LEESBURG, Va. — SkillsUSA announced that its SkillsUSA WorldTeam, consisting of 18 career and technical education students, will head to the WorldSkills Competition in São Paulo, Brazil, to compete in 16 skill categories during the 43rd biennial event Aug. 11-16.

Representing the U.S. team in the Plumbing and Heating category is Chris Royea of Williamstown, Vermont, while in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning category the U.S. will be represented by Brock Miesner of St. Ann, Missouri.

The students will test their skills against more than 1,200 students representing 73 countries and regions from around the world competing in 48 official skill competitions and two demonstration contests. There will be 5,000 international experts, delegates, and judges, 3,000 volunteers, and 200,000 student and public spectators attending.

The WorldSkills Competition highlights a worldwide issue: preparation of a highly skilled workforce. Simon Field of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) stated in the book Learning for Jobs, “Increasingly, countries are recognizing that good initial vocational education and training has a major contribution to make to economic competitiveness. The wealth of nations will come to rely more on the skills of their people than on other sources such as natural resources.”

“The SkillsUSA WorldTeam will meet and compete in Brazil with young workers from all around the globe, and I know our team will represent the United States very well,” said Tim Lawrence, executive director, SkillsUSA. “Just as in sports, winning contestants will be awarded medals and honors. But, the difference is that nations rise on the success of their workforce. Skilled, capable, and flexible workers are the backbone of any nation’s economy and this international competition highlights that fact.”

For more information about SkillsUSA, visit www.skillsusa.org.

Publication date: 7/31/2015