Georgia Magazine - March 2018 - 21
Many who competed in wiring contests are now
employed at electric cooperatives statewide.
Snapping Shoals EMC
linemen Ryan Mathis,
left, and Travis Long
both credit competing in
EMC/FFA wiring contests
with giving them a leg
up when they applied
for jobs at the electric
cooperative after high
school. "Meeting people
and finding out about the
EMCs was a big thing,"
Mathis said of his wiringcontest experience.
Tan Tonge competes in the 2018 EMC/FFA Electrification CDE in Covington. Tonge has been an
intern in the engineering department of Jackson
EMC since last year.
In high school agriculture classes of the
1960s and '70s, electrical wiring was taught
along with woodworking, mechanics and other
trades important to rural students who helped
out on family farms. The regional and state
This year's state EMC/FFA Electrification CDE was held Jan. 13 at the Terry
wiring contests added an extra level of learning. England Leadership Center at the FFA/FCCLA Center in Covington. Top-placing
Today, students from 55 FFA chapters state- participants were (front row, from left) Kirk Beacham, Colquitt County FFA, first
wide compete in six regional contests prior to
place; Jacob Hamm, Lanier County FFA, second place; and Tan Tonge, Jefferson
the state CDE held at the Georgia FFA-FCCLA
FFA, third place. FFA advisers (back row, from left) Stacey Beacham, Ben CulpepCenter in Covington each January. The regions' per and David Calloway attended the event with the contestants.
top 12 finalists take an exam, demonstrate an
electrical wiring task and solve a complex wiring2006 and 2008. His son, Kirk, a junior at Colquitt County
High, competed at the state match in January and plans
Copeland remains a staunch supporter of the wiring to become as electrical engineer.
contests and encourages EMC sponsorship of the events.
"The EMC wiring contest teaches critical-thinking
"It's a good program that helps kids decide what
skills, public-speaking skills and work ethic," says the
road they'd like to travel," he says. "Not all kids want to
teacher. "It takes hours of practice for these students,
be doctors, lawyers or nuclear engineers. Some want to
and at the contest they have just a few minutes to actube brick masons, carpenters or plumbers-all very adally wire up an installation on a panel board."
mirable professions-and that's exactly where vocational
ag education and wonderful programs like the wiring
Wired for success
contest fit in."
Beacham says that the wiring contests go hand in
Stacey Beacham of Moultrie appreciates the suphand with classroom instruction and that students who
port. An ag teacher at Colquitt County High School for
want to go the extra mile do so by competing in the
18 years, he's coached about a dozen Area 5/South
Region wiring contest winners and two state champs, in
"The practical skills of the wiring contest, learnMarch 2018
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