AWFS Members support SkillsUSA California Student Woodworking Contests

Companies Help Introduce Students to Current Industry Concepts and Technologies

AWFS Members support SkillsUSA California Student Woodworking Contests

AWFS member companies showed their support for student woodworkers by donating materials, tools and prizes to the SkillsUSA California 2018 regional and state woodworking contests. SkillsUSA is one of the leading career and technical student organizations, and the California state chapter is the third largest in the nation with over 33,000 members. Students compete in skill contests, where they learn about woodworking and cabinetmaking and follow projects developed by industry professionals.

Thirty-one high school students from the Los Angeles region participated in the local contests at Los Angeles Trade Technical College in January. Royal Plywood of Cerritos, CA donated all of the sheet goods and solid lumber for the Los Angeles region Introductory Woodworking and Cabinetmaking contests. Blum provided the drawer slides for the Cabinetmaking competition in all six regions in California, as well as providing tape measures and pencils for the woodworking contestants. Students from the Cerritos College of Woodworking acted as judges for the LA Regional event, lead by Woodworking Professor Anthony Fortner. Grex Tools donated a Grex H850 LX 21-Gauge Brad Nailer to the winner of the Cabinetmaking Competition.



From April 20th to the 21st the top students from SkillsUSA California’s six regional contests competed at Chaffey High School in Ontario, CA to determine who will represent California at the National level. Local Blum representative Lee Schuette assisted the students in attaching their hinges using a Blum Minipress P and helped them install their Movento drawer slides. Drawer Box Specialties custom made the dovetailed drawer boxes for the students to assemble.  Decore-ative Specialties contributed the solid wood door and drawer fronts. ESI provided wood edgebanding and students had the opportunity to use an SCM Olimpic edegbanding machine.  The drawer knobs were donated by Kemp Hardware and the levelers come from Hafele. Leitz Tooling donated four new saw blades for the event, which were given to Chaffey High School after the competition. Karl Frey from Colonial Saw introduced the students to the Zeta joinery system with a contest loan of a Zeta machine and a donation of Tenso connectors for all the Cabinetmaking students. “The industry support we received for the California woodworking competitions this year was amazing. Not only was a majority of our contest material and hardware donated, but we also had a great group of volunteers from both industry and from education who helped run the event over the weekend” says AWFS Education Director Adria Torrez. The contests incorporate preparation of a bill of materials, material optimization, cutting parts, installation of hardware, application of edgebanding and decorative molding, and use of different power tools and equipment.

In addition to our volunteers from Blum and Colonial Saw, industry professionals from Annex paint, Architectural Woodworking Company, Cerritos College, Ethan Allen, Falcone Arte Calado, Felder Group, Grex Tools, Palomar College, San Jacinto High School, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, and SkillsUSA CA alumni acted as judges and coordinators for the contest. “We are constantly raising the level of competition while introducing new machinery and construction methods to better prepare contestants for their wood manufacturing career path”, says Cabinetmaking contest coordinator Saúl Martín, of Architectural Woodworking Company in Los Angeles.


The 2018 SkillsUSA California Introductory Woodworking winners are:

Gold – Jacob Graham from Trinity High School in Weaverville, CA

Silver – Ryan James Truxton from Bellflower High School in Bellflower, CA

Bronze – Jaden Steele from Serrano High School in Phelan, CA








The 2018 SkillsUSA California Cabinetmaking winners are:

Gold – Erik Cruz from Fontana High School in Fontana, CA

Silver – Aiden Lahonta Alhambra High School in Martinez, CA

Bronze – Kris Ledich Alhambra High School in Martinez, CA










Castle, Inc. donated a new Castle 100 Pocket Hole Machine and Grex Tools donated a Grex H850 LX 21-Gauge Brad Nailer as prizes for the Cabinetmaking contest winners. Crown Ace Hardware donated tool prize packages for both the Cabinetmaking contest and the Introduction to Woodworking contest. Woodworker and author Asa Christiana donated two signed copies of his book Build Stuff with Wood as contest prizes.


Click here to learn more about the SkillsUSA California competitions. Sponsorship opportunities are available, becoming a SkillsUSA partner is a great way to expose your brand to woodworking students and teachers. If you would like to get involved, please contact AWFS Education Manager Adam Kessler at or (323) 215-0312.



  • Blum, Inc.
  • Castle, Inc.
  • Cerritos College
  • Colonial Saw
  • Crown Ace Hardware
  • Decore-ative Specialties
  • Drawer Box Specialties
  • ESI
  • Falcon Arte Calado
  • Grex Tools
  • Hafele
  • Kemp Hardware
  • Leitz Tooling
  • Royal Plywood

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