VAN WERT - The Business Professionals of America (BPA) regional competition will be hosted by Vantage Career Center Thursday, Jan. 23. Approximately 80 students from Vantage Network Systems, Medical Office Management, and Interactive Media lab courses will be joined by students from six regional schools to compete in the annual event.

“BPA’s motto is today’s student is tomorrow’s business professionals,” said Jill DeWert of the Vantage Interactive Media program. “This competition allows students to create something outside of the normal education process and apply the skills they have learned to create something new.”

Many students go into the competition for the first time completely terrified, but DeWert noted that by the end of the day these young competitors have gained a new sense of confidence and experience. The mission of BPA is to contribute to the preparation of a world-class workforce through the advancement of leadership, citizenship, academic, and technological skills.

Students have the option to compete in a variety of business related contests in over 50 categories, all under the four topics of Finance, Information Technology, Administrative Support, and Management/Marketing/Human Resources. Several of the contests that are available to competing students include, video or web design, prepared speech, graphic design, accounting, interview skills, and many more.

“Each of these contests allows students to polish and practice skills,” remarked DeWert. Top qualifiers from the regional competition will have the opportunity to compete at the state competition in Columbus in March. This year’s national BPA competition will be held in Indianapolis. In 2013, Vantage Career Center sent 27 qualifiers to the state competition.