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SkillsUSA Competition Represents Delaware Youth in Construction

By Nick Michael • February 20, 2020

EDiS Company once again sponsored the Delaware SkillsUSA Competition held at St. Georges Technical High School Feb. 18-20, 2020. This is the sixth year in a row EDiS has sponsored and managed the competition. EDiS Company provides the materials necessary and three experienced superintendents who see to the judging and benchmarking of each individual contest. Students compete in one of four categories based on profession: carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and masons.

SkillsUSA offers local, state, and national opportunities for students to learn and practice personal, workplace, and technical skills. These three components comprise the “SkillsUSA Framework,” a blueprint for career readiness. Students train in a number of different vocational trades to hone their skills for the future in preparation for the competition. As the workforce continues to shrink in the construction industry, it becomes increasingly important to put a healthy emphasis on the importance of training early.

EDiS Senior Superintendent Dave Breakiron emphasized this point, “Simply put, where the industry is going right now, we don’t have a lot of mechanics in the business, and that goes for all trades across the board. These kids are the future, us old guys are getting ready to hang it up.”

Students worked together to build a structure based on the building plans provided by EDiS. Over the course of three days a different phase of the project was completed as the project evolved. In the mornings and afternoons judges talked to students about how they did the previous day, what they observed, and what they learned at the end of the day. The judges worked closely with the administration and trade instructors invited from various schools, including Polytech High School and Hodgson Vocational Technical High School. Together, they ensure that the long-standing tradition of proud Delaware workers lives on in the construction industry.

Saint Georges carpenter instructor Frank Hanson thanked all organizations involved, stating, “I thank EDiS Company and all the high schools who participated. Without them none of this would be possible. This competition is the most important of the skills competitions we host here at St. Georges. It captures what the construction industry is all about, all the trades coming together to build something new. It gives the kids real world experience that they can utilize for the future. We as teachers feel validated when we get to see our students in action and their conversations with us and the judges as to why and how they do a specific task.”

The top medalist in the contest was recognized for their achievements and may earn their way to representing the state of Delaware at the National SkillsUSA conference to be held June 23-26, 2020.