Panel mentors YSU team as it preps for NECA finals

Staff report


A Youngstown State University student organization that earned a berth in the “Final Four” of a national engineering competition received a mentoring session and send-off from local electrical contractors and union electricians.

YSU’s student National Electrical Contractors Association chapter will compete in the finals of the NECA Green Energy Challenge in Las Vegas on Sept. 30 after its proposal to decrease the energy consumption at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor was chosen among the best nationally.

It rehearsed its finals presentation in front of a panel of local electrical contractors and IBEW electricians from the Mahoning Valley — who also provided professional guidance and financial support to the team — in advance of its championship performance.

YSU’s team is made up of 15 engineering and engineering technology students, six of whom will represent the university against Georgia Institute of Technology, Iowa State University and the University of Washington in the finals.

The finals team includes Mike Currao of Youngstown, Jason Nutt of Cortland, Ethan Parks of North Lima, Jarrett Scaccetti of Canfield, Kalen Wallace of Youngstown and David Wright of Washingtonville.

“As a business community, it’s important to support academic programs like this because it applies the theory students learn in the classroom to practical situations like they’ll experience in the work force,” said Thomas J. Travers, executive director, Mahoning Valley NECA. “Seeing the students excel is not only a proud moment for those involved, but it demonstrates the talent we have in the Mahoning Valley.”

The Green Energy Challenge involves performing an energy audit of a campus building’s power and lighting systems and identifying areas for reducing energy consumption. Students prepare and present a comprehensive report that includes a proposal to make recommended improvements.

Reports are judged by a panel of contractors and industry partners.

YSU finished third and second, respectively, the past two years. This is its third-straight year in the finals.

“Accomplishments like this put the university on the map, and this program strengthens our ties with businesses in the Mahoning Valley,” said Theodore Bosela, a YSU professor of electrical engineering technology and team adviser. “For the students, it teaches how to work collaboratively and how to present their ideas effectively, both vital skills in today’s business world.”

Mahoning Valley NECA is a trade association of electrical contractors that serves the management interests of the electrical contracting industry throughout the entire Mahoning Valley.

The chapter’s member contractors are the Valley’s leaders in bringing electrical power, lighting and communication technologies to local communities.

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