A Somerset Community College student in the Construction Technology program at SCC Laurel Campus has placed first in both the regional and state SkillsUSA Kentucky carpentry competitions.
Ernesto Vasquez, of Somerset, placed first in the SkillsUSA regional competition and then recently took home first place in the state competition in Louisville, Kentucky. Vasquez will now advance to the national competition, which will be held in June.
Vasquez, a 2014 graduate of Southwestern High School, said he originally wasn't interested in construction until he crafted a jewelry box in a class at the Pulaski County Area Technology Center.
I loved it and was hooked, said Vasquez.
At the state SkillsUSA state competition, Vasquez said he had to work alone with one large wall, two small walls and had to build a porch. The competition allowed for seven hours of work. According to SkillsUSA, approximately 1,000 students competed in 99 different occupational and leadership skills areas, of which carpentry was one.
I was confident in my work, said Vasquez. Thanks to the Construction Technology program at SCC, and my training, I knew what I was doing.
Vasquez said the program at SCC has prepared him well for his career.
There's a lot more that goes into construction than people realize, Vasquez said. Its a great feeling to take a pile of lumber and make something out of it. I love what I do.
Vasquez will finish his degree in 2016 and plans to open his own roofing company with fellow classmate Chris Clem of Wayne County. The two plan to start their company, E and C Builders, this summer.
The SCC Construction Technology program is offered at the SCC Laurel Campus South. To find out more, contact Travis McQueen, program coordinator, at (606) 878-4765 or by email at email@example.com.
SkillsUSA Kentucky is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry representatives working together to ensure Kentucky has a skilled workforce. The organization helps each student excel. SkillsUSA Kentucky is a member of the SkillsUSA national organization serving teachers, and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations.