Rowan County School District Hosts The 2024 Trade Skills Competition For High School Students

There was a buzz of anticipation at the Rowan County Fairgrounds on Saturday February 24th. Before 8am, nearly 130 students and their parents and friends gathered for the trade skills competition, ready for the showcase of skills to begin. 

There were ten different competitions at this years event, including Masonry 1, Masonry 2, Cabinet Making, Stair Building, and an innovative team relay race that involved constructing scaffolding and material handling. The students competing in this regional competition came from 20 schools across the state ready to demonstrate the skills they developed throughout the year. 

In each event, there are different methods the judges use to evaluate performance. Time is a key component, but there was clearly an emphasis on the quality of the work as students painstakingly measured, adjusted, and remeasured their constructions for hours. 

There were different approaches and strategies, showing the unique personalities that varied across the participants. Some were especially fast, while others wroked slowly and methodically. Only after judging the final products, accounting for deductions taken off for every 1/4" deviation from the official design, would they know if their strategy was the winning one.

While this competition had many skilled competitors, only ten students would prevail as the winners - one for each event. We are thrilled to recognize the hard work of these students that is sending them to the upcoming state competition, giving them the opportunity to earn a coveted spot at the national competition later this year.

At the 2024 Skills Competition, Rowan-Salisbury winners included:
East Rowan High School
        - Mason Ridenhour (1st place Masonry 2)
        - Ty Sweatt (1st place Masonry 1)
        - Dakota Grinstead & Keegan Merrell (1st place Tender)
        - Adam Leffew (3rd place Carpentry 2)
        - Jason Bonds (3rd place Core Construction)
Carson High School
        - Ryan Gaither (1st place Block Laying)
        - Aaron Vazquez Sanchez (2nd place Masonry 2)
        - Austin Blackmon (2nd place Cabinetmaking)
        - Gage Poole (3rd place Cabinetmaking)
South Rowan High School
        - Grace Meckley (1st place Cabinetmaking)
West Rowan High School
        - David Briggs (1st place Carpentry 1)
        - Dylan Smith (2nd place Block Laying)
        - Lane Jenkins (2nd place Masonry 1)
        - Corbin Nations (3rd place Masonry 2)

The Southwest Region NC SkillsUSA Competition stood as a testament to the students' talent, dedication, and hard work. As these winners advance to the state competition, they carry with them the pride of their accomplishments and the valuable experiences gained from a day of challenges and triumphs. The event emphasizes the importance of vocational education and the opportunities it provides for students to excel in their chosen trades. WRYKER is proud to begin our partnership with this wonderful group and look forward to cheering on these students in their subsequent competitions!

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