December 07, 2012 12:00AM
A Wisconsin automotive technology student trained by Pittsburg State faculty received top honors at the WorldSkills America competition in Brazil. The WorldSkills Americas contest took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and featured 24 North and South American countries competing in 34 skill areas.
Kieron Kohlman, an automotive engineering major at Ferris State University, earned a gold medal in the automotive technology skill area. He also earned the highest score of an U.S. competitor and received the “Best in Nation” trophy.
Kohlman was coached by PSU automotive technology instructor Mike Elder, who recently succeeded PSU’s Ron Downing as the WorldSkills Automotive Technology Expert. Kohlman trained for four days this summer with Elder, Downing and assistant professor Scott Norman, who is the U.S. Technical Delegate for WorldSkills. Elder and Norman traveled to Brazil for the competition, which took place Nov. 11 to 18.
“Kieron worked hard to prepare, and that preparation paid off for him,” Elder said. “I’m very proud of his accomplishment.”
Norman said Kohlman’s gold medal also speaks highly of the training he received at PSU.
“This is just another reminder that the Automotive Technology Program at PSU is training some of the world’s best students,” Norman said. “He came here to PSU to train with the best and brightest, and that training paid huge dividends for him. We are very proud of Kieron’s achievement.”
Next up for the WorldSkills team is the WorldSkills International competition in Leipzig, Germany, in July 2013. That event will feature competitors from more than 60 countries.
“That will be a tremendous experience for the students involved,” Norman said. “This is like the Olympics for WorldSkills. Mike and I are very excited to be a part of this and to represent PSU on the world stage.”