He’s only 20 years old, but Chris Royea is already making a name for himself in the plumbing and heating field. From Aug. 7-18, he will be in San Paulo, Brazil, representing the U.S. in competition against youth from around the world.
Royea is the son of Suellen Royea and Dan Royea of Williamstown and is a 2013 graduate of Williamstown High School and the Barre Technical Center’s Plumbing and Heating program.
“I like to read directions and mechanical systems just came naturally,” admitted Royea, who has one more year of plumbing school to complete his four-year apprenticeship and then journeyman designation.
Royea is currently employed by Vermont Mechanical, Inc., of Williston, one of the larger mechanical contractors in the state.
“My boss said I am one of the more sought after apprentices by foreman,” noted the very affable Royea, explaining his knowledge of new technology comes in handy.
Amazingly, Royea won the Vermont Skills USA competition in April 2013 and then the national competition in Kansas City in June of that year. Finally, Royea won out over the top five competitors from the last two years of competition.
“There will be 18 people from the U.S. – the most ever for this country,” Royea said, adding that there are approximately 48 skill and two demo divisions for 1,200 young people up to 23 years old, coming from 73 countries in a four-day competition.
Divisions include everything from welding, to cosmetology, baking to cabinet making, megatronics to web design and restaurant services.
Royea has been practicing techniques used world-wide and not just in the U.S. such as bending copper instead of using fittings, and using PVC without glue or primer and instead “push-fit with rubber.”
Royea will be the only plumber to represent the U.S. at this year’s WorldSkills competition, but he has the confidence in his abilities and the eagerness to learn more about his chosen field of plumbing and heating. This country will be well represented. Competition days are August 11-15.
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