Ryan Meppelink, of Zeeland, Mich., will represent the United States in Heavy Vehicle Maintenance at the biennial WorldSkills Competition in Kazan, Russia. Meppelink will compete as a member of the WorldSkills USA team, selected and trained by SkillsUSA. The 45th international event will be held Aug. 22-27, 2019.
Meppelink is excited to represent his country on the WorldSkills stage and hopes to make everyone proud. “I enjoy the challenges presented by the different systems I’m faced with, and the countless possibilities for failures. I have always wanted to be the absolute best I can be,” he said.
After the WorldSkills competition, Meppelink’s goal is to obtain a management position and become a custom fleet consultant. He also wants to give back to the career and technical programs that helped him succeed by becoming a teacher. Meppelink credits his drive to a hunger for knowledge, knowing where he came from, and to those who have always stood behind him.
“Through much of my training as a WorldSkills USA team finalist, I was consistently working 18 hour days between work and my studies,” he said. To see a video of Meppelink, go to: www.worldskillsusa.org/team/ryan-meppelink/
Every two years, WorldSkills hosts the world championships of skills, which attracts more than 1,600 competitors from more than 76 countries and regions around the world to compete in more than 50 different trade skills. Considered the best in the world in each trade skill, contestants compete for four days in contests that are run and judged by industry using demanding international standards. They represent the best students from each nation and many are highly trained by their sponsoring country. To see a list of competitions, go to: https://worldskills2019.com/en/event/skills/
There are 22 members on the WorldSkills USA Team, with an average age of 19. Other occupational areas in which the United States will compete include Aircraft Maintenance, Autobody Repair, Automobile Technology, Bakery, Bricklaying, Cabinetmaking, Car Painting, CNC Milling, Cooking, Cyber Security, Graphic Design, Hairdressing, Mechanical Engineering CAD, Mechatronics, Plumbing and Heating, Print Media, Restaurant Service, Web Technologies and Welding.
Hundreds of thousands of spectators, public policymakers, employers, teachers, trainers, technical experts and government officials from around the world will attend this competition. The event will be held at the Kazan Expo International Exhibition Centre. For more information about the competition, go to: https://worldskills2019.com/en
For more information about Ryan Meppelink and the WorldSkills USA team, go to: www.worldskillsusa.org
Unlike other national teams in the WorldSkills Competition, the WorldSkills USA team is funded solely through private donations. To donate funds or in-kind support, go to: www.worldskillsusa.org/donate/
SkillsUSA is a vital solution to the growing U.S. skills gap. SkillsUSA empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens as it improves the quality of our nation’s future skilled workforce. The nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry ensures America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. SkillsUSA helps every student excel through the development of SkillsUSA Framework skills that include personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. The association serves more than 360,000-member students and instructors per year in middle schools, high schools and colleges. This diverse talent pipeline covers 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, the majority STEM-related. More than 600 corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA at the national level. Local, state and national championships are designed and judged by industry to set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide recognition opportunities for students. SkillsUSA programs also help to establish industry standards for job skill training in the lab and classroom and promote community service. SkillsUSA is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and is cited as a “successful model of employer-driven youth development training program” by the U.S. Department of Labor. SkillsUSA offers technical skill assessments and workplace credentials through the SkillsUSA Career Essentials program, a cutting-edge solution that defines, implements and measures career readiness skills for students. For more information: www.skillsusa.org
Since 1950, WorldSkills has come to symbolize the pinnacle of excellence in vocational training. It provides a unique means of exchange and comparison of world-class competency standards in the industrial trades and service sectors of the global economy. The continued growth of WorldSkills International attests to the fact that traditional trade and craft skills, along with newer technology’s multi-skilled occupations, make an essential contribution to the economic and social well-being of people everywhere. For more information, go to: www.WorldSkills.org
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