August 27, 2013
Alex Pazkowski of Saline, Mich., a student at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Mich., represented the U.S. during the biennial WorldSkills Competition and won a silver medal in the welding competition. He also won Best in Nation as part of the U.S. WorldTeam. The 42nd international event was held July 2-7, 2013.
Pazkowski, a member of SkillsUSA, the Leesburg, Va., organization that represents the U.S. in the WorldSkills Competition, credits his instructor, Dave Jodway at Saline High School in Saline, with laying the foundation for his love and passion for welding.
"Alex practiced and listened so well to instruction that he was welding in vertical and overhead positions in the first half of his junior year and passing bend tests a year earlier than most," said Jodway. "He set the bar very high for himself, and he has now shown the world the Alex that we all know."
Every two years, hundreds of young people from 53 member countries or regions compete in the WorldSkills Competition, which spans four days and 45 occupational skill areas. Competitors must be able to read and interpret drawings and specifications; set up welding equipment in accordance with the manufacturers' specifications; select the required welding process as designated on the drawings; set and adjust welding parameters as required, including welding polarity, amperage, voltage, wire feed speed, travel speed, torch/electrode angles, and mode of metal transfer; perform welding in all positions on plate and pipe for all nominated processes as detailed in ISO 2553 and AWS A3.0/A2.4; weld steel plate and sections using manual welding, gas welding, and FCAW; weld steel plate, stainless steel sheet and sections, and aluminum sheet and sections utilizing GTAW; and clean welds using wire brushes, chisels, and scrapers.