Student to Compete in International WorldSkills Competition in Web Design

(Ping! Zine Web Hosting Magazine) – Nicholas Taylor of Tempe, Ariz., a student at Arizona State University, will represent the United States in Web Design during the biennial WorldSkills Competition in São Paulo. Taylor will compete as a member of the SkillsUSA WorldTeam. The 43rd international event will be held Aug. 11-16, 2015.    

Taylor won the right to compete by earning a gold medal in the Web Design competition at the SkillsUSA Championships in June 2013. He has also successfully completed other qualifying prerequisites prior to being chosen for the team.

“Being chosen for the WorldSkills team is a dream come true for me. Being able to represent the greatest country in the world for my passion in life is truly a great honor,” said Taylor. “It wasn’t easy to get to this point in my life, though. It took my SkillsUSA advisor, Steven Paluch, to push me toward new boundaries that I didn’t know I could achieve. He also made resources available to me, helped me find my first internship and gave me real-world experience in the Web development field.”

When asked about Taylor, Paluch, who was Taylor’s high school instructor, said, “I first met Nick as a sophomore in my Fundamentals of Web Design class. Like all kids his age, the first day was marked by silence and apprehension. That did not last long, as I could see Nick would be a special student in my class. Nick quickly picked up more and more of what I taught. He was the student in class who finished his work early, but rather than just being complacent with finishing, he studied harder and went on to more complex tasks. By senior year, he was leaps and bounds past all other students, and his hard work showed as he won the national Web Design contest in his first year in SkillsUSA. I cannot wait to see his success against the best in the world!”

Taylor works for the Anderson Auto Group. Randy Athay, Taylor’s supervisor, said, “Nick Taylor came to the Anderson Auto Group in mid-2013 to assist with Web design, computer programming, graphic design and social media. He initially contacted the owner, Jason Anderson, who Nick immediately impressed with his maturity, polish and confidence. When he left to attend Arizona State University, his loyalty, maturity and hard work was rewarded, and he was kept as a long-distance employee.”

In the WorldSkills Web Design contest, competitors may be provided completed portions of a website such as a completed database or a completed user interface (UI). Through the sequence of developmental phases, ongoing testing takes place. Web design encompasses many different skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of websites. These include: meeting with clients to discuss and evaluate requirements; helping clients understand how a website will accomplish their business objectives and set key performance indicators for success; designing the layout and selecting appropriate typography and color schemes; implementing HTML and CSS mark-up to create the website layout; adding interactivity and additional functionality with JavaScript; using open source libraries; user interface design; integrating with third-party platforms; designing and developing databases; creating PHP programs that interact and manipulate data; debugging website issues and bugs; improving search engine performance via search engine optimization (SEO); testing the website functions correctly in multiple browsers, at different resolutions and on different devices; social media integration; and, redesigning an existing website.

Every two years, hundreds of young people from 73 countries and regions compete in the prestigious WorldSkills Competition. Member countries include: Israel, Japan, England, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Australia, Thailand, Argentina and many others. To see a list of member countries and regions, go to: www.worldskills.org/about/members.

In 2015, more than 1,200 competitors will test their skills in São Paulo. Considered “the best of the best,” contestants compete for four days in 50 occupational skill areas from economic sectors including manufacturing and engineering technology, information and communication technology, construction and building technology, transportation and logistics, creative arts and fashion, and social and personal services. Accompanied by their teachers, trainers and industry technical committee experts, these young people compete before the public in contests that are run and judged by industry using demanding international standards.

Over its 65-year history, WorldSkills International (formerly known as the International Vocational Training Competition) has come to symbolize the pinnacle of excellence in vocational training. It provides a unique means of exchange and comparison of world-class competency standards in the industrial trades and service sectors of the global economy. The continued growth of WorldSkills International attests to the fact that traditional trade and craft skills, along with newer technology’s multi-skilled occupations, make an essential contribution to the economic and social well-being of people everywhere.

Taylor is a member of SkillsUSA, the organization that represents the United States in the WorldSkills Competition. There are 19 members on the SkillsUSA WorldTeam. Other occupational areas in which the United States plans to compete include Automobile Technology, Bakery, Beauty Therapy, Bricklaying, Cabinetmaking, Graphic Design Technology, Hairdressing, Heavy Vehicle Maintenance, Manufacturing Team Challenge (a three-person team contest), Mechanical Engineering Design – CAD, Mechatronics (a two-person team contest), Plumbing and Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Restaurant Service and Welding.

Five thousand international experts, delegates and judges will gather from around the world, and 3,000 volunteers will be recruited to assist in the competition. A total of 200,000 student and public spectators will attend the competition at the Anhembi Park Centre. For more information about the competition, go to: www.WorldSkills.org or www.worldskillssaopaulo2015.com/en/.

Alcoa Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2015 SkillsUSA WorldTeam.  Other organizations that have made a financial or in-kind commitments to preparing and presenting the WorldTeam include the American Welding Society; Architectural Woodwork Institute; Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers; Autodesk Education; Automotive Service Technology contest national technical committee; Carhartt Inc.; Construction and Home Improvement Markets; Deere & Company; Diesel Equipment Technology contest national technical committee; FESTO Corporation; International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials; and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Unlike other national teams in the WorldSkills Competition, the SkillsUSA WorldTeam is funded solely through private donations. To donate funding or in-kind support, go to: www.skillsusa.org/competitions/worldskills/.

About SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA helps students follow their passions to their ultimate careers. As a nationwide partnership of students, instructors and industry working together, SkillsUSA works to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It helps every student excel in his or her chosen career. The nationwide career and technical education student organization annually serves more than 320,000 high school, college and postsecondary students — and their instructors — in technical, skilled, and service occupation instructional programs. Career and technical education is learning that works for America. SkillsUSA has the active support of more than 500 corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions at the national level. Over 11.9 million people have been annual members of SkillsUSA since its founding as the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America in 1965. SkillsUSA programs teach leadership, citizenship and character development to complement technical skill training. The organization emphasizes respect for the dignity of work, ethics, workmanship, scholarship and safety. For more information, go to: www.SkillsUSA.org

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