The MiLL was recently abuzz with saws, drills, routers, nail guns, and hammers in action with 78 students competing in six different trades for the SkillsUSA Colorado State Championship. Students competed in cabinetry, carpentry, electrical, masonry, plumbing and teamwork. Seventeen students competed in cabinetry with four students from the Peyton and MiLL Woods Program each representing four different high schools in the greater Colorado Springs districts. Students worked against the clock and each other. First place winners will go on to compete in the National SkillsUSA Championships this June in Louisville, Kentucky. Peyton Woods program had the state winner in 2017 for cabinetry. Contests are run with the help of industry experts, trade associations, labor organizations and volunteers.
SkillsUSA is a nonprofit organization comprised of students in middle schools, high schools and colleges, their instructors and industry to help America have the skilled workforce it needs to close the growing skills gap in America. Students at the MiLL and Peyton Woods programs are in demand by industry. Just recently a cabinet manufacturing company from Boone, Iowa was touring the MiLL while in Denver for the CMA (Cabinet Manufacturing Association) conference. They were shown the cabinets made by first year, first semester Cabinet Manufacturing 1 students. “We’ll hire them immediately! Please can we get in contact with them?” they shouted. “Yes, of course you can,” said Mr. Mattson. ”There’s just one catch. You’ll have to wait three more years because these are made by our freshmen students, you know, 14 and 15 year olds."