The winners of the annual SkillsUSA Championships in CARPENTRY were announced Wednesday evening, June 27, at the Awards Ceremony of SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. The Conference was held June 23 - June 27, 2012, at the Municipal Auditorium, the Kemper Arena, H. Roe Bartle Hall, the downtown Marriott and the downtown Crowne Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. Over 5,600 outstanding career and technical education students joined in the excitement of hands on competition in 94 different trade, technical, and leadership fields.

Working against the clock and each other, the participants proved their expertise in job skills for occupations such as electronics, technical drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts. There were also competitions in leadership skills, such as extemporaneous speaking and conducting meetings by parliamentary procedures.

SkillsUSA is the national organization for students in trade, industrial, technical and health occupations education. It sponsors the SkillsUSA Championships annually to recognize the achievements of career and technical education students and to encourage them to strive for excellence and pride in their chosen occupations.

The contests are planned by technical committees made up of representatives of labor and management and are designed to test the skills needed for a successful entry level performance in given occupational fields. Safety practices and procedures - an area of great concern to labor and management alike - are judged and graded and constitute a portion of a contestant’s score. A short video about the National Leadership and Skills Conference is available online at http://tinyurl.com/7rbzc96.

Carpentry contestants must frame walls using wood and/or steel studs, cut and install rafters, gable end overhang, fascia board and soffit installation, install sheathing and/or exterior siding and exterior trim. Demonstration of their construction knowledge is required. Contestants were judged on accuracy, ability to read and interpret blueprints, workmanship, safety and the proper use of tools, equipment, and materials.

Members of the national technical committee for Carpentry include Chair Boyd Worsham, Haskell Company (Fla.); James Baker, Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (Va.); Robyn Bucknam, DEWALT Industrial Tool Co. (N.C.); Matthew Clark, KBR Services (Ala.); John Gaal, Carpenters' District Council of Greater St. Louis (Mo.); Clay Kubicek, Crossland Construction Company, Inc. (Kan.); Ed Prevatt, NCCER (Fla.); and, Jay Wetterhus, Morton Buildings, Inc. (Ill.)

A national education team assists the national technical committee. Members include Chair Les Zimmerman, Alexandria Technical & Community College (Minn.); Jay Pearson, Greenville Technical College (S.C.); Troy Rupp, Alexandria Technical & Community College (Minn.); Robert Warner, Middleburg High School (Fla.); and, Beth Zimmerman, Alexandria Technical & Community College (Minn.)

Other organizations supporting the contest include Calculated Industries, Inc.; Carhartt, Inc.; Cianbro; ClarkDietrich Building Systems; DEWALT Industrial Tool Co.; Duo-Fast Construction; Fluor; IRWIN Industrial Tool Company; Lowe’s Companies, Inc.; National Association of Women in Construction; National Occupational Competency Testing Institute; Pearson Publishing; Prov; Ranken Technical College; Senco Brands; Smith Level Co.; Snap-on Inc.; Stiletto; Hammers; and, Timberland PRO.

SkillsUSA helps students discover and grow their career passions. As a nationwide partnership of students, instructors and industry working together, SkillsUSA works to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It helps every student excel. The nationwide career and technical education (CTE) student organization serves more than 320,000 high school, college and postsecondary students—and their instructors—in technical, skilled, and service occupation instructional programs. CTE is learning that works for America. SkillsUSA has the active support of more than 1,100 corporations, trade associations, business and labor unions at the national level. Over 10.5 million people have been annual members of SkillsUSA since its founding as The Vocational Industrial Clubs of America in 1965. SkillsUSA programs teach leadership, citizenship and character development to complement technical skill training. The organization emphasizes respect for the dignity of work, ethics, workmanship, scholarship and safety.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.