SkillsUSA Winner to Compete in Abu Dhabi
After months of intense welding competition, Chandler Vincent, 19, earned the opportunity to represent the United States on the SkillsUSA WorldTeam at the biennial WorldSkills Competition, to be held in October in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
After months of intense competition, the top three finalists in the American Welding Society (AWS) Skills Competition took part in the 2017 AWS/SkillsUSA TeamUSA Finals in February, vying for the chance to represent the United States at the international 44th WorldSkills Competition in October.
Chandler Vincent, 19, from Vernal, Utah, was named the SkillsUSA WorldTeam welder after winning the event, collecting a $40,000 scholarship from Miller Electric Mfg. Co. He will represent TeamUSA in the WorldSkills Welding Competition to be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in October 2017.
The 2017 Finals, held at the AIDT Alabama Robotics Technology Park in Huntsville, Alabama, was the culmination of years of training for the young welders. The three finalists completed 18 hours of welding competition over three days at the event. The competition modules include five hours of welding five different carbon steel plate and pipe projects using varying welding processes, the erection and welding of a pressure vessel, and an aluminum and stainless steel TIG project. All projects undergo strict visual and destructive testing assessments that are scored by all of the competitor’s coaches/instructors, along with additional volunteers. Each coach is paired with a competitive coach to maintain checks and balances as they determine detailed objective score criteria.
Vincent studied welding at Uintah Basin Applied Technology College with instructor Mason Winters, who was a runner-up in the AWS SkillsUSA Pre-Trials competition in 2009. Vincent has been involved in AWS welding competition for several years, placing fourth in 2015 and fifth at the 2016 National SkillsUSA event.
The runner-up in this year’s contest was Blaine Hipp, 18, from Prim, Arkansas. Third place overall was Jacob Miller, 21, from Greers Ferry, Arkansas. Hipp and Miller attended the same high school.
To prepare for the upcoming WorldSkills event, Vincent will continue his welding training in Utah.
Miller recognizes the time and dedication these young welders have put into honing their craft. The AWS/SkillsUSA competition is a key part of building the next generation of welders.