Success at SkillsUSA Nationals
The Centralia High School SkillsUSA team had a successful trip to their national competition in Louisville, KY according to CHS Construction teacher, Mitchell Smith. The team members placed well in each of the categories they competed in:
- Tim Sheets: 8th place – Welding Sculpture
- Melissa Berg, Kallighan Farda, Evan Thomas: 12th place – Occupational Safety & Health
- Jake Keehr, Adam Elkins, Kevin Garduno, Trajan Ziel – 27th place TeamWorks Team (built a structure to specifications).
- Inchantra Armitage – Earned certificate for written portion of masonry competition.
During the June 23-30 trip, the team took advantage of opportunities to visit historic sites and other places of interest such as the Louisville Slugger Factory, the National Corvette Museum, a cement factory/quarry, Churchill Downs, The Grand Ol’ Opry, and and Muhammad Ali’s gravesite. “It was great for them to learn more about Ali,” Smith said. “His story was so much more than just his boxing career.”
The most physically and mentally taxing portion of the competition was the TeamWorks build, according to Smith. The team had to construct a structure to a set of specifications. “We had three wood walls and one with metal framing,” Smith said. Once framing was complete the team plumber (Keehr) had to install a sink, a toilet, waste and fresh water plumbing, and vents using a variety of materials such as PVC and copper. “The judges want to see that the team can work with all of the various materials,” said Smith. The team also had to properly install electrical wiring and panels, as well as siding and a brick veneer.
“The trip was a great experience for everyone,” Smith said. Aside from the exposure to talents and teams from around the country, “they got to experience a taste of culture that is somewhat different from ours in the Northwest,” Smith said. During a particularly violent thunderstorm the team was sent searching for tornado shelters at their motel when sirens sounded. “Those sirens just cut through you,” Smith said.
The team extends their thanks to many supporters who gave financial support to send the team to Louisville, including:
- Regional Council of Carpenters
- Centralia Community Foundation
- Lewis County chapter of Olympia Master Builders
- 3MB Construction & Tree Removal
- Jerry & Jane Stray
- Iron Workers Local 86
- Centralia Police Department Employees
- Forma Construction
- Centralia City Employees