Just how big is the annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference and Championships? It’s big enough to be a self-sustaining town, built from the ground up. In 16 hours.
More than 18,000 building professionals, tradespeople, students, teachers and education leaders attended the 55th annual event, and we were thrilled to be a sponsor, lending our popular multi-purpose vinyl tape to the event.
Team Building Gets Tough
This past June, SkillsUSA members gathered at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville and turned it into a model city crafted entirely by the next generation of skilled tradespeople.
Train2Build President and Building Envelope Specialist Bill Robinson was there as a member of the technical staff to facilitate the TeamWorks competition.
While many SkillsUSA students compete in the more than 100 events as individuals, TeamWorks tests the combined abilities of the trades. Teams of four students — a plumber, carpenter, electrician and mason — are required to build a 64-sq. ft. construction project, over 16 hours, that demonstrates their ability to work together as a team. All teams work from the same detailed blueprint and special instructions presented at the pre-competition orientation
Judging is based on the team’s presentation skills, ability to construct the project per “competition specified” building codes, jobsite safety and cleanliness, organized and correct ordering of materials from the competition material depot, proper use and accountability of tools and equipment and the rate of completion of the project.
This year the technical committee included representatives from Broan, NARI, and Train2Build. ECHOtape provided the marking tape to lay out the work stations, and the material storage places. VI-N6120 blue vinyl tape is one of the most popular and versatile tapes we sell, so we knew it was perfect for the occasion.
“We used ECHO’s multi-purpose vinyl tape to mark the floors and we were beyond pleased,” says Robinson.”It rolled out easy and withstood the traffic of forklifts, carts and 200 hard working competitors. And when the event was done the tape came up easily leaving nothing to clean up from the concrete floor. It totally out-performed the general purpose tapes we’ve used in the past.”
Risa Edelstein, director of marketing for ECHOtape, says: “While the focus clearly wasn’t tape performance per se, it was a great opportunity to show a new generation of builders and tradespeople the power and flexibility of one of our most popular contractor tapes. We were thrilled to participate in such an great event, and we’re very excited to be a sponsor of TeamWorks and SkillsUSA again next year.”
Reviving the Trades
SkillsUSA is an organization for trade and industrial education and has served more than 13 million members since 1965. The organization trains more than 340,000 middle school, high school, post-secondary and college students across 130 occupational skill areas. Its continuing mission is to develop the next generation of workforce leaders and promote the value of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs.
SkillsUSA’s strategy to develop skilled workers comes at a critical time in the U.S. labor market. Widespread labor shortages continue to plague a majority of sectors. And retirements and increased restrictions on immigrant labor are placing stress on construction companies to fill available jobs. Despite the industry’s recovery, companies are still contending with a skills gap.
With thousands of local chapters spanning 50 states and two territories and support from corporations like Lowe’s Home Improvement, Toyota Motor, Caterpillar Inc., 3M, Snap-on Inc. and General Motors, SkillsUSA is strengthening the talent pipeline from schools to the workplace. Together they push CTE programs forward with new standards and technologies.
Learn more about SkillsUSA here.