Alachua, Florida (July 18, 2019)—The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) has announced the winners of this year’s SkillsUSA national carpentry and masonry competitions. The winners were announced on June 28 at the 55th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

More than 6,400 outstanding career and technical education (CTE) students competed in 103 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. Students not only test their knowledge and skills against industry standards, but are also given the opportunity to compete against peers in their craft. 

2019 marked the 10th year that NCCER has sponsored the national carpentry competition and its 7th year sponsoring the national masonry competition. Carpentry Technical Committee Co-Chairs David Bates of The Haskell Company, Boyd Worsham of NCCER, and Masonry Technical Committee Co-Chairs Jeff Buczkiewicz of Mason Contractors Association of America and Ryan Shaver of North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association led the way in organizing this year’s events. 

The carpentry high school medalists were Jacob Stage of Bedford, Virginia (gold); Zachery Lagasse of Lincoln, Nebraska (silver); and Logan Bloom of Alexandria, Minnesota (bronze). Carpentry postsecondary medalists were Bret Gleason of Omaha, Nebraska (gold); Cody G. Scheffe of Waco, Texas (silver); and Mitchell A. Davis of Wellsville, New York (bronze). 

Masonry high school medalists were Grant Helms of Mount Ulla, North Carolina (gold); Jose Jaquez-Valles of Newark, Delaware (silver); and Dylan Cates of Stillwater, Oklahoma (bronze). Masonry postsecondary medalists were Ashton White of Salisbury, North Carolina (gold); Khalif Collier, Sr. of Albany, Georgia (silver); and Jesus Ruiz of Phoenix, Arizona (bronze). White made history this year as the first woman to take home the gold in sequential years. 

Winners of both competitions 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 2019 national technical committee for carpentry included Terry Westerman of ClarkDeitrich Building Systems; Robyn Bucknam of DEWALT; David Bates of The Haskell Company; Garret Thompson of The Haskell Company; Jay Wetterhus of Morton Buildings, Inc.; Tracy Chambers of Nabholz; Steve Greene of NCCER; and Boyd Worsham of NCCER.

The education team that assisted the carpentry committee included Troy Rupp, Beth Zimmerman and Les Zimmerman from Alexandria Technical and Community College in Minnesota.

Members of the 2019 national technical committee for masonry included Bryan Light of Brick Industry Association Southeast; John Bongiovanni of Bon Tools; Ray Leonard of The Brick Industry Association; Greg Ferree of Lehigh; Kim Haley of Marshalltown Company; Jeff Buczkiewicz of Mason Contractors Association of America; Tim O’Toole of Mason Contractors Association of America; Rolly Cox of Multiquip; Jason Thompson of National Concrete Masonry Association; Ryan Shaver of North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association; Dan Belcher of NCCER; Peter Kiley of Oldcastle Architectural; Nick Blohowiak of Spec Mix; Brian Carney of Spec Mix; and Daniel Furr of Stalite.

The education team that assisted the masonry committee included Al Herndon of Florida Masonry Apprentice & Educational Foundation; Toni Herndon of Florida; Dan Hiltebeitel of Pennsylvania; Curtis Hoover of Center of Applied Technology North, Maryland; Todd Larson of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College; Richard McKnight of South Carolina; and Richard Nagy of Ohio.

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