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Making the Grade

[Josh Seep] was just one of those students who stood out in class from the very first day," said Don Borchert of the Southwest Wisconsin Technical College (SWTC) in Fennimore, Wis. "He separated himself from the rest of the class early in the year. Josh had a knack for it. He understood the mechanics. He has a very good eye, and his trowel and level skills developed very quickly."

Seep, 21, of Dodgeville, Wis., won the Wisconsin SkillsUSA masonry competition eight months into the nine-month program, then went on to place fourth in the post-secondary division of the national competition in Kansas City, Mo.

By that time, Borchert said, Seep had taken a leadership role in the class projects — construction of a concession stand and a brick veneer on the house built by the carpentry class at SWTC.

Seep proved himself again during his internship. Immediately after graduation, he was employed full-time by Monona Masonry Inc. in Madison, Wis., and is now a member of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local #13. Rick Skaife, president of Monona Masonry, reported high satisfaction with Seep's progress: "Consistent with my expectation of the caliber of graduates of Borchert's program."

"We are pleased to have Josh working for us as a new apprentice," Skaife continued. "He, and all the apprentices we've hired out of SWTC, are way ahead of the average starting apprentices in knowledge and skill. I can already tell that, with his training and skill, Josh can have a successful career in masonry."



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