WCC welding student Alex Pazkowski is the number one student welder in the nation. On Feb. 23 he won the American Welding Society/SkillsUSA Team USA Finals welding competition in Daytona Beach, Fla.
The event took place over several days at the Daytona International Speedway during the annual Daytona 500 NASCAR race. It was held on the manufacturers midway and was hosted by Larsen Motorsports. As the first-place winner, Pazkowski receives a $40,000 scholarship to apply toward a bachelor’s degree in welding engineering.
“It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Pazkowski. “The people who hosted us were outstanding. They set us up on their little piece of real estate at the Daytona Speedway, and when we were not welding we got to walk around the racing pits.”
Pazkowski and two other finalists welded on and off for 22 hours and were judged on a variety of skills and techniques. This is the second time he has competed in the national skills event. He placed second in 2011, just 1.3 points shy of winning.
“This competition was uniquely different as Alex had to actually compete outside among 300,000 spectators, where the elements were certainly a factor,” said Glenn Kay II, his coach and welding instructor. “Despite welding in 85-degree weather, Alex managed to persevere, truly showcasing his skills and talent. He truly did an amazing job, and I couldn’t be more excited for Alex as he represents the best of the best welders produced out of WCC at the WorldSkills International Competition in Leipzig, Germany, in July.”
Pazkowski’s next goal is to become the world’s best student welder. And, he says, he is extremely proud to be representing WCC and the United States in the international competition.
WCC offers a certificate, an advanced certificate, and an associate degree in welding. More information about WCC’s welding and fabrication classes is available online.
Watch a video where Pazkowski talks about his goals and love of welding.