Annual NYS SkillsUSA Leadership Conference and Skills Championship Judged by Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters Local 276, Local 277

(left) Chris Austin, Local 276, Fred Swayze, Jr., Local 277, Melissa Carter, Carpenter Contractor Trust, Bob Wilmott, Local 277.

More than 20 members of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters’ Local 276 and Local 277 judged the New York Association of SkillsUSA’s 2017 Leadership and Skills Championship last month at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.

On April 26 and April 27, students from vocational educational centers across the state competed in skills-based contests in carpentry, cabinetmaking and teamwork.

SkillsUSA is a national partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce by improving the quality of our nation’s future trade workers through the development of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics.

"We were happy to provide our expertise as judges. The young people were thrilled to participate, and it was worth the effort and time that we spent to see the joy on their faces as they demonstrated their skills during a wonderful adventure."

George Baldwin, Training Coordinator

As the leading skilled trade organization representing carpenters in New York and New Jersey, the Council has been judging and coordinating the SkillsUSA Competition for four major building trade events for more than 15 years. “We were happy to provide our expertise as judges,” said retired carpenter George Baldwin, training coordinator and instructor at the council’s newly refurbished Rochester Training Center.

“The young people were thrilled to participate, and it was worth the effort and time that we spent to see the joy on their faces as they demonstrated their skills during a wonderful adventure.”

Carpenter apprentices from Local 276 and Local 277 worked alongside carpenter assistants from the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services to create finished tables for ARC of Oswego County, a Fulton, New York-based private, nonprofit organization that aims to promote and protect the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. ARC also purchased the necessary materials for the project.

The carpenter assistants gain pride, confidence, self-worth and career building skills working together with carpenter apprentices building a project for a local nonprofit agency each year, according to Baldwin. “The primary objective of this program is to provide positive opportunities for kids and to inspire a sense of confidence,” he said.

Area companies also offered a helping hand. Syracuse-based Liftech Equipment Companies donated the forklift used for the event, and Raby’s Ace Home Center in Oswego donated shirts and other materials.

Local 276 and Local 277, both primary sponsors of the event, were represented by a number of council representatives including Chris Austin, Fred Swayze and Bob Wilmott. Melissa Carter of the Carpenter Contractor Trust of New York and New Jersey was also in attendance.

In addition to Local 276 and Local 277, Syracuse’s Millwrights Local 1163 was also a major sponsor.

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Source: Carpenter Contractor Trust

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