Dothan Technology Center masonry students prepare for competition
Several DTC masonry students will compete in the state Skills USA competition
By Jim Cook
For Jakob Johnson, masonry is a family tradition.
Jakob’s father Robert Johnson is a mason, and Jakob is taking classes at Dothan Technology Center in the trade, hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps.
“I go home and show him pictures of what we’ve been doing here,” Jakob said. “He’s proud of me.”
Jakob is among several DTC masonry students who will compete in the state Skills USA competition in Birmingham. The event offers competitions in various career technical skills taught in schools around the state.
Joc Carroll, DTC masonry instructor, said his students will compete in a variety of practical exercises, including building walls of brick and stone.
“It’s a lot of things they’d be doing in the real world as masons,” Carroll said.
The Skills USA event is a valuable experience for students because it gives them the opportunity to earn scholarships, connect with employers and interact with other students interested in masonry. Carroll said the competitive nature of the event pushes students to excel.
“We try to make it very challenging for them,” he said.
Steven Uhler, 17, is traveling to compete in the Skills USA masonry competition. Uhler said he enjoys masonry because it gives him a chance to work with his hands.
“I don’t like my hands to be clean,” he said. “I like them to be dirty. It represents my work.”
Uhler said the toughest part of masonry is making measurements and keeping work level. Uhler said he looks forward to the opportunity to compete against other students.
“It makes me want to do better, to go in and prove myself and get a sense of satisfaction by being happy with what I did,” he said.
About the Author
Jim Cook is a freelance writer based in Dothan, Ala. A veteran of daily newspapers and trade publications, he has deep experience writing on a variety of topics.
This article was originally published in the Dothan Eagle. This content has been republished with the permission of the publisher.