Jamie Redd, PPG Training Centre Manager and automotive refinish expert, has been appointed by SkillsUSA to train Dylan Wertz for the 45th WorldSkills Competition.
The event is scheduled to take place in August 2019 at the Kazan Expo International Exhibition Centre in Kazan, Russia. Wertz, a recent high school graduate, qualified for the competition by winning the car painting category in the SkillsUSA Championships that took place in June 2018 in Louisville, Ky.
Prior to their trip to Kazan, Wertz and Redd are also going to compete in the car painting category at the Canadian SATA Global Challenge from March 18 to 22 in Concord, Ontario, and the Northern Europe Championships from June 18 to 20 in Silkeborg, Denmark,
“I am honoured to be selected as the SkillsUSA car painting expert and to work with Dylan,” Redd says. “Obviously, I hope he wins. I also hope that by meeting his peers, competing on an international level and learning about the technological advances in the industry, he has a positive WorldSkills experience and is proud of the career choice he’s made. The skills Dylan and other students learn and develop will be particularly important for our customers—and the whole industry—down the road. PPG is excited to support SkillsUSA, to participate in its activities and to show students the opportunities that await them in our industry.”
Redd, a leader in the automotive repair and refinish section of the SkillsUSA Championships, has been declared an expert by the organization. Involved with SkillsUSA since 1997, he has worked at both state and national levels. He has been training Wertz for the highest level of skills competition since October 2018 and will be present by his side in Canada, Denmark and Russia.
Wertz completed his automotive technical training from Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Center in Tiffin, Ohio and the Universal Technical Institute in Lisle, Ill. He has participated twice in the SkillsUSA Championships, securing first place in 2018. Wertz has worked extensively with PPG products, especially its ENVIROBASE High Performance brand.
“Being a part of the United States WorldSkills team is huge,” Wertz says. “I’m excited to represent my country and to have made it this far. This is an amazing opportunity, and I appreciate all the help and support I’ve received from my family, friends and instructors. I enjoy painting and work hard to become better every day. I hope my love of painting brings me success in Canada, Denmark and Kazan.”
Going by the previous WorldSkills competitions, contestants may be tested on all stages of the refinish process—masking, prepping, painting and defect removal. The competition is to also focus on ecological concerns this year. The amount of waste generated by contestants in the refinish process will be taken into account to determine final scores. The organizers intend to encourage all participants to develop the habit of minimizing hazardous and plastic waste generated in the refinish process.
PPG has partnered with SkillsUSA in the automotive segment of the competition for several years and is currently a major sponsor of the event. It helped in establishing the refinish competition in 2008. PPG employees often volunteer by assisting students or serving as judges for the competition. Additionally, PPG also provides paint and other supplies (on a rotating basis with three other participating paint companies).
SkillsUSA is a nonprofit organization that works with more than 300,000 high school, middle school and college students in the U.S. The organization prepares them for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations, besides helping them qualify for jobs in the real world. The SkillsUSA Championships help sift out the best technical education students in the country.
Seen as a global hub for vocational skills, the Amsterdam-based WorldSkills organization has 80 member countries and regions around the world. It hosts the WorldSkills Competition every two years, during which winners of skills championships held in its member countries compete for prestigious medals. About 1,300 contestants come together at the event. The competition covers 56 skills across a wide range of industries, including automotive repair and refinish.