Hometown: Midland, N.C.
Representing the United States at WorldSkills in Bricklaying
Kelby Thornton always played in the dirt and gravel as a child. As he grew older and helped his dad with landscaping projects, Kelby knew that he wanted to work in the construction field.
“I was given the opportunity to take a masonry class as a freshman in high school. Ever since then, I have known that masonry is a trade I would enjoy.”
On his road to WorldSkills, Kelby is planning to prepare mentally and physically, staying focused on the competition. “To have the opportunity to represent the United States at WorldSkills means a lot to me. I’m excited to see how others across the world train and work in the masonry industry.”
Kelby is driven by the fact that he wants to be the best at his craft, and he is exploring the possibility of starting his own company in the future.
“I love being able to have a vision in my mind of what I want to build, being able to create it, and others being able to enjoy what I made.”
On the future after WorldSkills:
“My favorite thing to build is fireplaces because of the details and the challenge involved. When I start my own company, I would to love to focus in custom masonry and stone work, specializing in difficult projects such as indoor and outdoor fireplaces, custom patios, retaining walls, stone facades and custom pool décor (waterfalls).”
“I have been involved in SkillsUSA since my freshman year of high school. From this experience, I have gained an extensive amount of skills in the masonry industry and learned how to improve myself to be the best of the best.”