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SkillsUSA Finalist Named at Daytona

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Alex PazkowskiCongratulations to Alex Pazkowski, winner of the SkillsUSA WeldTeam Weld Finals at Daytona International Speedway. Alex will travel to Liepzig, Germany in July to represent the U.S.A. in the WorldSkills Competition. Good luck to you, Alex! Watch the awards ceremony video from Daytona here.

Miller was proud to be part of the SkillsUSA WorldTeam Weld Finals at Daytona International Speedway last week, and to promote welding and welding education at all levels of competition. See how the three finalists made it to Daytona in this video from FABTECH 2012:

Watch the SkillsUSA at FABTECH 2012

The AWS/SkillsUSA U.S. Weld Invitationals at FABTECH 2012

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

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, 2012For 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 (, but will also receive a $40,000.00 scholarship from the American Welding Society Foundation.

FABTECH 2012 Is Officially Here!

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Good morning welding, manufacturing and fabricating aficionados:

FABTECH 2012 is about to kick off and you can join us here at the Las Vegas Convention Center through Wednesday, November 14 in booth N5213 for all of the latest in welding products, accessories and safety solutions.

If you are at home, and cannot join us for the show, follow along the action all week at! 

A few highlights today:

1. We’ve got a bunch of new products in the booth, from industrial welding systems to engine-driven welder generators to robotic solutions to new welding helmet designs! Come down and see us!

2. The U.S. Open Welding Invitationals, part of the SkillsUSA semifinal process to determine who will move on to compete for a spot at WorldSkills, is taking place here during the week. Events officially kick off this afternoon and Miller is a very proud sponsor of this event.

3. Hobart Brothers’ Joe Bundy takes part in a panel discussion this afternoon at 2:00 PM in room N238 on Stress Rupture Evaluation of Steel Welding Consumables. The presentation is taking place in conjunction with Xiao Chai (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and S. Babu (Ohio State University.

Stay tuned throughout the week for more exciting news from the show!

U.S. and International Competitors Get Instructions on Day 1 of the U.S. Open Weld Invitationals at FABTECH 2012

Brad Clink Wins at SkillsUSA, Joins Team USA for World Skills 2011

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Washtenaw Community College student Brad Clink competed against two of the other top competition welders in the country at SkillsUSA 2011 and won the right to represent the United States at WorldSkills London 2011. The three men, including fellow Washtenaw Community College student Alex Pazkowski and Greene County Vo-Tech‘s Zack Brown, competed as part of the 2011 SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference in Kansas City.

For a full rundown of all of the welding competitions at SkillsUSA, stay tuned for our August issue of Miller’s INSTRUCTOR newsletter. In the meantime, check out these videos from the conference:

American Welding Society President John Mendoza Kicks off Festivities

Opening Ceremony Footage

Brad Clink Interview

Zack Brown Interview

Alex Pazkowski Interview

Closing Ceremony and Team USA Member Announced


SkillsUSA National Skills & Leadership Conference Kicks Off

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Last night marked the opening ceremony of the SkillsUSA 2011 National Skills & Leadership Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. Miller is a proud sponsor of SkillsUSA and the individual welding, team welding fabrication, welding sculpture and World Skills welding championships.

Keep posted here throughout the remainder of the week for updates from the championship competitions and other happenings around this exciting industry event.

For photos from the event, keep clicking here. We’ll add more throughout the week: SkillsUSA Photos


SkillsUSA at Fabtech 2010

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Good morning –

Today wraps up an exciting week of competition here at Fabtech 2010. The final six American SkillsUSA contestants are battling it out for three spots in the Kansas City competition where a champion will be crowned. That champion will move on to represent the U.S. at the World Skills competition. AWS provides the American winner with a $40,000 scholarship provided by Miller

These final six competitors have been narrowed down from 24. Nick Peterson, a former champion, talks about the contest and why it’s important to the industry:

SkillsUSA Video

Here’s a description of the contest from the SkillsUSA website:

Competitors receive contest drawings and a set of welding procedure specifications. All drawings, welding symbols, and welding terms conform to the latest edition of the American Welding Society standards. Through a series of stations, contestants are tested on various aspects of welding: measuring weld replicas, using weld measuring gauges; laying out a plate and using oxy-acetylene equipment to cut several holes that are checked for accuracy and quality; Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) on steel making welds in various positions using short circuiting transfers; Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) using a shielding gas, making welds in various positions and, using a combination machine capable of providing the correct welding current for shielded metal arc (SMAW) and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). Competitors complete the steel project and weld an aluminum project in various positions using a variety of filler metals.

We also chatted with folks around the show and the competition about the shortage of skilled welders and why today’s youth should consider this skilled trade:

Pursuing a Career in Welding

What do you think? What will it take to engage today’s youth in a career in welding?