North Carolina 54th State Fair Contest
Nineteen-year-old Patrick James Wilson, an apprentice with Barbee Masonry in Albemarle, is the new Champion of the NC Department of Labor State Fair Masonry Apprentice Contest. The event took place at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh October 15, 2007 and marked the 54th anniversary of the contest.
Joseph Wainwright of McGee Brothers Company in Monroe took second place, and David Gantt, of Beam Construction Company in Cherryville, was third. Rounding out the top ten were Aaron Warlick, J&M Masonry; Mario Contreras, Brodie Contractors; Justin Wiley, Linker Brothers Masonry; Joshua Britt, Griffin Masonry; Jonathan Spizzo, Beam Construction; Nathan Milton, Beam Construction and Sean Greenly, McGee Brothers Company. Wilson posted a winning score of 158 out of a possible 180. Twenty-three apprentices from nine companies competed.
Patrick, who lives in Red Cross, is the son of James and Betty Wilson, and has a sister, Holly, all of whom were on hand for the contest. In addition to competing in masonry contests, Patrick enjoys woodworking and fishing. He is a graduate of West Stanly High School and studied masonry with instructor Tim Kidd for four years and has been working with Barbee Masonry for two years. His advice for contest success is, "Stay with it and don't get aggravated. Always do your best."
This is Patrick's second time in the State Fair Contest, where he finished "seventh" in 2006. He competed in the 2007 NCMCA Apprentice Skills Contest at CEMEX at Winston-Salem in May and in the Skills USA Post-Secondary Masonry Contest at Greensboro in April.
"The apprenticeship contests give these students an opportunity to showcase their skills while having fun at the fair," NC Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said. "We had a great turnout in each contest this year, and as always, the competition was intense." Berry was on hand, along with contest chairman Calvin Brodie, NCMCA President Wayne Starr, and contest head-judge Doug Burton to recognize the contestants and award prizes.
The masonry industry donated over $10,000 in cash, tools, and materials for the contest. Donors included the NCMCA Central Piedmont, Land of the Sky, Metrolina, Sand Hills, Raleigh, Triad, and Western Chapters. Also Adams Products Company, Anderson, Jones & Gengo LLC, Arrow Equipment LLC, Bat Masonry, Brodie Contractors, Capital City Masonry, Carolina Masonry Unlimited, Caudle Sand & Rock, CityLink Construction, Custom Brick Co., East Carolina Masonry, Essroc Materials, E-Z Grout, Fay Block Materials, Gain and Well Corp, General Shale Brick, Greenbriar Homes & Masonry, Inc., Hertz Rentals, Johnson Concrete, Joyner Masonry, Kirby Construction Services, Lafarge North America, LPS Enterprises, Inc., Marshalltown Trowels, Masonry Unlimited Cherryville, McMahan Insurance, Merrill Masonry, Moxley Masonry, Inc., New South Construction Supply, Pine Hall Brick, Pinnacle Masonry, Prime Masonry Equipment, Pyramid Masonry Contractors, The Quikrete Companies, Stonehenge Masonry, Tim Jacobs Masonry, Triad Industrial Supply, Triangle Brick, TriSure Corporation, and Whitman Masonry.
Every contestant earned a selection of masonry tools with top finishers winning tools and cash awards.
Masonry students from the Kittrell Job Corps Center and from Smithfield-Selma High School joined NCMCA members to set-up and tend the contest.
First held in 1953, the masonry contest is the oldest of the five apprenticeship contests at the State Fair. A contestant from the 1954 contest, seventy-five-year-old George D. Cox, was on hand to assist as a contest judge and was recognized at the awards ceremony. Mr. Cox is the father of NCMCA member Randall Cox and retired as a mason working for Randall Cox Masonry, after having previously been in business for himself. Former fair contest winners in attendance were 2006 winner Marcus Hefner; Garrett Hood, 2001; Jarrett Allison, 1997; George Winbush, 1981; and William Sanders, 1975. NCMCA President Wayne Starr was recognized for finishing in second place at the 1974 contest.
About the Author
The North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association, Inc. is dedicated to serving the Masonry Contractors of the Carolinas and to promoting masonry as the building material of choice and as a career option. For more information, please visit www.ncmca.com.