is just the beginning,” Packer said. “I’m using this momentum to propel myself into a new level by not only paying it forward in any way I can, but also by launching a new business within the month which will further my ability to help those coming into the industry.”
For photos of the competition, go here.
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, go to: 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.