LEESBURG, Va. - SkillsUSA, the organization that represents the United States in the WorldSkills Competition, will send 16 students as part of the U.S. “WorldTeam” to compete in the 40th international event to be held Sept. 1-7, 2009. This year, Ryan Rutherford, of Stickney, Ill., and a student at M.A.T.C. College, will represent the U.S. in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in the WorldSkills Refrigeration Competition.

Every two years, hundreds of young people from 51 member countries or regions compete in the WorldSkills Competition. Member countries include Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Brazil, and many others. Considered “the best of the best,” these contestants compete for four days in 45 occupational skill areas from economic sectors including manufacturing, information technology, transportation, construction, and services. Accompanied by their teachers, trainers, and industry technical committee experts, these young people compete before the public in contests that are run by and judged by industry using demanding international standards.

This year, in Calgary, more than 1,000 competitors will test their skills. Five thousand international experts, delegates, and judges from around the world and 3,000 volunteers will attend. A total of 150,000 student and public spectators are also expected to attend the competition at Stampede Park.

Rutherford earned the right to be a member of the U.S. WorldTeam by winning local, district, and national contests in refrigeration under the SkillsUSA program. Competitors must be under the age of 23. According to WorldSkills International, refrigeration competitors must be able to:

• Understand installation specifications and plans and choose the best implementation method.

• Install several components which form the refrigeration system including soldering pipes and the safe handling of refrigerants without causing danger to the environment.

• Be skilled in electronics and understand airflow techniques.

Organizations supporting the United States’ participation in the WorldSkills Competition include Carrier, Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES), and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry (UA).

For more information about the WorldSkills Competition, visit www.worldskills.org. For more information about SkillsUSA, visit www.skillsusa.org.

Publication date:08/24/2009