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July 21, 2005 8:10 AM CDT

SkillsUSA Championships: North Carolina Sweeps National Masonry Contest


Josh Morrison, 19, of Central Cabarrus High School in Concord, N.C. won first-place honors in the post-secondary competition of the 41st annual National Masonry Contest held in conjunction with the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, MO.
Vocational students from North Carolina won both divisions of the National Masonry Competition held in Kansas City, Missouri, June 22 through June 24, in conjunction with the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. This was the 41st year of the masonry competitions.

The 2005 winner of the post secondary competition was Josh Morrison, 19, from Central Cabarras High School in Concord, NC. The 2005 winner of the high school competition was Dallas Caudle, 18, also from Central Cabarras High School. Caudle placed second in the secondary competition last year. Both are instructed by Todd B. Hartsell.

Student interest in masonry vocational training continues to be strong. This year, 54 high school and post secondary contestants from 37 states and the Virgin Islands competed in the two classes. Each student had been a winner of their own state or regional event. The contest consists of a written test and the construction of a brick and block composite project. Trade professionals from Bricklayers Local #15 and selected vocational instructors judged the projects.

Technical Committee Chairman Bryan Light of the Southern Brick Institute said, "I am pleased to report that industry support for this annual trade competition was greater than ever before."

Again this year, Light gave special recognition to his Education Team, a group of instructors who assist in set-up, the conduct of the contest and the judging. "Billy Madkins, Todd Larson, and Jack Wentz literally spent the week here with me," Light said. "We couldn't have done it without them."

The 54 contestants were supported in their efforts by donations of materials from Spec Mix, ACME Brick and Midwest Block & Brick. Spec Mix salesmen from around the country were "slingin' mud" throughout the day in support of the aspiring masons.

The Masonry Technical Committee's sustaining members and sponsors of the contest included Bon Tool Co., Brick Industry Association, Hanley-Wood, Marshalltown Trowel Co., Mason Contractors Association of America, National Concrete Masonry Association, Portland Cement Association, Brick Southeast and Spec Mix. Prize sponsors also included Crick Levels.

Other highlights of the three-day conclave included a field trip to a local block plant. This was followed by a luncheon in honor of the contestants and their instructors. At the luncheon, Butch Wyatt of Masonry Affiliates Southeast, pointed out the value of working in a trade "where you work anywhere and have the satisfaction of seeing a visible representation of your work last for years and years." Rick Yelton, editor in chief for Hanley-Wood LLC, followed Wyatt and presented Masonry Construction's 2005 Project of the Year awards.

During the SkillsUSA event, over 4,700 outstanding vocational students, all state champions, competed in more than 80 different trade, technical and leadership competitions. The contestants effectively demonstrated their expertise in the occupational skills required for such trades as electronics, technical drafting, precision machining, carpentry and brick masonry.

The SkillsUSA organization represents 280,000 students and 14,000 teachers in the 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands. The event is booked in Kansas City through 2014.

2005 SkillsUSA Championships ? Masonry Winners

Post-Secondary Competition
First Place: Josh Morrison, Central Cabarrus High School, Concord, NC
Second Place: Fidencio Suarez, PTEC Saint Petersburg Campus, St. Petersburg, FL
Third Place: Paul Shuey, The Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades, Media, PA

High School (Secondary) Competition
First Place: Dallas Caudle, Central Cabarrus High School, Concord, NC
Second Place: Jerry Miller, Earnest Pruett Center of Technology, Hollywood, AL
Third Place: Joshua Moser, Maplewood Career Center, Ravenna, OH

About the Author

J. David Holt, freelance writer and owner of Holt Marketing Group Inc., has been reporting on the SkillsUSA National Masonry Contest since 1994.

Information in this news release was prepared and distributed by Holt Marketing Group, Kansas City, MO, 816-591-0300.


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