Good morning and welcome to Day 2 of FABTECH 2012. The welding action continues today at the AWS/SkillsUSA U.S. Open Weld Invitationals. We took some time yesterday to get an overview of the competition, as well as introduce each of the six Americans vying for the three spots in the finals.
Meet the Six American Competitors
Competition Introduction from Nick Peterson
The competition put out the following news release yesterday, detailing the event and announcing that the finals to determine who goes on to represent the U.S. at WorldSkills will take place at Daytona Speedweek in 2013:
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA – November 12, 2012 – For six young welders, the AWS/SkillsUSA U.S. Invitational Weld Trials is just like the U.S. Olympic team tryouts, but without the television coverage and million-dollar spokesperson contracts. It does, however, come with a realistic expectation that they can obtain a relevant job that is in high demand and significantly contributes to our quality of life in America.
The AWS/SkillsUSA U.S. Invitational Weld Trials at the 2012 FABTECH Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada from November 12th to the 14th will host 11 competitors from 5 countries. Convention attendees will be able to witness firsthand the competition spread over four days of welding using multiple welding processes. Some of the welding requirements are so precise that the welds will require x-ray reviews and hydrostatic pressure tests to 1000 pounds per square inch in order to verify the integrity and quality of the welds.
Competing will be six national SkillsUSA welder finalists that have bested 1000’s of their peers in a near yearlong battle across America. Alongside them will be 5 international competitors representing Australia, Canada, The United Kingdom (2), and Russia. Wednesday evening, November 14th at a private reception, the top three USA competitors will be named along with Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals for the top three overall finishers.
The top three USA competitors will advance to a “Tune Up” at the AIDT training Center in Mobile Alabama, a division of the Alabama Department of Commerce that encourages economic development through job-specific training. Past TeamUSA Welding Medalists will train all three to give TeamUSA the best chances of earning a Medal in Germany this summer.
Tony Hopper, director of the Mobile AIDT Training Center, is excited to host these top welders for their training; “While these competitors are here, we will be hosting a career expo for local schools and employers to promote the need for skilled welders and all skilled careers along the Gulf Coast. We helped with the tune up for the 2011 WorldSkills Competition and the USA brought home a Bronze Medal for welding. This time, we hope it will be a Gold, but medal or not, as long as these competitors give their best that is all we expect.”
These top three competitors will then compete for the final TeamUSA position during the 2013 Daytona 500 Speedweek.
February 23rd, the day before the Daytona 500, the TeamUSA welder will be announced. That winner will not only represent the United States at the 42nd WorldSkills Competition in Leipzig, Germany July 2-7 2013 (worldskills.org), but will also receive a $40,000.00 scholarship from the American Welding Society Foundation.