Skills/Compétences Canada sat down with Silas Meeches, the WorldSkills Team Canada 2017 competitor in CNC Milling, to discuss his interesting journey to WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017. Silas opened up about what the competition represents to him and how enthusiastic he is about the opportunity to compete in his trade at the international level.
Like many young Canadians, Silas was unsure of where his path in life would eventually lead. “I’ve never really loved academics, however from the moment I discovered the trades, I felt that I had found my calling and that I truly belonged in that environment,” said Silas. “I was first introduced to the skilled trades in high school through my metal shop class. I was immediately drawn to the hands-on aspect of the trades and to the versatility that it offers. Initially I wanted to be a welder but I became very interested in machining in grade twelve. My career goal is to become a five axis or multi axis programmer and eventually become a teacher in this field.”
When asked about some of his early influences and mentors, Silas was quick to point out some very important people who have helped him in his career. “My high school metal shop teacher Jamie Richardson is the person who inspired me to get involved in the trades. He taught me the basics of metalworking and also encouraged me to participate in skills competitions. My trainer for the 44th WorldSkills Competition is also one of my mentors as he continuously encourages me to be the best I can be. Their support has greatly contributed to my success in this field. I am also a very competitive person by nature and I do not like losing. I believe that my determination and drive will push me to do well during the upcoming Competition.”
We also asked Silas about his feelings on being a member of WorldSkills Team Canada 2017 “Having the chance to compete at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 means the world to me. I’ve tried out for so many things in the past and it is truly the best feeling in the world to be a part of WorldSkills Team Canada 2017. This is an amazing once in lifetime opportunity that I will never forget!”
Finally, Silas shared his thoughts on how he feels this experience will help him in his career moving forward. “It has been a great learning experience for me. I feel that I am miles ahead of others my age due to this experience. Over the course of my training, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a variety of tools and equipment and different types of machines which have made me more knowledgeable in CNC Milling. The advice i’ve received from my trainer and expert has also been invaluable. I am certain that my participation in this international competition will lead to several exciting career opportunities,” concluded Silas.
Like all WorldSkills Team Canada 2017 competitors, Silas is receiving tremendous industry support through his competition sponsors, including: Mitutoyo, the Gene Haas Foundation, Thomas Skinner and Stanley DeWalt. Sponsor support ensures that competitors have the required equipment and training they need to prepare for the Competition.
Silas Meeches will be participating at the 2017 Skills Canada National Competition on June 1-2, in Winnipeg, as a training opportunity. Following the nationals, Silas will be competing at the 44th WorldSkills Competition October 14-19, 2017, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. For more information on these competitions and to follow Silas’ journey, go to www.skillscanada.com.