Hometown: Cedar Hill, Mo.
Ray Connolly has 22 years of experience in the field of welding in the aerospace, petrochemical, and power generation industries, and is now a welding engineer for a naval defense contractor. Ray also teaches part-time at Jefferson Community College in Missouri and is an active member of the American Welding Society.
Ray’s success at the SkillsUSA and WorldSkills competitions from 1997 to 1999, including bringing home a gold medal from WorldSkills, led to his first welding job out of college and his current teaching position. If not for his involvement with SkillsUSA, Ray claims he would not have gone to college or pursued a career in trade skills.
Ray is looking forward to mentoring his WorldSkills USA competitor and is confident the 2019 team has what it takes to bring home a gold medal.
“I’m excited to see the WorldSkills USA team working around some of the greatest minds from all over the world, while making friends that you can call on whenever tricky questions arise.”
Ray’s expertise has been recognized globally, as he will serve as the WorldSkills competition’s Chief Expert in welding. In this role, he is responsible for planning and managing the technical aspects of the competition.