Source: Sherman Publications

Kids polish construction skills at competition

by Phil Custodio

June 26, 2013

Construction students put their skills to the test at the Novice Carpentry and Masonry Invitational, June 6 at Oakland Technical School Northwest in Springfield Township.

“They’re looking good, working fast,” said Patty Adolphs, instruction resource and cluster development consultant. “They’re definitely doing a good job getting the kids ready. I’m impressed.”

The Clarkston students competed against teams from William D. Ford Career-Technical Center, Westland, and Warren Consolidated School District.

It was a practice round for the students, who will compete as seniors next year in Skills USA contests.

“The biggest thing for them is to learn team building,” said Dan Barterian, building trades teacher with Warren Consolidated Career Preparation Center, who brought a team of three students. “They’re dealing with a little bit of a time constraint, and learning how to get everybody to work together on something.”

“They’re doing great,” said Duane Olds, carpentry and masonry instructor at the Northwest center. “The kids are doing well this year, with a lot of different experiences.”

“This is a great end of the year experience for the guys,” said Dick Moscovic, Northwest center construction trades teacher.

“It gives them some experience for next year’s competition,” Barterian said. “So far, they’re doing OK.”

The competitions are part of the center’s construction trades program, which also includes lots of on-the-job training in the community, said Mary Beth VanBuskirk, School-to-Careers Coordinator with Oakland Schools Technical Campus, Northwest.

Next year, the students will work on site on carpentry, plumbing, framing and other projects, VanBuskirk said.

“They learn a variety of skills, not just construction,” she said. “We get calls from local businesses. They know students are well prepared, and take them into apprenticeships. Many transition into jobs.”

Students work on construction projects with Christmas In Action, Rebuilding Together, Grace Center for Hope, Oakland County Parks, and other groups, she said.

“More employers are looking for help than we can give them,” Olds said. For more information, call 248-922-5813.