MIAMI, FLA., September 2, 2010 — The top six finalists selected from 24 student welders that competed in the SkillsUSA Championships 2009 and 2010 will be showcased at the 2010 Weld-Off Competition sponsored by the American Welding Society at the FABTECH show Nov. 2-4, in Atlanta.

Three of the competitors will qualify to advance to the next phase of the selection process that culminates at the SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City, Mo., next June. The Skills USA winner at the U.S. Open Weld Trials will represent the United States at the WorldSkills Competition in October 2011, in London.

"The Weld-Off Competition event is open to the public, and we encourage everyone to pass by and cheer on these six finalists," said Nichole Bradley, academic program manager, American Welding Society. "They have each worked so hard to earn a spot here and hopefully get a chance to represent the United States at the 2011 WorldSkills Competition."

The student welders will test their skills by following contest drawings and a set of welding procedure specifications. All drawings, welding symbols, and welding terms conform to the latest editions of American Welding Society standards.

At a series of stations, contestants are tested on various aspects of welding: measuring weld replicas using weld measuring gauges; laying out a plate and using oxyacetylene equipment to cut several holes checked for accuracy and quality; gas metal arc welding on steel making welds in various positions using short circuiting transfers; flux cored arc welding using a shielding gas, making welds in various positions; and using a combination machine capable of providing the correct welding current for shielded metal arc and gas tungsten arc welding. Competitors will complete the steel project and weld an aluminum project in various positions using a variety of filler metals.

Cosponsored by the American Welding Society (AWS), Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Int'l (FMA), Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), and Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI), FABTECH is the largest tradeshow in North America dedicated to showcasing a full spectrum of metal forming, fabricating, stamping, tube and pipe, finishing and welding equipment and technology.

The 2010 event is expected to draw 22,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibiting companies covering more than 350,000 net square feet of floor space. Buyers and sellers from around the world will come together at this exhibition to exchange products and services, network with peers, problem-solve and discover new products and vendors. Show admission is free with advance registration before October 30, 2010.

To register for FABTECH 2010 call 800.432.2832 or visit Attendees can follow FABTECH and get updates at the show's social media sites on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter (@FabtechExpo).

# # #

The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), is an educational association dedicated to improving the metal forming and fabricating industry. FMA brings metal fabricators and fabricating equipment manufacturers together through technology councils, educational programs, and networking events, whileproviding resources needed by companies to improve operations. Visit FMA at

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is a professional society supporting manufacturing professionals. Through its member programs, publications, expositions and professional development resources, SME promotes an increased awareness of manufacturing engineering and helps keep manufacturing professionals up to date on leading trends and technologies. Visit SME at

The American Welding Society (AWS) was founded in 1919 as a multifaceted, nonprofit organization with a mission to advance the science, technology and application of welding and allied joining and cutting processes, including brazing, soldering, and thermal spraying. For more information, visit

The Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) is the full-service trade association representing the $113-billion metalforming industry of North America. Visit PMA at

The Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI) is a technical and professional organization that provides information and training on surface coating technologies. Visit CCAI at