Training center to host skilled trades contest

Carpenters Brandon Bracker, left, and David Spaw of D&S Contracting prepare to install shelf gondolas in the new Kroger in Maumee.
Carpenters Brandon Bracker, left, and David Spaw of D&S Contracting prepare to install shelf gondolas in the new Kroger in Maumee.

If you think skilled trades jobs are boring, head to Rossford on Friday. You’ll find a group of more than 300 people who would disagree.

Starting at 8:30 a.m., the Northwest Ohio Carpenters’ Joint Apprenticeship & Training Center at 9270 Bass Pro Blvd. in Rossford will host an open house for about 200 area high school students interested in a skilled trades career as a carpenter, millwright, or floor coverer.

But during the event, which lasts until 2 p.m., the Carpenters’ apprenticeship program will conduct a regional competition to showcase the skills of a dozen apprentices from northwest Ohio.

“The winners of this will go to a state competition. The judges will be looking for quality and craftsmanship,” said Mike Papalia, director of the carpenters’ apprenticeship program in Ohio.

The competition, which is sponsored by the state program, pits the best 36 of 1,300 apprentices enrolled at the program’s four Ohio training centers.

Mr. Papalia said contest participants, who are all fourth-year apprentices, were selected based on merit and abilities. Contests also are being held at training centers in Rossford, Columbus, and near Cincinnati, with the winners advancing to the finals on May 16 at the training center in Richfield, Ohio, near Akron.

Twelve apprentices will participate Friday at the event in Rossford — two contestants each in six events: drywall and metal studs, interior finish, general carpentry, millwrighting, floor laying, and residential carpentry.

Mr. Papalia said contestants will get a blueprint and materials at 8 a.m. and commence working on projects at 8:30 a.m.

Watching their progress will be 200 students from six area schools that offer vocational skills training. They are: Toledo Public Schools’ Waite High School, Start High School, and Rogers High School; Washington Local Schools’ Whitmer High School; Wood County’s Penta Career Center, and Vanguard-Sentinel Career and Technology Centers of Sandusky County.

Mr. Papalia said 100 vendors, suppliers, colleges, products, representatives, and union officials also will be at the open house, which is co-hosted by Carpenters Local 351 of Toledo, Local 372 of Lima, Local 744 of Fremont, and Local 1090, Millwrights and Pile Drivers, of Akron.

Contact Jon Chavez at: or 419-724-6128.