Missouri Students Take Top Honors in WoodLINKS RTA Contest

By Rich Christianson | Posted: 09/21/2012 9:22AM


ATLANTA - Three students of Rolla Technical Institute of Rolla, MO, took first place in the WoodLINKS USA ready-to-assemble (RTA) furniture contest at the International Woodworking Fair last month in Atlanta.

Rollla Technical Institute students win WoodLINKS IWF RTA contestStudents and faculty of Rolla Technical Institute gather around the accent table that garnered first place in the WoodLINKS USA IWF RTA Contest. They are Instructor Don Block, left, Lucas Shelton, Nikki Look, Instructor Abbey Auten, Zack Ludden, and Instructor Robert Studdard. The students - Nikki Look, Zach Ludden, and Lucas Shelton – won nearly won nearly $12,000 worth of tools, accessories and supplies for their Travolo Di Stiles Table. It is available in oak, cherry, walnut and birch.

Prizes included an Ironwood JT300 Jointer from Stiles/Ironwood ($5,790), a TigerStop SawGear (SG08) Measuring System ($2,695), a Graco Merkur ES Spray Package with G15 Gun ($2,290), a $600 toolbox and tools for each student from FastCap, a $300 gift certificate from Custom Service Hardware, and four gallons of finish and one gallon of stain from Valspar ($131). Woodcraft Industries also served as a sponsor of the contest.

Other contest winners included:

  • Two student teams of Dale Jackson Career Center, Lewisville, TX, second place for a stackable wine rack, and fifth place for a coffee table with secret compartment;
  • Quinter High School, Quinter, KS, third place for an oriental style blanket chest; and
  •  Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, South Boston, VA, fourth place for a Universal Lightbulb project.

The novel WoodLINKS IWF RTA competition required contestants to set up a company to design, build and market an RTA product that is at least 60 percent solid wood or composite panel, Judges evaluated each team’s marketing plan, product evaluation, and oral presentation. The Rolla team created the accompanying video and designed and produced packaging for the accent table which was marketed to the local community and the school.

WoodLINKS USA is a nonprofit organization with the long-term goal of providing the wood industry with skilled workers to remain competitive at the entry and management levels. To learn more about WoodLINKS visit woodlinksusa.org.


About the Author

Rich Christianson

Rich Christianson is Associate Publisher and Editor at Large of Woodworking Network. During his 25+ years covering the wood products industry, Rich has toured hundreds of manufacturing plants throughout North America, Europe and Asia. His reporting has covered everything from the state of the industry and impact of wood imports to technology and environmental issues. In his current capacity he is responsible for editing the daily Woodworking Network Update newsletter and coordinating events including the annual Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo and Canada’s biennial Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo. He can be contacted at rchristianson@woodworkingnetwork.com or follow him on Google+.

Read more of Rich Christianson's blogs.

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