HCI’s Justin Lefebvre Wins Bronze at National Skills Competition
        After winning gold in the provincial skills competition in Regina in in March, Justin Lefebvre was invited to compete in the National skills competition as Saskatchewan’s representative in carpentry which took place in Edmonton Alberta’s Expo Center on May 14-16. The competition is Canada’s version of the national Olympics in trades. Hundreds of competitors complete at a provincial level in these trade competitions across Canada and few have an opportunity to represent their province on a national level. The competition involved hundreds of competitors across Canada in over 40 skill/trade competitions from baking and mechatronics to landscaping and aircraft mechanics.
        The carpentry competition involved representatives from ten provinces/territories across Canada and they were required to build a 2” x 6” frame with deck boards and a bench with 4” x 4” posts which support a railing and gable style roof. Competitors were given 7 hours on Monday and 5 hours on Tuesday to complete the project. In the first seven hours Justin was able to complete the frame deck and mount his post and in the final hours on Tuesday was able to complete his roof and deck and even had a half hour to sand off blemishes. The competition proved to be challenging five of the ten provincial representatives were unable to complete the project in the allotted time which negatively affected their mark on the point based system.
        The closing ceremony was a great event where competitors, coaches, parents and spectators from across Canada attended but was also broadcast live via internet. The ceremony included a number of dignitaries including government officials, business representatives and even Canada’s favorite trade’s person Mike Holmes. Following the speeches competitions were announced and the medaling competitors were called to the podium where they were given a medal and a flag of the province they were representing. Justin was fortunate enough to beat out many other great competing provinces to win bronze in the competition. Team Saskatchewan brought home 7 medals from the national competition.
        Justin has a great deal of experience in the carpentry trade helping his family build cabins in the summer so he was a natural fit for a competition. He also spent a number of hours training/working/learning after school with his construction teacher Brian Hinz at Humboldt Collegiate Institute. This is the first year Humboldt Collegiate has offered a class in construction where students have been given an opportunity to build a variety of projects related to construction. In addition to the construction class, Justin participates in Brian Hinz’s extracurricular program called Skills Club which is offered to students who have a desire to develop skills related to the trades.   It is important for a student wanting to complete in Skills at this level of competition to have an internal drive to want to learn, improve and work hard. This is an astounding accomplishment as someone who has never competed in the skills competition and is only in grade 11.