By Lindsay Starr Platt, The Belton Journal
Belton Career and Technology Education’s TeamWorks four-man team traveled to Kentucky to participate in the national SkillsUSA Championships for Skilled Workforce competition on June 26. More than 6,000 students from every state in the nation came to compete in the SkillsUSA Championships. The competition was streamed live over the web on Friday night, giving parents and teachers a chance to see the students in action.
“I am extremely proud of our kids. The level to which they performed is a direct reflection to the quality of our programs. Our students represented Belton High School with class. Their commitment and determination to succeed was amazing to watch,” said Amanda Necessary, director, Career and Technical Education, Belton ISD.
TeamWorks advisor Craig Sullivan led Belton ISD’s team to a state title in Corpus Christi and advanced to the National SkillsUSA Competition in Louisville, Ky. The Team placed fourth at the national competition. This is the second year in a row that Sullivan and his team have won state and advanced to the national competition.
Team AF from Belton ISD’s Career and Technology was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in TeamWorks.
“We’re really excited that our kids took fourth place in national contest this year. Last year, they took seventh,” remarked Kyle DeBeer, “TeamWorks has provided these kids a real-world experience. Through the relationships with our business partners, they already have an industry network in place for their futures,” commented Necessary.
TeamWorks is a competition through SkillsUSA in which a team of four students will be required to build a construction project over the course of three days. This demonstrates their ability to work together as a team. The team is required to understand the project elements based on a detailed blue print and special instructions presented at the pre-competition orientation. Each team must write and present a project completion plan. During the competition, the team demonstrates their ability to work together by using their carpentry, electrical, plumbing and masonry skills.
The teams are judged on their presentation, ability to construct the project per “competition specified” building codes, job site safety and cleanliness, organized and correct ordering of materials, proper use and accountability of tools and equipment, and the rate of completion of the project for the team. Two members from the team area pulled to perform a technical skill in plumbing and electrical.
Next year the CTE program is expanding on the different areas that can compete at SkillsUSA, according to Necessary.
“Right now we only have the criminal justice, forensic science and construction TeamWorks. Next year we will include culinary arts, health science, and audio/video media. Criminal justice and forensic science did compete and won at the state level this year, but was unable to compete at the national level,” said Necessary. “Since some of the programs are new to the SkillsUSA competition, they must compete at the state level for a certain number of years before moving on to the national level.”
In preparation for the competition, local business partners have provided materials and training to the four-man team.
“Our business and industry partners were supportive throughout the entire competition. Each night R.K. Bass, Land Masonry, Lengefeld Lumber, and MW Builders conferenced with our students by phone as they debriefed and planned for the next day,” said Necessary. “I would like to recognize John Francis and Jason Oldham from MW Builders for flying to the competition in Louisville to watch and support Craig Sullivan and his team. Chris DuBois, Belton High School principal, was also there to support our students.”
DuBois commented on Belton Career and Technical Education’s Facebook page: “It has been a distinct privilege to be able to watch this Team and Mr. Sullivan in action this week. Regardless of any outcome – I cannot express adequately the immense pride I have felt for these boys, this Team, our school and our community throughout this experience. Belton is well represented by these and all of our students and sponsors.”
All four members of the TeamWorks team graduated in June this year. Chris Foss will be attending Wyoming Community College in the fall and pursuing a career in the oil industry in Alaska. Bryson Coufal and Austin Snyder are attending Blinn College in the fall and then transferring to Texas A&M University to pursue a Construction Science degree. Andrew Mendoza is also attending Blinn College this fall and will then transfer to Texas A&M University to pursue a degree in business administration.