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Last week, Web Professionals Global was proud to once again participate in the 2024 SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference in Atlanta, GA at the Georgia World Congress Center from June 24-28. Web Professionals Global ran the Web Design and Development competition for the 21st year in a row, providing students from a number of states with the opportunity to participate. This follows Web Professionals Global helping to facilitate some state competitions, the winners of which were invited to the national competition. Check out our article from May on how we helped run the state competitions to prepare teams for the national competition.

As Executive Director, I (Mark) would like to thank Dave, Bryce, Dan, Tammy, Na’Im, and Steve for traveling to Atlanta and helping to put on yet another successful competition. The core team (Dave, Bryce, Steve, and Jonathan [who could not be with us this year]) has been helping with this competition for years, and we are so grateful. Dan, Tammy, and Na’Im were new to the team this year. We appreciate the added help. We couldn’t have done it without all of you. 

The competition guidelines were as follows: teams of two completed a series of challenges focusing on creating a website for a client and a specific target audience. Judging focused on meeting the client’s needs, usability and accessibility, and industry-standard best practices. Teams were evaluated on the process they used to meet the challenges and how well they worked as a team. Teams used the internet to access all competition materials (including the coding environment). Additional items such as web accessibility were also evaluated for each site competitors developed.

Our Web Professionals Global Organization SkillsUSA team provided the students with not only a competitive environment to test their technical skills but also real-world training and networking opportunities with professionals.

Week Recap

Monday, June 24

Mark arrived late Sunday and worked with Courtesy Corps to get the tables set up and covered with paper for the competition. He also tested the wireless environment as best he could prior to the stress test of numerous teams on Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 25

Competitors took an online exam to verify their knowledge concerning web technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, for example). Each team had one hour to complete the exam. We held a mandatory training session where we reviewed the online coding environment and how to use it. Additionally, we hosted a panel discussion with Dan and Tammy (both practicing web professionals) to help competitors better understand the current landscape and job opportunities. AI was discussed at length and competitors developed a better understanding of how this is presently being incorporated into work flows.

Wednesday, June 26

The secondary (high school) competition was held on Wednesday. Competitors were presented with client assets (often oversized images or in the wrong format) along with a back story of the client. Each team was asked to develop their own process and low fidelity wireframes to address the business problems brought by the client. Once the team had completed their wireframes, they were asked to place those aside and they were given more professionally developed low fidelity wireframes for multiple pages. This is what they were asked to implement as a solution in a website (with multiple pages). Each team was also interviewed and was asked separately (by other web professionals) to describe their process and explain how they developed the wireframes they made.

Thursday, June 27

The post-secondary (college) competition was held on Thursday. Competitors were provided with similar materials and a similar approach to creating the websites. After this competition ended, both secondary and post-secondary teams were invited to a debriefing session held in a different room. Competitors were also asked to provide feedback regarding improvements they would like to see in future competitions. Judge comments were also reviewed in general to help competitors better understand what judges saw (and how they might improve on their processes as well as tips for better interviewing in the future). Scores were submitted by 9 p.m.

Friday, June 28

The event wrapped up Friday night with the awards ceremony held in the State Farm Arena. Gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded to teams at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. Roughly 17,000 individuals were present in the arena to witness the awarding of medals. There were 115 separate competitions with roughly 6,700 competitors this year. We understand that is the largest number of competitions and competitors in the history of SkillsUSA.

Mark providing guidance to competitors 

Competition Winners

High School

Gold: Rhys J./Steven S., Meridian Technical Charter High School, Meridian, ID

Silver: Leah S./Tyler C., Barren County Area Technology Center, Glasgow, KY

Bronze: Alexander R./Ethan D., Dover Area High School, Dover, PA

College

Gold: Chloe G./Zachery S., Ozarks Technical Community College, Springfield, MO

Silver: Sam T./Caeden S., Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, TN

Bronze: Kenli S./Yan D., Northwest Kansas Technical College, Goodland, KS

Congratulations to all the winners and participants in the competition. We had an outstanding group of students who all have very bright futures in the industry. In the coming days we will be publishing more articles about the competition, so stay tuned.

Final awards ceremony in State Farm Arena 

Get in Touch 

We are honored to be recognized as a partner with SkillsUSA for another year. Reach out to us today for information on our collaboration with SkillsUSA, certification program offerings and the work we are doing to further our community of web professionals.