Ben Philips of Falls Creek, VA is in his final preparations to compete in London UK at WorldSkills 2013. Philips, 19 years old, is one of eleven competitors from around the world globe that will compete for a gold, silver, or bronze medal in the Offset Printing category. There will be over 1,000 competitors from around the world in London this October competing for medals in over 100 different events. From computer networking to pastry baking and brick laying to mechatronics, the world's best youth will be crowned in London at this bi-annual event.
Ben began his training for WorldSkills in June by attending the Heidelberg Print Media Academy in Atlanta, GA for two weeks. During the summer months, he worked at ColorCraft printing and Petre Printing, two District of Columbia printers close to Philips's home.
For Ben's final preparation, he has traveled to Michigan where he is working with Jerry White at Gilson Graphics.
"Jerry and the folks at Gilson did an outstanding job of preparing Amela Mujkic USA 2009 competitor and fifth place finisher out of 14," said Pat Klarecki USA's Offset Printing Technical Expert. "Gilson knows what it takes to be a World Class Printer and they do an outstanding job of training their employees."
"I am confident that with all the support the USA printing industry has provided Ben, we have a great opportunity to leave London with a medal" Klarecki continued.
This is Pat Klarecki's second WorldSkills as the Technical Expert in Offset Printing. Klarecki, A Professor of Printing Management at Ferris State University became active with the Skills USA organization in 1995. When offset printing became an official event at the 2005 WorldSkills, Klarecki began to build the support to take a competitor to represent the world's largest print producer, USA Printing. Thanks to the Graphic Arts Education Research Foundation (GAERF), USA Printing was able to compete for the first time in Calgary in 2009.
Ben Philips leaves for London on October 1. The competition begins on October 5 and runs to October 8. There is a closing ceremony on October 9 where medals are awarded.