EWC Welding Student Wins World Welding Competition
April 10, 2007
TORRINGTON, WY - Former Eastern Wyoming College welding student Chance Pollo was awarded the 1st place medal at the Irish Invitational Welding Contest. The contest took place March 20-22, 2007, at the Cork Institute of Technology located in Cork City, Ireland. Second place was awarded to Stuart Greer from the United Kingdom, Gerard Healy and Martin Pheland, the two highest place finishers in the Ireland National Championship, tied so they will have to compete in a runoff contest to see who will represent Ireland at the World Skills Competition in Japan in November 2007.
Chance is employed at XL Hard Banding and took vacation time to represent Eastern Wyoming College, AWS and SkillsUSA at this event. He was provided financial assistance to defray traveling expenses from Miller Electric, United Association of Plumber and Pipe Fitters. He was accompanied by EWC welding instructor Leland Vetter and Ed Bohnart with Welding Education and Consulting (the SkillsUSA Welding Expert for the World Skills Competition). Many of Chance's weekends were spent in Torrington working with the EWC welding instructors to perfect his skill.
"Chance displays a culmination of talents and applies them with a great amount of determination," commented EWC welding instructor Russell Pontarolo.
"He's taking full advantage of the opportunities that were in front of him," added Leland Vetter, also an EWC welding instructor.
Chance finished the 22-hour welding contest with just two minutes to spare. There are no points for finishing early but you do have to finish to be eligible for the maximum points.
Chance is currently participating in the Pre-Weld Trials that will select two finalists to represent SkillsUSA and AWS at the US Open Weld Trials. The US Open Weld Trials will take place June 25-28, 2007, in Kansas City, MO, in conjunction with the SkillsUSA Championships. Other countries scheduled to compete in the US Open Weld Trials are Australia, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The SkillsUSA winner will become the Team USA welder and will represent the USA at the World Skills Competition in Japan.
These type of events not only are used to select the national team welders for World Skills but allow for additional competition experience. Most high-level events held in an open venue expose competitors to environments that cannot be duplicated in their local school or college. The unfamiliar surroundings and large crowds add to the exposure desired. This helps hone not only their manipulative skills but physiological aptitude as well. This also allows the competitor's schools and instructors opportunities to interface with the other countries on a very personal level and allow for comparison on how welder training is conducted around the world.
EWC Instructor Leland Vetter came away from Ireland with a much better understanding of how welders and fabricators are trained in Ireland. This sharing of information helps everyone raise the bar in his or her particular country and training facility.
Chance had the following to say about his accomplishments, "Being involved in SkillsUSA has helped me grow as a person and experience things that I would not have normally had the opportunity to, as well as, learn from other people around the world. I'd like to thank EWC's instructors for their dedication, skilled help, and support."