SkillsUSA California Woodworking Contests Garner Industry Support

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  • April 19th, 2016
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SkillsUSA California Woodworking Contests Garner Industry Support

AWFS® Member Companies Donate to Support Student Woodworkers

ANAHEIM, CA – April 19, 2016  – Royal Plywood, Blum, Colonial Saw/Lamello, Hafele, ESI, Decore-ative Specialties, Rockler Woodworking, and West Wood Products generously donated nearly $8,000 in supplies, tools and giveaways for students at the 2016 SkillsUSA California State Cabinetmaking Championships, held Saturday, April 2 at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center in San Diego. Staff and volunteers from the Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers® (AWFS®) served as contest coordinators and volunteers for the SkillsUSA California state Cabinetmaking and Introductory Woodworking contests.

California High School Cabinetmaking State Gold Medalist, Saul Vazquez from Fontana High School

2016 California High School Cabinetmaking State Gold Medalist: Saul Vazquez from Fontana High School

A total of 16 students from nine schools across the state competed in the Cabinetmaking contest for medals, prizes and the opportunity to represent California at the SkillsUSA National Championships. The students built a two-foot tall night stand utilizing Blum offset hinges for the frameless cabinet and Blum TANDEM glides for the drawer box, both donated by Blum. San Diego-area Blum rep Gary Riley loaned a Blum hinge boring machine and was on-hand to provide a demonstration of the hinge and TANDEM slide installation and assist during the contest. Hafele provided decorative hardware for the drawer and door, along with glue and shelf pins.

Rockler Woodworking donated four Bosch jigsaws as well as prize packs for the gold medalists. ESI donated edge-banding, while all of the solid stock and sheet goods came from Royal Plywood of Cerritos, CA. Decore-ative Specialties donated sample doors and drawer fronts and West Wood Products provided pre-grooved drawer sides, which saved the students time in the contest and enhanced the overall look of the finished product. In a new twist, the students were introduced to the new Lamello Zeta joinery system; Karl Frey from Colonial Saw loaned the Zeta tools and donated Clamex fasteners, he demonstrated the process for the students and was on-hand during the contest for assistance.

Students had eight hours to finish the project and judges used criteria such as accuracy of measurements and use of tools and machinery to determine the scores. Contest coordinator Saul Martin, who developed the project plans, said “Our goal is always to prepare the students for the national competition and for work in the industry. By introducing new processes and technology like the Lamello Zeta system, they will better understand our industry and be prepared for the professional woodworking environment.” The judging panel consisted of three highly experienced industry professionals. The students were then allowed to take home their finished cabinets.

The students who earn the highest honors in the state cabinetmaking competition – Gold Medal – are then eligible for a trip to Louisville, Kentucky in June for the high-energy National Leadership & Skills Championships, where they will pit their skills against the other top-medalists from all other states.

Meanwhile, 13 first-year woodworking students competed in the state Introductory Woodworking contest, intended to introduce students to the SkillsUSA competitive environment and encourage them to return to compete in the Cabinetmaking contest the following year. The students built a foot stool, incorporating different joinery methods and jig saw technique. All material was donated by Royal Plywood. Representatives from the Palomar College Cabinet and Furniture Technology program (San Diego, CA) volunteered as contest coordinators and judges.

Twenty Five Local Woodworking Students Compete in Regional Contests

Blum, Inc., Royal Plywood and Laguna Tools supported the SkillsUSA California Region 3 (Los Angeles County) woodworking contests, held on Saturday, January 23 at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. A total of 25 area high school students competed in the Cabinetmaking and the Introductory Woodworking contests combined. The Cabinetmaking contestants prepared a bill of materials and built a cabinet door, drawer box and top, while the Introductory Woodworking contestants built a tool tote during the three hour contest. Royal Plywood provided nearly $400 in material for the two woodworking contests. Blum, Inc. contributed tape measures, calipers, pencils and bags and Laguna Tools contributed t-shirts for the contestants. A team of industry professionals volunteered their time to develop the contests and serve as contest coordinators, judges, scorers, saw monitors and assisted with other critical aspects of the contest execution.

If you would like to participate in future SkillsUSA California woodworking events, please contact Adria Torrez at or (323) 215-0311 for more information.

About SkillsUSA: SkillsUSA is one of the largest national career & technical student organizations in the nation. It promotes job readiness with skills and leadership training and supports students entering skilled trades.

To see information on both events, including photos, sponsor and volunteer information, contest plans, and results, visit these pages:

For high resolution images and image captioning information, contact Adria Torrez at or (323) 215-0311