CHEYENNE – Laramie County Community College welding student David Gordon placed fourth in the WorldSkills Trials, as part of the SkillsUSA competition. Gordon, from Burns, is currently a second-year student at LCCC.
Gordon started his journey to the WorldSkills Trials in Huntsville, Alabama, last April, when he competed for LCCC’s SkillsUSA Team at the Wyoming state competition in Casper. Participating as part of LCCC’s team in the individual competition, he was given the opportunity to demonstrate the welding skills he had learned while earning a credit diploma in welding.
“When I started at LCCC, I had very little welding experience. I had taken a few classes in high school and could perform ‘farmyard welding.’ My experiences and education at LCCC allowed me to successfully compete at the state level and continue learning,” Gordon said.
With a second-place finish, Gordon wasn’t slated to attend nationals, but the first-place finisher was unable to participate, opening the door for an opportunity to compete.
The national competition provided another unique experience for Gordon to showcase his skills. Participating in the virtual competition in June, Gordon successfully completed four welding projects under the supervision of a local proctor to place fourth nationally. His outstanding showcase of skills resulted in an invitation to the WorldSkills Trials.
“SkillsUSA provides a huge stage for our students to compete in a wide variety of skills, not just welding. It is exciting to see students like David, engage with potential employers and recruitment opportunities, while showcasing the skills they have learned and are perfecting,” said Sam Graham, LCCC welding instructor.
Participating with top welders allowed him to learn from his peers and from industry trainers during the three-month process. Graham and Gordon traveled to Alabama two times between December 2021 and January 2022, to prepare and experiment on the welds that were part of the competition, earlier this month.
The preparation and dedication paid off, when he finished fourth at the WorldSkills Trials. While he won’t be advancing to the International competition, he has learned valuable skills and enjoyed the process.
“One of my greatest take-aways from this experience is to keep trying and keep going,” Gordon said.
Looking forward, Gordon, along with the seven other members of LCCC’s SkillsUSA welding team (five individual competitors and a three-man fab team), will complete at the state competition next month in Casper. Gordon will graduate from LCCC this May with an associates of applied science degree in welding, and is considering entering the workforce or returning to LCCC to earn his bachelor’s degree.
For more information on LCCC’s SkillsUSA team, or the welding program, contact Sam Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-432-1647.