Carpentry students attend apprentice competition

Grace Mercurio , Staff Reporter

Bobby Hoffman, the carpentry instructor and select students attended the NC Department of Labor Carpentry Apprentice Contest in Raleigh last semester. The contest consists of teams building a scale dog house with a floor system, walls, siding, roof framing and roof shingles. They are given four and a half hours to complete the project and are ranked based on how accurate theirs is to the plan. The two WF teams placed in ninth and 10th place.

“They did very well. When you bunch the top 10 teams together, very little separates first place from 10th place. It comes down to minute judging from the officials,” Hoffman said.

The students were prepared.

“We had to build the whole dog house before and then practice. We had to learn roofing that we had never done before, and just learn a bunch of new stuff that we had never experienced,” junior Corey Baker said.

Baker has been taking Hoffman’s Labor Carpentry class since he was a freshman. Devin Hogan, a junior also participated in the contest.

“It feels good because not a lot of schools have something like this, so it is good to have the experience and be able to experience it,” Hogan said.

Hoffman said that the teams performed strongly because they had specific characteristics that separated them from other teams, such as their cooperation and teamwork skills, math skills, plan layout and pace of build.

Although it is Hoffman’s 19th year in Construction Education, he still has the same passion for teaching as when he first began eight years ago.

Hoffman said, “I enjoy seeing a student progress with his or her knowledge with tools and their use. What started out as jitters has now evolved into respect and confidence with these tools. They can now take a piece of wood and create something out if it that can last a lifetime and more. It is great to be able to pass along knowledge and experience to students.”