Marketing Manager Jessica Cofer says NATS trainers look to the T&U audience for valuable connections.
“It’s the perfect venue for our Skills Arena,” says Cofer. “We can introduce our unique learning experience to a sector of the industry that may not have seen it before. Our hope is to create an interactive, hands-on environment on the trade show floor and ramp up the excitement with the skills competitions, while teaching and demonstrating best practices that are relevant to the utilities industry.”
Cofer says NATS supports the utility industry through training, safety consulting, written safety programs, and competency verifications to make sure everyone has the resources needed to safely perform their jobs. The benefits of the Skills Arena include training and education. The challenges mimic the job site to demonstrate safe work zones as well as encourage teamwork.
“We hosted our first Skills Arena at a trade show event in 2016 and immediately recognized the impact it can have on attendees and the overall environment of an event,” she says. “Much like T&U, our audience is accustomed to outdoor, hands-on learning. We provide a place for them to thrive.”
The hour-long Skills Arena sessions feature dynamic and engaging instruction, as well as NATS trainers demonstrating industry best practices. Teams of four compete in one of two skill challenges: utility line clearance cutting operations and utility line clearance rigging operations. Teams are encouraged to sign up for specific challenges each morning on the trade show floor at the Skills Arena or the NATS booth. Space is limited and Jessica says it’s first come, first served.
“The NATS safety team judges all events, ensuring no safety violations occur during competition. Whether you’re participating or watching outside the designated work zone, everyone takes away some new tools for their toolbox.
“It’s always fun to watch advanced arborists perform tasks, but it is so powerful when someone new to the industry learns how to safely perform a task. The crowd always gets into it, cheering them on the entire time. There’s nothing better than witnessing the pride someone has after completing a challenge for the first time.”
The teams with the safest and most proficient performance earn both bragging rights and a prize package of gear and equipment from NATS’ Safety Alliance Partners.
Be sure to check out this exciting event at T&U, September 20-22, 2022 in Milwaukee.
All photo credits thanks to North American Training Solutions