AWC Welding students earn first place at SkillsUSA Arizona, qualify for nationals

Yuma, AZ (April 11, 2018) – Four Arizona Western College students were awarded with gold medals during the 2018 SkillsUSA Arizona Championships on April 3-4.

Christopher Buonincontri, Tanner DeHart, and Erik Palma received first place in the post-secondary welding fabrication category. During the competition they were tasked with creating a picnic table with four seats.

“It was definitely exciting, and it was definitely fulfilling. I felt very grateful to be able to win that gold medal,” said Buonincontri, who is currently working toward Associate in Applied Sciences degrees at AWC in Welding Technology and Industrial Technology. “This is my second time making it to nationals, so I really look forward to excelling and exceeding what we did last year. This is a great second chance.”

Jesse Dominguez and Jason Brown also competed at the state competition in the welding category for individual post-secondary students, and Dominguez came home with first place. Students in this category were tested on various skills including their knowledge of the different types of welding processes and their ability to follow blueprints.

AWC’s gold medal winners will be competing in the 2018 SkillsUSA National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky from June 25-29.

“I’m really proud of my students,” said AWC Welding Laboratory Technician Pedro Ordaz. “I used to compete in SkillsUSA, so I know what it’s like to be on the other end. I’m glad I get this opportunity to give back to the students and the program. SkillsUSA is something I really enjoyed during my time as a student at AWC.”

Through his experience competing for three years in welding fabrication at the national SkillsUSA level, Ordaz shared that his students have a lot of hard work and preparation ahead of them. As the AWC SkillsUSA Welding Club Advisor, he is going to make sure the students have plenty of time to practice and get ready, especially since he knows firsthand how tough the national competition can be.

Pedro Ordaz
Welding Laboratory Technician/SkillsUSA Welding Club Advisor
Arizona Western College
(928) 344-7563

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