VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Urban forests encompass more than 70 million acres in the U.S. Skilled tree care workers are needed to help maintain the health of these trees. Approximately 150 college and vocational students from 18 schools across the country will convene in Charlotte, N.C., Nov. 14-16, to expand their knowledge and test their job skills at the STIHL sponsored Tree Care Industry Association Foundation (TCIAF) Student Career Days and Student Skills Competition. Held in conjunction with the TCI EXPO, TCIAF Student Career Days is a career development event for arboriculture, urban forestry and horticulture students.

Student Career Days offers training from industry leaders to get young professionals ready for the workforce. The Student Skills Competition, held Nov. 15 at Freedom Park, features the work climb, belayed scramble, and throwline competition events, as well as academic events, including safety gear check and knowledge exam. All are essential skills used every day by tree care professionals. Volunteers from sponsor companies serve as judges for the competition, as well as provide instruction to students. Students competing in climbing events will have a chance to win a STIHL chain saw, which is a tool commonly used to prune and help maintain the health of trees. Winners of the competition will receive recognition at the awards ceremony.

On Saturday, Nov. 16 students will meet tree care industry employers at the job and internship fair at the Charlotte Convention Center.

The sponsors of the 2013 event include STIHL, Inc., Bartlett Tree Experts, The Davey Tree Expert Co., SavAtree, Vermeer Corporation, Bandit Industries, Inc., Carolina Tree Care and Schneider Tree Care.
For more information about Student Career Days visit tciaf.org