2016 SkillsUSA National Masonry Competition Winners Announced

Words: Dan KamysThe winners of the 2016 SkillsUSA national masonry competition were announced on June 24 at the 52nd annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Ky. More than 6,000 career and technical education (CTE) secondary and post-secondary students competed in 100 different craft, technical and leadership fields as part of the SkillsUSA Championships. 2016 marked the fourth year that NCCER has sponsored the national masonry competition. Masonry Technical Committee Chair Bill Kjorlien of Argos USA led the organization of this year's event. In the masonry competition, high school winners included: Kelby Thornton of Concord, N.C. (gold); Benjamin Gibson of Ravenna, Ohio (silver); and Mack Odell of Fort Scott, Kan. (bronze). Post-secondary winners were Cody Harrison of Mount Pleasant, N.C. (gold); Cody Palmer of Media, Pa. (silver); and Trevor Huntley of Wellsville, N.Y. (bronze). Almost 50 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 masonry 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. Technical committees made up of industry representatives tested the skills needed for successful entry-level performance as a mason. Safety practices and procedures were also judged as a component of each contestant's overall score. The 2016 national technical committee for masonry included the following members: 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 also 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, which also sponsored the SkillsUSA carpentry competition for the seventh year in a row, is proud to recognize the winners of both competitions. Visit www.nccer.org or www.skillsusa.org to learn more.
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