Event Builds Teamwork

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The most technically advanced student won't last long in the workplace without interpersonal skills and an understanding of the importance of teamwork.

April 24, 2000

The most technically advanced student won't last long in the workplace without interpersonal skills and an understanding of the importance of teamwork. That's why the Stanley Works and SkillsUSA-VICA will introduce a new team event, the Team Build, at this year's SkillsUSA Championships, to be held June 25-30 in Kansas City, Mo.

SkillsUSA-VICA, a professional association for students enrolled in trade education, has been around since 1965, but this is the first year for the Team Build event. The Team Build is the first team event in the building trades disciplines to be held at the SkillsUSA-VICA championships.

And the competition is another first for the organization--it's the first event to test more than one construction skill. "We are attempting the first construction trades competitive event where students will be working together in more than one discipline," says Tim Lawrence, director of business and industry partnerships for SkillsUSA-VICA.

The Team Build event will test technical skills in the masonry, carpentry, electrical and plumbing trades as well as the business organizational skills of four individuals who must come together to work as a team. In just two days, each team will be required to schedule a project, estimate materials, make a verbal presentation, and then actually build a modular kitchen that tests their construction, organizational and safety skills. A panel of judges, comprised of industry leaders, will score students equally on technical and teamwork skills.

"This is the first opportunity for students to demonstrate not only their technical skills, but also their team work and the concept of working together on a project."

During the upcoming competition, teams from 10 state chapters will compete in the inaugural event. Lawrence estimates most of these participants will be juniors and seniors in high school, although a few college teams might attend. If this first Team Build event is a success, Lawrence predicts the competition could draw more then 400 participants in the future. " It could become our largest single competitive event," he says.

The SkillsUSA championships are the national-level competition for vocational-technical students in public high school and college trade, industrial, technical and health occupation programs. Begun in 1967, the championships have grown from 54 competitors in three contests to 4,000 competitors in 70 hands-on skill and leadership contests. More than 12,000 SkillsUSA-VICA students, teachers and business partners are expected to attend the weeklong conference.

For more information on the SkillsUSA-VICA Championships, visit www.skillsusa.org.

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