TIFTON — Corey Cleghorn of Tifton and Joshua Whittington of Hogansville will represent the United States in Mechatronics during the biennial WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The two will compete as a team as members of the SkillsUSA WorldTeam. The 44th international event will be held Oct. 14-19.

Clegorn and Whittington won the right to compete by earning silver medals in 2015 during the SkillsUSA Championships.

“Being chosen to represent the United States in the WorldSkills Competition means I’m being given a chance to prove my knowledge in my field on the biggest stage possible,” Cleghorn said. “It took years of practice, training and dedication to get to this point, but I’ve been willing because I love what I do.”

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am excited to challenge my skills and to represent my nation in the WorldSkills Competition,” said Whittington. “From the time I graduated from high school, I have devoted all of my time to my education in technology. I am looking forward to traveling to Abu Dhabi and to meeting the people I will be competing against.”

While attending Moultrie Technical College (now re-named Southern Regional Technical College) in Tifton, the two students took industrial systems technology classes under instructor Ubaldo Gonzalez.

“From the day I met Joshua and Corey, I noticed both exhibited good work ethics,” said Gonzales. “Immediately, both showed an interest in competing in the SkillsUSA Championships competitions. Corey and Joshua were the type of students instructors love to have in their classroom. I know for a fact that technology does not intimidate either of them. Both showed a willingness to learn and work new technology, especially in the automation field. I feel that they both will do extremely well at the world competition.”

In the WorldSkills Mechatronics contest, working under time constraints, competitors will be judged on their knowledge of mechatronic systems. In the competition, a design circuit is built and tested, and the competitor programs equipment control systems.

Every two years, hundreds of young people from more than 77 countries and regions compete in the prestigious WorldSkills Competition. Member countries include Japan, England, Israel, 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/.

There are 11 members on the SkillsUSA WorldTeam. Other occupational areas in which the United States plans to compete include automobile technology, bakery, bricklaying, hairdressing, plumbing and heating, print media technology, refrigeration and air conditioning, web design and development, and welding.

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