Local 701 Member Greg Dubs of Gerald Kia in Naperville, IL recently qualified to participate in the Kia Skill World Cup Competition to be held in Seoul, South Korea on May 23rd through May 26th.
Greg recently competed in the Kia Skills National Competition held in Irvine, California in March where he placed 4th in the entire United States qualifying him to represent the United States in the World Cup Competition.
In order for Greg to compete in the National Competition he first had to complete an online 50 question online test which was only available to Master Certified Kia Technicians; a level of certification only achieved after a technician has been employed by a Kia dealership for three years and has completed all online and instructor led courses. Not only are competitors required to first pass the online test, but they are further vetted when their Fixed Right The First Time scores are analyzed and they receive recommendations from District Managers and Training Instructors and take place in an extensive phone interview.
Greg moved on to the National Competition as one of four competitors from the Central Region who went up against a total of 16 competitors for the National Cup. Upon arriving in California Greg and the other competitors were treated to a welcome reception by top Kia executives and given a tour of the Kia Motors America Headquarters.
The contestants participated in a total of 5 testing stations each lasting 45 mins which put their knowledge and skills to work in areas ranging from engine and transmission to networking and electrical diagnosis. ‘The National Cup was very challenging and the pressure of trying to be among the top four was intense, all I could do was breath and remember what got me there in the first place” said Greg.
After the competition, the contestants got to catch up with their travel companions for a relaxing evening on the beach and they were all treated to a nice dinner. The following day everyone was treated to a day at Disneyland while Kia Headquarters was prepared for the awards ceremony.
“I was the first name called during the awards ceremony” said Greg, “I placed fourth in the Central Region”. Once all the regional awards were announced, they announced the winners that would move on the the World Cup competition. “I was extremely shocked to hear my name called as #4 in the country, and qualifying to go to Korea, having finished fourth in my region, it left no doubt who the other four competitors would be.” said Greg. This was the first time since Kia began holding the competition every two years in 2002 that all four of the competitors representing the United States in South Korea are from the same region.
Greg is in the process of preparing for the Word Cup Competition now with weekly homework assignments and research on South Korean customs and Kia worldwide to ensure that he is ready for the challenge.
“Greg’s skills, knowledge and success as a mechanic just goes to show that highly trained Union Technicians are among the best in the industry,” said Local 701 Directing Business Representative Sam Cicinelli, “we wish Greg the best of luck at the Global Competition”
**UPDATE** Greg went on to win the Kia Skill World Cup! Click HERE for his amazing story!