On March 1, 2013, the Florida MasonryApprentice and Educational Foundation (FMAEF) held its 9th Annual Masonry Showcase at the Department of Management Services Warehouse in Starke, Fla. Eight schools sent masonry students to compete in in this annual event: Suwannee/Hamilton Technical Center from Live Oak; Camden County High School from Saint Mary’s, Ga.; West Nassau High School from Callahan; Traviss Technical Center from Lakeland; Menendez High School from St. Augustine; Saint Cloud High School from Saint Cloud; Ridgeview High School from Orange Park; and Bradford/Union Technical Center.
This Masonry Showcase was started nine years ago by the FMAEF and the four masonry instructors at Suwannee, Bradford, Menendez and Ridgeview to highlight the skills of the masonry students in north Florida. The rules were simple: Each school was to bring three of their best masonry students and two tenders, and they would compete using the FMAEF/Southern Manpower Rules for Masonry Competition.
In 2006 the Showcase adopted the Skills USA rules for competition (the FMAEF & Southern Manpower rules met Skills Competition standards) and the top three winners from each school were eligible to compete in the Florida Skills State Masonry Contest. (The winner of the Florida Skills competition would go to Kansas City and represent Florida in the Skills USA National Masonry Contest.)
The Showcase has allowed 313 masonry students to show off their masonry skills and compete. Since 2006 the Masonry Showcase has sent 138 masons to Florida Skills and had has the seven winners of the Florida Skills masonry contests go on to Kansas City to represent Florida (these seven winners have all finished in the top 10 in the country).
The 2013 Masonry Showcase was held on March 1, 2013, and Suwannee Tech was the winner (Suwannee was sponsored by Vulcan/Florida Rock) with a score of 4,091.7 out of possible 5,000 points.
Second Place winner was West Nassau High school with a score of 3,949.3 points out of a possible 5,000 points. Only 142.4 points separated the first and second place teams. Candem County High School finished third with 3,805 points, only 144.3 points from second place. Menendez finished fourth; Traviss Tech finished fifth; Saint Cloud finished sixth; Ridgeview finished seventh; Bradford had one student who competed.
The following companies supported this year’s competition: Vulcan/Florida Rock, Cemex, Prestige, Painter Masonry, Oldcastle, Harwood Brick, Cash Building Material, Lowe’s, ParkSite, Saint John’s Housing Partnership, Multiquip, Quikrete, NCCER and Marshalltown Tools.
This year’s Showcase produced 16 masons from Florida schools who will go on to Pensacola for the Florida Skills Masonry Contest, and three masons from Georgia who will go on to compete in Georgia Skills in Atlanta.