PITTSBURG — Starting with a blueprint local SkillsUSA competitors constructed their projects with precision and steady speed.

Students from the Southeast Kansas Career and Technical Education Center recently competed in the Kansas SkillsUSA Competition in Hutchinson.

With only four and a half hours, Frontenac High School student Wil Jameson built a 4 by 4 foot project with siding and hip roof. He won first place in high school carpentry for the second year.
“It felt good to show it again, that I still got it,” he said.

For Girard High School Junior Matthew Pike this was his first you at CTEC and the competition. He took second place in the high school masonry. He laid a three cinder blocks high wall with approximately 12 courses of brick on top.
“It’s a fun experience, I really enjoyed it,” he said. “It was different, but good different.
“It got me out of my comfort zone.”

According to the SkillsUSA website “SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.”

Teams of students from CTEC — comprised of high school students and students from Fort Scott Community College — compete in SkillsUSA competitions each year.

This year, 17 students competed in three categories: HVAC (5 students), Masonry (5 students) and Carpentry (7 students). Seven students earned medals, with other students placing in the top 10 of their category. Three of the seven students that medaled also qualified for the National SkillsUSA competition to be held this summer in Louisville, KY.

“We are very proud of our students’ work ethic and the way they represented CTEC, Fort Scott Community College and our high schools,” CTEC Executive Director Kris Mengarelli said in a release. “We’re especially proud of those that medaled and the three students that will be competing at the national competition in June.
“Fort Scott Community College has great instructors in Kim Coates (Carpentry), Chris Sterrett (HVAC) and Nacoma Oehme (Masonry). They do an outstanding job of preparing our students for the competition.”

Students that earned medals are as follows:
College Carpentry: Nathan Kaufman, Fort Scott Community College, 1 st Place, National Qualifier
High School Carpentry: Wil Jameson, Frontenac High School, 1st Place, National Qualifier

High School HVAC, MacKenzie Hensley, Frontenac High School,3rd Place
College Masonry: Allen Blackburn, Fort Scott Community College, 2nd Place
High School Masonry: Mason Jameson, Frontenac High School, 1st Place, National Qualifier
High School Masonry: Matthew Pike, Girard High School, 2nd Place
High School Masonry: Zach Troth, Frontenac High School, 3rd Place