QUALIFIED LABOR –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– second year. This time, 12 students registered but only 10 competed. These students ranged in knowl- edge from newbies who had never set tile to “veterans” who had com- peted last year and honed their education for a year. As Owen and his team look toward the third year of competition, the desire to expand this SkillsUSA competition into other states is growing. How SkillsUSA benefits the industry, nationwide Why should anyone in the indus- try care about what is going on in Georgia? Owen said it best. “I have a high level of respect for the industry that we are in, and a high level of respect for those true craftsmen that represent our industry in a positive way on a daily basis,” he explained. “We owe it to these industry profes- sionals – including ourselves – to market our industry in the same manner that other reputable trades do; to not have a national tile com- petition is a discredit to us all. If we expect others to take an interest and have passion for our industry we must first show and exemplify that passion ourselves. “This past competition I met and spoke briefly with a young man’s grandparents who drove two hours to watch their grandson compete in the tile competition,” Owen continued. “Later that day I noticed them sitting in chairs, pulled up to the pipe and drape border. What an awesome sight this was for Students tried their hands at installing tile on a bench form during the CEFGA event. Ten students competed in the 2018 SkillsUSA competition. The 2018 SkillsUSA competition begins 102 TileLetter | 2018