Woodworking Students Compete in SkillsUSA California Regional Contests

SkillsUSA California put students’ woodworking skills to the test at six regional competitions throughout the state

Woodworking Students Compete in SkillsUSA California Regional Contests

This year, SkillsUSA California put students’ woodworking skills to the test at six regional competitions throughout the state. As the national SkillsUSA website states: “Skills USA is a national nonprofit organization serving middle school, high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.” AWFS® sponsored Society of Wood Manufacturing (SWM) members volunteered at three of these California events.

Region 3 Introductory Woodworking Students with their projects.

The SkillsUSA CA Region 3 Conference was held on January 25th at Pasadena City College (CA). Students from Los Angeles and Ventura county competed in the Cabinetmaking and Introductory Woodworking contest among other skilled trade contests. Each student had 3 hours to build a wood project from a set of plans to be judged by woodworking professionals.  The Cabinetmaking contestants prepared a bill of materials and built a portable cabinet with a drawer and chest handles. The Introductory Woodworking contestants built a wood shelf with coat hooks. Plywood and solid lumber for each contest was generously donated by Royal Plywood in Cerritos, CA. Students used machinery like the table saw, crosscut saw, and jig saw; and tools like an air pinner from Grex, the Kreg pocket hole jig, and the Lamello Zeta P2 biscuit joiner to assemble their cabinet. Volunteers from Cerritos College, Colonial Saw, local woodworking professionals, members of the Inland Woodworkers Association, and members of Society of Wood Manufacturing volunteered as contest coordinators, saw safety monitors, and judges. The top student finalists in the Introductory Woodworking contest came from Mark Keppel, San Gabriel, Alhambra, and Temple City High School.  The Cabinetmaking contest had finalists from Los Angeles Trade Tech College, Temple City High School, and Mark Keppel High School.

The SkillsUSA CA Region 6 Conference was held on February 1st at Riverside City College (CA). Students from seven southern California

SkillsUSA CA Region 6 2020 Cabinetmaking contestants.

counties including San Diego, Riverside, and Orange county competed in this event. Plywood and solid lumber for the woodworking contests were generously donated by Reborn Cabinets of Anaheim, CA. Reborn Cabinets management team volunteered to judge the Cabinetmaking competition. Members of the Inland Woodworkers Association graciously judged the Introductory Woodworking Competition. Society of Wood Manufacturing members acted as contest coordinators and saw safety monitors throughout the competitions. Lunch for all the students and volunteers was provided by the Stiles Machinery showroom in Rancho Cucamonga. The top finalists from the Introductory Woodworking Competition were from San Marcos, Serrano, and Fontana High School. The top students in the Cabinetmaking competition came from San Marcos and Norco High School. This was the first year that SWM and AWFS® officially organized and managed the Region 6 event.

In addition, for the first time, SWM President Saúl Martín provided significant donations of material and supplies and volunteered as coordinator for both woodworking contests at the SkillsUSA CA Region 2 event in the Bakersfield area. “We are incredibly grateful to Saúl Martín and the AWFS® and SWM team for their involvement in SkillsUSA California,” says SkillsUSA CA Executive Director Clay Mitchell. “We have seen the quality of the contests elevated under their care and look forward to a continued relationship between our organization and theirs.”

Due to COVID-19 concerns, both the 2020 SkillsUSA California State and 2020 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference were cancelled. We will begin developing the 2021 SkillsUSA CA woodworking contests in August 2020.

If you would like to learn more about SkillsUSA woodworking or participate in future SkillsUSA California woodworking events, please contact Adam Kessler at adam@awfs.org or (323) 215-0312 for more information.

To see information on the SkillsUSA California Woodworking competitions from AWFS®, including photos, sponsor and volunteer information, contest plans, and results, visit this page. Go to this page for the 2020 SkillsUSA CA Region 3 and Region 6 event info and results. For high resolution images and captioning information, contact Adam Kessler at adam@awfs.org or (323) 215-0312.

About SkillsUSA: SkillsUSA is a leading national career & technical student organization in the nation. It promotes job readiness with skills and leadership training and supports students entering skilled trades. SkillsUSA California is one of the largest and most active SkillsUSA state organizations in the national network. Learn more at SkillsUSA.org and SkillsUSACA.org

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