WorldSkills Masonry Practice ProjectsDid you know that next week in Abu Dhabi, UAE, young people from countries all over the world are competing in a massive skills competition? The WorldSkills Competition is held once every two years and is the largest technical education event in the world. It showcases the value of skills and raises the recognition of skilled professionals worldwide. This year Luke Dutton is representing the United States of America in the Bricklaying competition. We were curious what drives a student like Luke to become one of the best up-and-coming young craft professionals. Why did you choose masonry and what do you enjoy about it? I thought initially it would be an easy class, but I enjoyed it so much that I decided to make it my career. When we complete a project whether it is a home or an apartment building, I can go back and show others what I helped build. I get a lot of satisfaction when I go to past jobs and show my friends and family. Tell us an interesting fact about yourself: I was actually on my way to moving into college at UNCC to major in mechanical engineering, when I changed my mind and decided to go straight to work in the masonry field. It was the best decision I ever made. Who inspired you to enter a construction program? I remember Sam McGee the most in past competitions at the local and state level. He had so much enthusiasm for the masonry industry and young people. My current supervisor, Nick Cardillo has helped me so much in my early career. I also really appreciate the support from Cliff McGee and Greg Huntley who encouraged me as I prepared for this once in a lifetime experience. Also, my training expert, Todd Hartsell, who has helped me so much as I prepared for the WorldSkills Competition. Would you suggest other students pursue a career in construction and what advice do you have for them? Yes, definitely. It is a very rewarding career, especially looking back on the work you completed and the skill it takes to build structures as a team of workers. My advice is to stay determined and work hard in an industry that is very satisfying and gives back financially. What types of training have you been through? SkillsUSA Leadership through high school and competing at the State/National SkillsUSA Competitions. On-the-job training I am receiving through McGee Brothers Masonry as I continue advancing in my early career. Training with the US Bricklaying Expert, Todd Hartsell for the past 5 months in preparation to represent the United States at the WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi, UAE. What has helped you be successful in your program? The great support of the North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association and how they encourage young people to set goals for their future to become successful. How do you define craftsmanship? Excellence in the trade. Taking pride in your work and the final product that stands the test of time. And finally, what is your dream job? I hope one day to run my own masonry business, but right now I enjoy what I’m currently doing. I’m learning so much about the masonry industry and I love it!
To learn more about the WorldSkills organization and competition, visit their website at


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  1. Michael Merced- Themes Cordinator | Nov 03, 2017

    WAY TO GO LUKE! I taught Masonry 20 years and Construction 15 years. My passion is masonry and I loved teaching students like Luke. I had many state winners from NY and NV in Skills U.S.A. and V.I.C.A. for the old timers. There's nothing like the feeling an educator gets when his students wins a competition or succeeds in the construction trades. So many of my ex-students thank me for teaching them construction using social media. I think it's the other way around, I thank them for being a great student who wanted to learn the trade and continue the craft of masonry. Keep up the passion Luke and remember "bricklaying is an art".

    Michael Merced- Themes Coordinator

    Desert Rose High School

    Las Vegas, NV


  2. michael blackiston | Nov 03, 2017

    Great job Luke! You are the future of our trade. 

    Mike Blackiston

    Masonry Instructor - Maryland 

  3. Linda Young | Oct 25, 2017
    Good luck, Luke! Bring home the Gold!
  4. Mike Gurley | Oct 17, 2017
    Go Luke! Making NC, USA proud!
  5. Jennifer Nelson | Oct 15, 2017
    I love seeing the success of my favorite students.  Congratulations, Luke!
  6. Wanda Brown Reynolds | Oct 15, 2017

    What an accomplishment! I've been watching your mom's post on FB. You are so talented and creative. I'm sure you are going to be so successful! Follow your dreams! God Bless You!


  7. Connie Curlee | Oct 14, 2017

    we are so proud of Luke!!! 

    Love from NC. Aunt Connie and Uncle JV.

    Go Luke!!!!👍😀

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    About NCCER

    NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.