The 42nd WorldSkills Competition will be held July 2-7 in Leipzig, Germany. Bright and Swafford are now completing special welding tasks, which will be sent in for judging. Only a few students will make it to the next round.
The welding projects have to follow exact plans laid out in a brochure provided to competitors. Each project involves difficult welds and complex forms.
“They have it all planned out,” Swafford explains. “You get into a situation on every part. And it not only has to look good … it has to hold up to 100 pounds of pressure.”
To get this far, both students had to complete statewide, regional and national wins in similar competitions. Both students won first place in SkillsUSA welding events at the state level. They both went on to place highly in the nationals, earning an invitation to the world event, which is held every two years.
Bright is a senior at Cedartown High School and is enrolled in Matt Hayden’s metals class. He also is taking some classes at Georgia Highlands College in Rome. His parents are Mitchell Bright and Trina Cheeks.
Swafford is a former student of Hayden who graduated and now attends Georgia Highlands College. He also works part time with plumbing contractor Polk County Public Service. In addition to Hayden, he counts college instructor Joe Burrage as an advisor. His parents are Kevin and Dana Swafford.
Both students expressed their thanks to Hayden and Burrage for the amount of time they have invested in helping them prepare for competition.