Madison Area Technical College graduate Ben Janke of Marshall, Wis., took home the Medallion of Excellence Award in the four-day car painting competition in the WorldSkills Competition. Janke competed as a member of the United States “WorldTeam” at the 40th international event held Sept. 1-7 in Calgary, Canada.
The Medallion of Excellence is awarded only to those competitors scoring at least 500 out of 600 in their fields of competition.
Janke is a member of SkillsUSA, the organization that represents the United States in the WorldSkills Competition. He earned the right to be a member of WorldTeam by winning local, district and national contests in car painting under the SkillsUSA program.
According to WorldSkills International, car painting competitors must be skilled in repairing car bodywork. They are able to apply finishes to different materials, apply prime coats and repair paint surfaces. They know the standard chassis, motor and electrical device constructions and are able to carry out basic maintenance work.
Per WorldSkills, car painters remove, mark out and replace vehicle body parts, prepare vehicle surfaces, treat the vehicle with protection chemicals, apply prime coats and remove rust. They use workshop tools such as sanding machines and know different sanding techniques and materials, fillers, primers and rust proofing chemicals, and insulating, sanding and filling paints.
WorldSkills says car painters also understand the phases of surface painting and can mix and match paints to make tones and touch up paintwork. They know the plastic materials used in bodywork and can find suitable preparation, cleaning, priming and surface paint materials and methods. Car painters adhere to health and safety regulations and apply economical working practices. They also understand consumer laws, terms and conditions for repairs and customer service requirements.
Competitors must be under the age of 23. There are 16 members of WorldTeam. Other occupational areas in which the United States will compete include: Autobody Repair, Automobile Technology, Cabinetmaking, CNC Milling, CNC Turning, Cooking, Hairdressing, Industrial Electronics, IT/PC Networking, Mechatronics Plumbing, Printing, Refrigeration and Welding.
Every two years, hundreds of young people from 51 member countries will compete in the prestigious WorldSkills Competition. Member countries include Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Brazil and many others. Considered “the best of the best,” these contestants will compete for four days in 45 occupational skill areas including manufacturing, information technology, transportation, construction and services. Accompanied by their teachers, trainers and industry technical committee experts, the young people will compete before the public in contests that are run and judged by industry using demanding international standards.
This year in Calgary, more than 1,000 competitors tested their skills. Five thousand international experts, delegates and judges from around the world and 3,000 volunteers attended, and 150,000 student and public spectators attended the competition at Stampede Park situated on 193 acres with 800,000 square feet of competition space.
Organizations supporting U.S. participation in the WorldSkills Competition include Lowe’s Companies, Inc., Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), March Taylor Memorial Fund, Kraftsman Auto Body Inc., Snap-on, Inc., and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists.
For more information, visit www.worldskills.org.