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Welding Student Selected for National Competition

A Pennsylvania College of Technology freshman is one of six students nationwide selected to compete in the American Welding Society’s Weld-Off, to be held at the AWS Welding Show and Exposition in Atlanta from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.

Westley A. Smith, Mifflinburg, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in welding and fabrication engineering technology. He is a 2006 graduate of Mifflinburg Area High School and SUN Area Career and Technology Center in New Berlin, where he took welding courses during his senior year.

He was selected for the upcoming Weld-Off in Atlanta based on his high-rated performances in SkillsUSA competitions as a senior winning the state competition, where he bested even post-secondary students, and earning a third-place finish in the national competition.

“It’s the first year I ever competed,” Smith said. “I never really had any welding experience before (my senior year).”

Because he was selected as a finalist to compete in the Weld-Off, Smith will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the AWS Foundation, funds for which are provided by Miller Electric Manufacturing Co., as well as a one-year full AWS membership and AWS Certification.

The top three finishers of the Weld-Off will advance to the next phase of the selection process, which will culminate with the U.S. Open Weld Trials at the SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City, Mo., in June.

The SkillsUSA winner at the U.S. Open Weld Trials earns a $40,000 scholarship and will represent the United States at the 39th World Skills Competition in Shizuoka, Japan, in November 2007.

For more information about the academic programs offered by the School of Industrial and Engineering Technologies at Penn College, call (570) 327-4520, send e-mail or visit online.

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