BALTIMORE - Students from around the country competed in the Tree Care Industry Association Foundation (TCIAF) Student Career Days Skills Competition at the TCI EXPO held on Nov. 5-7, 2009, at the Baltimore Convention Center. The expo promoted a first-class conference education combined with networking opportunities with colleagues, vendors, manufacturers and the industry’s top thought-leaders in business, safety and best practices in arboriculture.
The Student Career Day Skills Competition is a career development event for arboriculture, urban forestry and horticulture students. The skills competition was held on Friday, Nov. 6 at Federal Hill Park and featured the work climb, belayed scramble, and throwline competition events. The skills competition was designed to simulate on-the-job experiences for an arborist.
“Students learn the great difference between course work and jobs in the field when they compete in the skills competition,” said Tchukki Anderson, TCIA staff arborist and an International Society of Arboriculture certified arborist. "STIHL and our other sponsors provide the tools to teach real-life lessons to these students who will go on to work in the field throughout the United States, keeping grounds safe and beautiful."
Anita Gambill of STIHL agrees that “as sponsors, we are excited to provide this valuable career opportunity to students each year.” The winners were announced at the Student Skills Awards Ceremony on Nov. 7, and included:
• Overall First place winner, Merrill Larsen, Brigham Young University
• Second place, John Farkas, University of Wisconsin Steven’s Point
• Third place, Brian Roberts, Virginia Tech
The other winners included:
• Knowledge Exam : Nick Esposito, Western Illinois University
• Safety Check: Casey Selner, Middle State Technical College
• Throwline: Elliot Beale, University of Massachusetts
• Scramble: Kyle McCabe, University of Massachusetts
• Work Climb: Caleb Smith, Western Illinois University
• TCI CSI: Jessica Briscoe, Brigham Young University
The sponsors of the 2009 event included STIHL Inc., Bartlett Tree Experts, The Davey Tree Expert Co., SavAtree, The Care of Trees, Wright Tree Service, International Society of Aboriculture, Vermeer Corporation, Bandit Industries, Inc., and Cummins Bridgeway.