STEM College expects big turnout for annual SkillsUSA competition

February 17, 2014

A total of 358 students and advisers from 29 high schools, including many from west-central Wisconsin, will converge on UW-Stout for the annual SkillsUSA competition Thursday and Friday, Feb. 27-28.

UW-Stout is hosting the event for the 31st straight year. Students will compete in categories such as precision machining, welding, carpentry, architectural drafting, photography, screen printing, solid modeling and team problem solving.

A student works on his project at a recent SkillsUSA contest at UW-Stout. The event begins Thursday with leadership competitions from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Memorial Student Center. Skills competitions will be from 9:30 a.m. to noon Friday, with awards from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Great Hall of the student center.

The sponsor and coordinator is the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, with support from the School of Education and the UW-Stout student chapter of SkillsUSA. About 75 students and 25 faculty and staff are volunteering.

Event director Greg Slupe, assistant professor in the engineering and technology department, calls the event a "great opportunity for students to showcase their leadership abilities, technical knowledge and problem-solving skills prior to the state and national competitions."

Greg Slupe's father, Tom Slupe, founded the regional event at UW-Stout in the early 1980s and remains involved as leadership competitions coordinator.

SkillsUSA is based in Virginia and has more than 13,000 student chapters in the U.S.

Competition sites will be the student center, Micheels Hall, Jarvis Hall, Fryklund Hall and the Communication Technologies Building. The auto service technology event will be held at Menomonie High School.