NCCER is proud to recognize the winners of this year’s SkillsUSA national carpentry and masonry competitions. The winners were announced earlier this summer at the 52nd annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Ky.

More than 6,000 outstanding career and technical education (CTE) students competed in 100 different craft, technical and leadership fields. The competitions were part of the SkillsUSA Championships, which is the national-level competition for secondary and postsecondary students enrolled in CTE programs.

2016 marked the seventh year that NCCER has sponsored the national carpentry competition and its fourth year sponsoring the national masonry competition. Carpentry Technical Committee Chair Boyd Worsham of The Haskell Company and Masonry Technical Committee Chair Bill Kjorlien of Argos USA led the way in organizing this year’s events.

In masonry, high school medalists were Kelby Thornton of Concord, North Carolina (gold); Benjamin Gibson of Ravenna, Ohio (silver); and Mack Odell of Fort Scott, Kansas (bronze). Postsecondary medalists were Cody Harrison of Mount Pleasant, North Carolina (gold); Cody Palmer of Media, Pennsylvania (silver); and Trevor Huntley of Wellsville, New York (bronze).

Almost 50 masonry contestants constructed projects composed of brick and block set on a concrete block base. Contestants received detailed drawings to which they were expected to closely adhere to while building their projects.

Winners were decided based on the combined results of a written exam and evaluation of the competition project by a panel of journey-level judges. The contests are planned by technical committees made up of industry representatives to test the skills needed for successful entry level performance as a carpenter or mason. Due to their tremendous importance, safety practices and procedures were also judged as a component of each contestant’s overall score.

Members of the 2016 national technical committee for masonry included Bryan Light, Brick Industry Association; Dan Belcher, NCCER; Nick Blohowiak, SPEC MIX, Inc.; John Bongiovanni, Bon Tool Co.; Jeff Buczkiewicz, Mason Contractors Association of America; Brian Carney, SPEC MIX, Inc.; Rolly Cox, Multiquip Corp.; Jason Thompson, National Concrete Masonry Association; Kim Haley, Marshalltown Co.; Peter Kiley, Oldcastle Architectural; Ray Leonhard, Brick Industry Association; and Bob Melton, Masonry Institute of Tennessee.

A national education team assisted the masonry national technical committee. Members included Al Herndon, Florida Masonry Apprentice & Educational Foundation; Todd Larson, Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College; Richard McKnight; and Richard Nagy.

NCCER thanks the following organizations for their generous financial support and prize donations for this year’s competitions: Associated Builders and Contractors; the Associated General Contractors of America; Bahco; Bon Tool Company; Argos Masonry Cement; Brick Industry Association – Southeast Region; Build Your Future; Cianbro; ClarkDietrich Building Systems; Construction Master Pro by Calculated Industries; Crossland Construction Company; DEWALT; Fluor; The Haskell Company; Irwin Tools; ISN; Klein Tools; Marek Brothers Systems; Marshalltown Company; Mason Contractors of America; Milwaukee; Morton Buildings; Multiquip Corporation; National Concrete Masonry Association; NAWIC Education Foundation; North American Crane Bureau; Oldcastle Architectural; Prov; Robins & Morton; S&B Engineers and Constructors; Snap-on; SPEC MIX, Inc.; Stiletto; TIC-The Industrial Company.