Crocker first female winner of Golden Hammer
by Celia Shortt
The Central Educational Center recently hosted its bi-annual Golden Hammer Awards Competition for students in its construction program, and for the first time one of the winners is a girl.
“Sometimes the best man for the job is a woman,” said winner Rebecca Crocker.
Crocker won the third block of the competition, Carpentry I. In addition to this competition she has also been recognized as the sixth consecutive SKILLS USA Regional Electrical Wiring Winner and participated in last year’s state event. Later this month, she will compete in the regional competition.
According to CEC Construction Director Tom Barnett, Crocker is being recruited by the Atlanta Electrical Contractors Association for entry into the union training program.
“Ladies tend to be a lot more detail-oriented, better organized, etc., and companies are looking for those non-traditional employees just as … men in nursing or some other typically female dominated occupation,” he said. “We normally don’t have a lot of girls, however when we do, they are really interested and they tend to do well.”
The Golden Hammer Awards is a competition that begins with interactive training on construction safety, tool identification, careers, construction fasteners, and processes.
“Believe it or not there is some skill involved in driving a nail,” said Barnett. “Participants are required to wear necessary PPE or Personal Protection Equipment which at the minimum are approved safety glasses. The final part is a competition between team members to determine the best and fastest nail driver of the group.”
The competition is divided into four different blocks — Fundamentals of Construction, Eighth Grade Academy, Carpentry I, and Fundamentals. The competition is between team members to achieve first place for each block. It is open to students in the CEC construction program.
“Team members (students) are very competitive, and you would be surprised how much pride team members take in being recognized,” said Barnett. “Even more surprising is when you see them on the street years later; they will remind you that they remember the competition, especially if they won they will remind you.”
“It is widely known among the student population and usually from day one they ask when the ‘Golden Hammer Award’ competition will take place,” he added.
The competition is at the start of every semester and also when hosting the “Habitat for Humanity Homeowner Training.” The competition recognizes first place and a runner up for each block. They are recognized by the school and awarded a certificate. The winners and runner-ups in January’s Golden Hammer Award Competition include:
First block - Fundamentals of Construction First place - Jacob McKensie, Runner up - Cody Landry
Second block - Eighth Grade Academy First place - Avery Rush, Runner up - Noah Adams
Third block - Carpentry I First place - Rebecca Crocker, Runner up - Bernard Wallace
Fourth block - Fundamentals First place - Dustin Lee, Runner up - Kyle Henderson