San Diego - Blum, Kreg, Wurth Louis and Company and other generous companies showed their support for industry education activities by contributing over $6,000 in tools, supplies, gifts and prizes to the 2012 SkillsUSA California State Cabinetmaking Championships, held Saturday, April 14 at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center in San Diego.

A total of twenty seven students from ten schools across the state competed for medals, prizes and the opportunity to represent California at the National Championships. Cabinetmaking students were challenged to build a two-foot tall cabinet utilizing Blum hinges for the face-frame door and Accuride drawer slides for the drawer. A Blum hinge press, Bosch routers and Kreg pocket hole jigs were also employed. Students had seven hours to finish the project. Industry professionals served as judges using criteria such as accuracy of measurements and use of tools and machinery. The finished cabinets were then donated to San Diego Habitat for Humanity.

In the Introductory Woodworking event, students from high school programs built a tote tray using a jig saw and basic joinery skills. This is a state-only competition and students may compete for just one year in this event. The students get to take home their finished product and can use it to store their tools, or, as someone at the event suggested, “fill it with flowers and give it to mom for Mother’s Day.”

The top medalists in each contest received a Bosch router. All competitors received a “goodie bag” with Festool safety glasses, a Blum screwdriver, notepads and pens from Leggett & Platt, a tape measure and current copy of Woodworker West magazine and other useful items.

“This is my twenty-fifth year as a SkillsUSA Advisor,” says Salinas High School/Mission Trails ROP instructor Chuck Felice, “and it has done so much for my students. It reinforces the cabinetmaking skills that I am teaching them and gives exposure to industry opportunities and visibility to my program.”

The students who earn the highest honors in the state competition – Gold Medals – are then eligible for a trip to Kansas City in June for the high-energy National Leadership & Skills Conference and competition, where they will pit their skills against students from all other states. Top-scoring national competitors will compete at the WorldSkills Cabinetmaking Qualifying Trial at the AWFS Fair, July 24-27, 2013 in Las Vegas, NV and the winner of that event will go to WorldSkills 2015 in Madrid.

“We are grateful to all of our industry sponsors for their support,” says SkillsUSA California State Director Clay Mitchell. “It is such encouragement to the students to have industry present, showing them that there are opportunities and that industry supports their hard work and goals.” SkillsUSA is one of the largest national career & technical student organizations in the nation. It promotes job readiness with skills and leadership training and supports students entering skilled trades.

The participating sponsors were:

Accuride International
Amerock
Blum, Inc.
Bosch Power Tools & Accessories
Festool USA
Freeman
Kreg Tool Company
Leggett & Platt
Leitz Tooling Systems, Inc.
Rockler Woodworking and Hardware
Woodworker West Magazine
Wurth Louis and Company

AWFS contacted the sponsors and organized the donations on behalf of SkillsUSA California. The student competitors and their advisors also received a complimentary copy of fresh wood, the AWFS publication that showcases the Fresh Wood student woodworking competition.

SkillsUSA California 2012 State Championships medalists are as follows:

High School Cabinetmaking

Gold Medal

Cole Maschmeyer

Salinas High School

Salinas, CA

Silver Medal

Hayden Mullin

Paso Robles High School

Paso Robles, CA

Bronze Medal

Tyler Ramirez

Paso Robles High School

Paso Robles, CA

Post-Secondary Cabinetmaking

Gold Medal

Samuel Foster

Mission Trails ROP

Salinas, CA

Introductory Woodworking

Gold Medal

Tom Phong

Mark Keppel High School

Alhambra, CA

Silver Medal

Timothy Ryan

Salinas High School

Salinas, CA

Bronze Medal

Dominic Uccelli

Salinas High School

Salinas, CA

Source: Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers

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