On January 9, Youngstown State University hosted the Business Professionals of America, Ohio Division’s Region 11 competition. The contest drew participants from Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana career centers.
The Ohio division of BPA is the organization’s largest state association with approximately 8,500 members. It is composed of approximately 350 local chapters within 18 regions.
This is the third consecutive year the regional competition has been held at YSU, and the second year that it was held in Williamson Hall.
Kris Doran, a YSU graduate, serves as both co-site advisor for the event and multimedia instructor at the Trumbull Career and Technical Center.
“I think it’s great that the Williamson College of Business donates the building for us to use. At the local level, we don’t have a whole lot of money. Everything is based off of student fees, so it really helps us that the university donates the building for us to hold our annual competition,” Doran said.
The competition allows students from a number of local high schools to compete in a variety of categories related to business.
“There’s everything from website design to video production, digital media production, global marketing, entrepreneurship, prepared speech, extemporaneous speaking… It’s really spread around all of the business fields for the kids to kind of compete in what they’re learning in their classrooms,” Doran said.
Students compete for the opportunity to move on to the state competition held in Columbus where they compete in only one event as opposed to four. From there, they can move on to the national level where they can compete for an assortment of prizes, including college scholarships and useful student software.
Besides the prizes, the competition is a valuable learning experience for the participants.
Maureen Martin, a web design and application development teacher at TCTC, has served as an advisor for the local competition for the past 30 years.
“The competition allows the students to apply what they’re learning in class in a competitive setting, so it makes the learning fun,” Martin said.