ETA Congratulates SkillsUSA Champions

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Educated and skilled to lead America, students competed in 100 different hands-on trade, technical and leadership national contests.

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Unique to SkillsUSA, the Telecommunications Cabling Contest utilizes ETA’s Data Cabling Installer (DCI) and Customer Service Specialist (CSS) certifications.

ETA® International recently marked its fourteenth year as the Telecommunications Cabling contest sponsor at the Skills USA National Championships. With competition in Louisville, KY, the SkillsUSA Championships is the showcase for the best career and technical students in the nation. This year’s theme was Champions at Work: Educated and Skilled to Lead America.

Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels. This multi-million dollar event occupied a space equivalent to 16 football fields. Approximately 6,000 high school and post-secondary students competed in 100 different hands-on trade, technical and leadership contests at the Olympic-type event. Contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations with test competencies set by industry.

This is the fifth year the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, in partnership with SkillsUSA, offered scholarship opportunities for SkillsUSA members who competed and placed first in their state association competition. Congratulations to two ETA-certified students who each received a scholarship: Tipton Gray, CSS, from Tennessee College of Applied Technology Hohenwald in Hohenwald, TN and Brent Berry, EM1, EM2, from Coastal Pines Technical College in Waycross, GA.

The Southeastern Construction Owners and Associates Roundtable (SCOAR) also presented 10 Skilled Trades Scholarships valued at $1000 each to SkillsUSA. One of this year’s recipients was ETA Student Member Xiaoping Wang, EM1, EM2, EM4, from Queens Vocational and Technical High School, NY.

Students worked against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations such as electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts for a wide range of prizes and to medal as a gold, silver or bronze winner.

Unique to SkillsUSA, the Telecommunications Cabling Contest utilizes ETA’s Data Cabling Installer (DCI) and Customer Service Specialist (CSS) certifications. The contests are planned by the Skills Technical Committee and designed to test the aptitude needed for successful entry-level performance in the field.

The National Education Team and the Technical Team from industry developed contest content, built and set up the rotation areas as well as conducted both the orientation and competition. Including the T-com judges, contributors to the event come from departments of public instruction, community colleges, proprietary training groups, and companies such as ETA, Panduit, Fluke, Cisco, Bicsi, Cengage, Southwire, and Milwaukee Tools.

The T-com cabling contestants arrived early in the morning ready for a long day of competition. Divided into groups, they entered their first test area after clothing inspections and tool kits checks. Their hands-on skills were assessed in the areas of 25-pair cable installation, cable termination, copper and fiber cable construction, copper and fiber troubleshooting, and technical assistance. Each area rotation was 90 minutes long.

Congratulations to the tough competitors who vied for medals and awards in the Telecommunications Cabling contest and especially to the six contestants who took home gold, silver and bronze medals for themselves and their schools!

High School: Gold Medal: Patrick Keefe Jr, Pinkerton Academy, NH; Silver Medal: Chase Eskelin, Dennis Technical Education Center, ID; Bronze Medal: Andrew White, Mid-Florida Technical Institute, FL.

Post-Secondary: Gold Medal: Clayton Kincart, Kirkwood Community College, IA; Silver Medal: Michael Ricks, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, GA; Bronze Medal: Christian Bruce, Tennessee College of Applied Technology, TN.

Members of the national technical committee for telecommunications cabling included: Technical Chair Teresa Maher, CSS - ETA (IN); Rich Booth, FOT - ETA (AZ); Mike Gleason - Panduit Corp. (IL); Bob Dickerson, DPI, retired (NC); Dan Parmer, DCI - Stanly Community College (NC); and Richard Darnell - Tyco Electronics (UT). ETA gives special thanks to the judges: Jim Steele, CETma – Amatrol (IN); Valerie Ricchio – Shelby County Career Center (KY); Will Bland – Bland Technologies (KY); and Greg Simpson – Delta Services (KY).

In honor of the many years of dedicated service to the youth of our nation, ETA International extends a special thanks to Michael Gleason. He donated hundreds of hours to share his expertise and the resources of Panduit to serve as a part of the technical committee for the SkillsUSA Telecommunications Cabling contest. His high level of integrity, character, dedication and commitment served as the standard representing the Telecommunications industry and had an important effect on the students competing in this national contest.

About ETA - Since 1978, Electronics Technicians Association International has issued over 150,000 professional certifications. Widely recognized and frequently used in worker job selection, hiring processes, pay increases, and advancements, ETA certifications are often required as companies bid on contracts. ETA’s certifications are personal and travel with the individual, regardless of employment or status change and measure competencies of persons, not products or vendors. All ETA certifications are accredited through the International Certification Accreditation Council (ICAC) and align with the ISO-17024 standard.

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Michele Altman
ETA International
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