Show Your Skills in the Arena at TCIA EXPO

Jessica Cofer Blog

We’re looking forward to joining our partner TCIA once again for its annual TCIA EXPO next month in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The EXPO, which will be held November 7 – 9, is considered the world’s largest tree care industry conference and trade show. For the second year, NATS will take to the trade show floor to host the Safety Skills Arena, and we hope to see you there!

“For a few years now we have been involved in EXPO through technical talks at the demo tree and general session conference presentations but last year, we expanded our role into hands- on learning at the Safety Skills Arena.  Through this new platform, we’re able to go beyond our formal presentations to connect with show attendees in a whole new way by providing hands- on education and training in a safe and controlled environment,” said Karen Hauck, director of marketing and partner relations with NATS. “The Safety Skills Arena provides an innovative learning experience and is open to anyone who’s registered for TCIA EXPO and on the trade show floor, at no additional cost.”

Each one-and-a-half-hour session will include dynamic and engaging instruction, as well as demonstration by NATS trainers of industry best practice of the skills. Participants will then compete in teams of four in a variety of skill challenges including technical chainsaw use,  technical tree climbing, and arborist technical rigging. Our climbing and rigging challenges will be conducted using an engineered aluminum rigging truss donated by our valued partner, Buckingham Manufacturing. State of the art PPE will be provided by NATS Safety Alliance Partners Husqvarna, Sherrill, Buckingham Manufacturing and Teufelberger to all participants competing in the Safety Skills Arena challenges so they don’t have to worry about packing their own PPE and weighing down luggage.

There’s more than just a good time in store for participants.  During the challenges, participants will be able to perform hands-on demonstration of their knowledge of the skill at hand, as well as safe work practices. NATS trainers will have a keen eye on activities, assessing proper application of safe work practices and techniques, with point deductions and time added to the  total score if there are any safety violations. (The skills challenges are not designed to measure speed its about safe and efficient application of technique and to gain proficiency in important industry skills.)  A total of four to six teams have the ability to compete in each session and the teams with the safest and most proficient performance will win a terrific prize package from our Safety Alliance Partners.

“Not only are we providing training and education in these three domains, but each challenge mimics a job site to demonstrate safe work zones as well as encourage team work” explained Karen.

New this year, we will integrate our industry-leading competency assessments so participants have measurable take-aways in regards to their personal knowledge and skill set.

“We’re really excited this year because we’re incorporating our popular digital competency assessments into the challenges,” said Karen. “The judges will be utilizing our customized technology to score each challenge, and we will be able to broadcast competency analytics on both team and individual performance right there on the spot!  Not only will participants have an awareness of their competency level, but be able to see where there may be opportunities for growth as well.

“The assessment piece is going to take the Safety Skills Arena and assessing worker performance in real time to the next level,” she added. “It is a tremendous example of how TCIA and NATS are continuously working towards moving our industry forward with innovative learning opportunities.”

The Early Bird deadline to register for TCIA Expo is October 11; be sure and sign up today and join us in the Safety Skills Arena. We’ll see you in Pittsburgh!