• 63°

Dykes ready to show off skills at nationals

Haegan Dykes is getting ready to show off his carpentry skills at a national level as he competes in the SkillsUSA competition next month.

Dykes, a junior at W.S. Neal and a student at the Escambia County Career Readiness Center, is no stranger to the winner’s circle. This is second year as a district winner in the construction/carpentry division of SkillsUSA and his first year as a state winner. He will travel to Louisville, Ky., in June.

SkillsUSA is a national partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce in trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including health occupations.

In Escambia County, students have a variety of programs to choose from such as mechanics and emergency services to office administration and more.

Dkyes, under the instruction of Kenny Revel, studies in the building construction program.

“Building things is something I enjoy,” Dykes said. “It’s not something that I want to do after high school as a job. I am thinking about engineering or maybe even agriculture related.

“I started going to work with my dad who owns a construction company when I was little,” he said. “And when I started high school, this program seemed like it would be fun to do, and it has. Plus, it gives me great skills that will help me when I get my own home.”

As part of the competition, Dykes – and representatives from all 50 states – will show off their skills in a number of events. Dyes will be required to construct a number of elements found in both residential and commercial construction.

“They will have us build things like part of a wall or maybe a roof section,” he said. “What makes this competition a little different is that commercial construction, which requires metal work, is added.”

To help Dykes prepare, Revel said local construction professionals are volunteering their time.

“These are complicated plans,” Revel said of the competition. “We want to make sure (Dykes) is ready, so we send our thanks to everyone who is helping to get his skill level up.”

Winners will receive a number of construction-related prizes as well as gift cards.

To help meet travel costs for the four-day stay, Dykes is accepting donations.

Dykes is the son of Jarrett Dykes and Crystal Hutcheson, both of East Brewton.