Leesburg, VA – Proving to be one of the best in the world, Chase Trayal, of Meridian, Miss., earned a silver medal at the recent WorldSkills Americas Competition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Trayal competed in the cabinetmaking competition against contestants from 12 countries in a four-day competition that took place March 10-13.

The first-ever WorldSkills Americas competition was held in conjunction with the Brazil national competitions. Participants from 12 countries entered competitions in 20+ trade areas. Twenty-eight countries sent trade experts and technical and official delegates to observe and assist with the management of the competitions. The National Service for Industrial Training (SENAI) in Brazil hosted the event.

Chase Trayal was selected to attend WorldSkills Americas after winning the gold medal in the national SkillsUSA Championships competition in Kansas City, Mo., in June 2009. This multi-million dollar event occupies a space equivalent to 15 football fields. In 2009, there were more than 5,400 contestants in 91 separate events. Nearly 2,000 judges and contest organizers from labor and management make the national event possible.

The WorldSkills America competition challenged contestants to build a cabinet in 22 hours over a period of four days. The cabinet consisted of the case, a base, doors, drawers and veneer work. The competition required that the drawer joinery must be dovetailed with hand tools only. No power tools were allowed. Each day certain elements of the cabinet or “modules” had to be completed for judging, which was based on objective and subjective criteria. Quality and time management were two key factors of the competition.

“I am honored to have represented the United States in this amazing competition,” Trayal said. “I’ve worked very hard to get to this level, and having the support of my family and advisors at SkillsUSA made all difference.” 

Trayal is a student at Meridian Community College in Meridian, Miss. The following technical experts lent their support to the competition: Kelly Caudle, Stanly Community College; Ray Connolly, DRS Technologies; Pat Klarecki, Ferris State University; Scott Norman, Pittsburg State University; and Rob Tobias, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology. The Carpenters' District Council of Greater St. Louis, led by Dr. John Gaal, generously sponsored Trayal at the Worldskills Americas Competition. Lowe’s Companies Inc. is the Anchor Sponsor for SkillsUSA WorldTeam.

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization of students, teachers and industry, working together to ensure America has a skilled work force. SkillsUSA helps high school and college students enrolled in career and technical education programs to excel by teaching employability skills such as communication, problem solving and leadership in conjunction with their trade, technical and service occupations skills. The association’s annual membership exceeds 300,000 students and instructors in more than 4,000 schools and colleges in every state, three territories and the District of Columbia. SkillsUSA is a member of WorldSkills International, based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, which conducts the biennial WorldSkills Competition. The next WorldSkills Competition, involving student competitors from 52 countries, will be held in London in 2011.

Source: SkillsUSA, www.skillsusa.org

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