Ferris senior Kieron Kohlmann can add “Medallion of Excellence
winner” to his resume. An Automotive Engineering major from
Racine, Wisc., he earned the honor in July at the 42nd WorldSkills
Competition in Leipzig, Germany. That feat alone is impressive,
but what made it special is that two of his teammates are Ferris
Junior Brooke Robison, a Business major from Big Rapids, and
senior Ronald Olkowski, a Manufacturing major from Washington,
Mich., also represented the United States on SkillsUSA’s 20-member
WorldTeam, the largest since it first entered the international
WorldSkills competition in 1975. The team competed against more
than 1,000 other young professionals from 53 member regions and
countries for gold medals and other awards in 46 skill areas.
Robison competed in hairdressing and Olkowski in the Computer
Numeric Control Turning category. Kohlmann’s effort in automobile
service technology netted one of 52 Best of Nation medallions
awarded to the top competitor in each country or region.
“I felt honored to win a medallion,” said Kohlmann, who earned
a spot on the U.S. team after winning a gold medal and “best in
nation” at the WorldSkills Americas competition in November 2012
in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Team members underwent extensive training with industry
professionals to prepare for the four-day WorldSkills competition,
which was attended by more than 200,000 people.
“I had the privilege of training with some of the best Volkswagen
and Audi experts in the country,” said Kohlmann, who said he plans
to judge the 2014 SkillsUSA national contest and mentor the next
More than 300,000 students and advisers are members of SkillsUSA,
whose mission is to empower members to become world-class
workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. Ferris has been
a participant since the late 1970s.
Automotive Engineering Major Earns Medallion of Excellence
at WorldSkills Competition
Representing Michigan higher education institutions on the SkillsUSA WorldTeam
are, from left, Ferris students Brooke Robison and Kieron Kohlmann, Alex
Pazkowski, and Ferris student Ronald Olkowski.