CATA’s Carpentry Team wins state competition; Electrical Team places 4th


L-R: Dustin Burney, Karli Marler, Trevor Cheatham, Kenzie Jones and Colton Robison / Photo courtesy Mike Burkett

CULLMAN – Mike Burkett, building construction teacher at the Cullman Area Technology Academy (CATA) shared with The Tribune that on Oct. 25-26, the academy’s five-member student Carpentry Team won first place in the Team Build Competition held in Tuscaloosa.  The CATA team was the only team at the event to finish in the allotted time and, according to Burkett, “scored high points for their teamwork and communication skills.”

The Carpentry Team is made up of:

  • Dustin Burney, Trevor Cheatham and Colton Robison from Fairview High School
  • Karli Marler from Holly Pond High School
  • Kenzie Jones from Hanceville High School
  • Fairview’s Payton Oden is an alternate.   

The annual statewide competition is hosted by The Resource Center for Career Technical Education and sponsored by numerous construction companies and home builder associations from around Alabama. According to the event website, the Team Build Competition is held to showcase the skills of students enrolled in carpentry/building trades and electrical programs in Alabama Career and Technical programs, and to call attention to the home building and industrial/commercial construction industry in Alabama.

The competition instructions contained the following description:

“In today’s workforce teamwork is essential and it is important that students learn to work in teams while learning the skills necessary for earning and maintaining employment in the construction field.  Although it is not possible to build a home in two days, the contest will include many of the skills students are learning in the home building and other construction-related areas. The Team Build Contest will replicate the National SkillsUSA TeamWorks contest as much as possible.  The event will consist of a construction team of career and technical students that will build a structure that cannot exceed 10 feet in length or 8 feet in width. Each interior wall will have one electrical outlet, and there will be one switch box and one ceiling light. The building must have at least one window and one door.  Additional items may be added by the contest committee to allow students to use creativity and innovation.”

Burkett added, “Teams are judged on their technical ability, but also on safety, teamwork and problem solving on their own without help from their instructors.  The competition also includes an electrical component of wiring the building with outlets and light fixtures.”

Fairview students place fourth in electrical

The CATA Electrical Team of Lance Gandy and Cory Jenkins, both from Fairview High School, placed fourth in the electrical portion of the competition.  Fairview’s Payton Oden is also an Electrical Team alternate.

Burkett wished to recognize the Cullman County Homebuilder's Association and President Willy Hendrix (Bill Hendrix Construction, LLC) for their $500 donation to the CATA team to help offset travel expenses.

Burkett said, “Congratulations to the CATA Carpentry and Electrical Teams.  We are very proud of their hard work and the great leadership they represented at the competition.”

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