ALACHUA, Fla. — NCCER is proud to recognize the winners of this year’s SkillsUSA national carpentry and masonry competitions. The winners were announced on June 23 at the 53nd annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. 

More than 6,000 outstanding career and technical education (CTE) students competed in 100 different craft, technical and leadership fields. The competitions were part of the SkillsUSA Championships, which is the national-level competition for secondary and postsecondary students enrolled in CTE programs. Students not only test their knowledge and skills against industry standards, but are given the opportunity to compete against peers in their craft.

2017 marked the eighth year that NCCER has sponsored the national carpentry competition and its fifth year sponsoring the national masonry competition. Carpentry Technical Committee Chair Boyd Worsham of The Haskell Company and Masonry Technical Committee Chair Bill Kjorlien of Argos USA, led the way in organizing this year’s events.

NCCER is proud to congratulate the winners from both contests. In carpentry, high school medalists were Mason Volmer of Parsons, Kansas (gold); Toye Patrick of Greenwood, South Carolina (silver); and Irving Skowfoe of Schoharie, New York (bronze). Postsecondary medalists were Dylan Giager of Parsons, Kansas (gold); Alex Engelmeyer of Freeport, Minnesota (silver); and Matt Spawn of Columbus, Nebraska (bronze).

In masonry, high school medalists were Kelby Thornton of Concord, North Carolina (gold); Elijah Williams of Mount Jackson, Virginia (silver); and Cole Christadore of Danielson, Connecticut (bronze). Postsecondary medalists were Jake Freeman of Selma, Alabama (gold); Ronald Vann of Media, Pennsylvania (silver); and Ramon Vargas of Phoenix, Arizona (bronze).

This year’s competition featured 68 secondary and postsecondary carpentry competitors. Their skills were tested on a uniquely designed project that required the construction of load-bearing wall framing utilizing wood and steel stud framing members as well as roof framing that incorporated post, beam and rafter construction and exterior siding and trim. Contestants were judged on job interview skills, written test scores, safety, adherence to plans, craftsmanship and the proper use of tools and materials to perform the required tasks.

Additionally, 38 masonry contestants were challenged to construct projects composed of brick and block in a six-hour period. Contestants were judged on their ability to meet industry standards in quality workmanship and on their written test scores. Project components included the most frequently used details in residential construction.

Winners of both competitions were decided based on the combined results of a written exam and evaluation of the competition project by a panel of journey-level judges. The contests are planned by technical committees made up of industry representatives to test the skills needed for successful entry‑level performance as a carpenter or mason. Due to their tremendous importance, safety practices and procedures were also judged as a component of each contestant’s overall score.

Members of the 2017 national technical committee for carpentry included Boyd Worsham of The Haskell Company; Clay Kubicek of Crossland Construction Company, Inc.; John Havlik of NCCER; Jay Wetterhus of Morton Buildings, Inc.; Robyn Bucknam of DEWALT; Terry Westerman of ClarkDeitrich; Tracy Chambers of Nabholz Construction; and Steve Greene of NCCER.   

A national education team assisted the carpentry national technical committee. Members included Les Zimmerman, Troy Rupp and Beth Zimmerman from Alexandria Technical and Community College in Minnesota.

Members of the 2017 national technical committee for masonry included Bryan Light of Brick Industry Association; Dan Belcher of NCCER; Nick Blohowiak of SPEC MIX, Inc.; John Bongiovanni of Bon Tool Co.; Jeff Buczkiewicz of Mason Contractors Association of America; Brian Carney of SPEC MIX, Inc.; Rolly Cox of Multiquip Corp.; Jason Thompson of National Concrete Masonry Association; Kim Haley of Marshalltown Co.; Peter Kiley of Oldcastle Architectural; Ray Leonhard of Brick Industry Association; and Bob Melton of Masonry Institute of Tennessee.

A national education team assisted the masonry national technical committee. Members included Al Herndon of Florida Masonry Apprentice & Educational Foundation; Todd Larson of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College; Richard McKnight; and Richard Nagy.

NCCER would like to thank the following organizations for their generous financial support and prize donations for this year’s competitions: Argos Masonry Cement; Associated Builders and Contractors; Associated General Contractors of America; Bahco; Bon Tool Company; Brick Industry Association – Southeast Region; Build Your Future; Calculated Industries; Cianbro; ClarkDietrich Building Systems; Crossland Construction Company; DEWALT; Empire; Fein Tools; Fluor; Green Apple Labs; The Haskell Company; Irwin Tools; ISN; Klein Tools; Marek Brothers Systems; Marshalltown Company; Mason Contractors Association of America; McCarthy; Milwaukee; Morton Buildings; Multiquip Corporation; Nabholz; National Concrete Masonry Association; NAWIC Education Foundation; North American Crane Bureau; Oldcastle Architectural; Pearson; Prov; S&B Engineers and Constructors; Snap-on; SPEC MIX, Inc.; Stiletto; TIC-The Industrial Company; Yates.

About NCCER — NCCER is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) education foundation created by the construction industry to develop standardized curriculum with portable credentials and to help address the skilled, construction workforce shortage. NCCER is recognized by the industry as the training, assessment, certification and career development standard for the construction and maintenance craft professional. For more information, visit or contact NCCER customer service at 888.622.3720.

About SkillsUSA – SkillsUSA is the national organization for students in trade, industrial, technical and health occupations education. It sponsors the SkillsUSA Championships annually to recognize the achievements of career and technical education students and to encourage them to strive for excellence and pride in their chosen occupations. Visit to learn more.