Dylan Burress, who won the Colorado Skills USA competition in cabinetmaking this spring, placed 20th in national competition held in Louisville, Ky. on June 27 and 28.
"I did OK," Burress said in an interview this week. Unfortunately, he had a case of stomach flu on competition day. "I was pretty sick."
Burress received a Skill Point Certificate in cabinetmaking. He also got a Dewalt drill bit kit and a Milwaukee knife and tape measure. Industry support for the Skills USA championships is valued at more than $36 million in donated time, equipment, cash and materials. More than 1,900 industry judges and technical committee members participated this year, along with 6,300 students.
Also while in Kentucky, he and BHS woods teacher Curtis Gillespie toured Churchill Downs and the Louisville Slugger Museum.
Gillespie said he appreciates the professional development opportunities for teachers who attend the event with their students.
This is the fourth time he has gone to nationals with students in cabinetmaking.
"This looked like it was the most time-consuming," he said of the project. "It was challenging, really challenging. I was really impressed with Dylan."
Burress, who graduated from Bayfield High School in May, works for Solid Plumbing, but is saving up to buy tools to open a small wood-building and cabinet-making shop that he'll operate on the side.
"I enjoy cabinetmaking, but not necessarily as a career," he said.
Marcus Trujillo of Port Angeles in Washington also was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in cabinetmaking.
Trujillo is a former student in Ignacio and Bayfield and is the son of Rebecca and Stan Wells and Margarito Trujillo. His grandparents are Louis and Janie Herrera of Ignacio.
Skill Point Certificates were awarded in 72 occupational and leadership areas to students who met a predetermined threshold score in their competition, as defined by industry.
Other competitions in Skills USA covered robotics, automotive technology, drafting, criminal justice, aviation maintenance and public speaking, among other subjects.
The Skills USA championships event is held annually for students in middle school, high school and college and postsecondary programs. More than 360,000 students and advisors join Skills USA annually, organized into more than 18,000 sections and 53 state and territorial associations. The partnership of students, instructors and industry is a talent pipeline for America's skilled workforce that is working to help solve the skills gap, according to a press release from the organization.