Paul Allen Danenberg

Paul Allen Danenberg

Age 21
Hometown: Boise, Idaho

Representing the United States at WorldSkills in Automobile Technology

When Paul Danenberg was in high school, his father bought a 1968 Ford Thunderbird so they could have an opportunity to fix it up together. “I wanted to know how to work on it on my own – not just through the step-by-step instruction from my dad – so I took an automotive tech course in high school. That is where I fell in love with the field.”

But Paul didn’t discover he had a particular skill in automobile technology until he started learning about electrical. “That’s when things started to click and all things automotive became clear. If you can understand electricity, you can understand how almost every system in a vehicle operates.”

Paul has been involved with SkillsUSA for three years, first competing as a freshman in college when he attended an automotive technical program at the College of Southern Idaho. He is currently employed as an automotive tech and sees it as a stepping stone to further his professional growth.

“What I love about automotive technology is the challenge. Every manufacturer has their nuances, which is a challenge on its own. This field will definitely humble you if you are in it long enough.”

After the WorldSkills competition, Paul hopes to become a field service engineer, traveling across the country to diagnose and repair issues that nobody else can fix. “It sounds like a great opportunity to travel and perform my favorite part about my job. Eventually, I would also like to give back to my community and become an automotive teacher for a post-secondary program.”

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Quotables

On competing in the WorldSkills competition:
“I hope to sharpen my abilities in my skill to a razor’s edge and truly become the best version of myself. Seeing all of the different cars that aren’t available in America – and being able to work on them – is going to be a valuable experience that I will never forget.”

On SkillsUSA’s role:
“I have gained the experience of competing against my peers and identifying areas in automotive where I can improve. And I have learned essential soft skills such as leadership traits, professional communication skills, time management, and many more.”

On what he enjoys most about his skill:
“You can see any combination of weird issues; a vacuum leak causing a fuel rail pressure sensor code on a VW; a jumped timing chain causing a low fuel rail pressure on a GM; a ground that has high resistance causing all kinds of electrical problems from voltage feedback. The work is very rewarding.”