On June 27, 2018, The UBC held its Drywall Olympics at the International Training Center in Las Vegas. The competition placed the five District champions competing against each other to claim the title of “The Best & Fastest Drywall Installer”. Jose Reyes, from Local 181 in Chicago, represented the Midwest District in this competition. The other Districts that were competing were the Northeast, South/Central, Southwest, and Canada.
The project was almost 50’ long and was 10’ tall with typical items that a drywall installer would run across – a set doorjamb, electrical outlets, plumbing pipes and a drywall wrapped window. All of the contestants’ mock-ups were identical with the same amount of sheets of drywall loaded for them on a cart. At the start of the horn, they all started hanging the drywall on their projects and temporarily screwing it to the metal studs. Cutting around the electric and plumbing as they went along.
Towards the end of placing all of the drywall required on the long wall, it became clear it was going to be a three-way race between the Northeast, Southwest and Chicago. As they started to install the screws and spacing them according to industry standards, one person sprinted ahead of the competition. Jose Reyes was installing the screws at lightning speed. He was so fast that all of the spectators moved over to his project to watch. This Professional Carpenter was taking a handful of drywall screws in one hand and installing them with his screw gun faster than someone could do it with a self-feeding screw gun. At just over 54 minutes, Jose jogged out of his area to press the stop button on the clock. The Northeast contestant came out 2 minutes later and the Southwest contestant 4 minutes after him.
The wall had to be judged with time penalties added for any infraction, such as spacing the screws more than 12” in the field or too wide of a cut-out for the plumbing. Everyone waited as the Tech Coordinators from the International Training Center went to every project and started the grading process. After a short break, Jose Reyes, with his wife by his side, was crowned the Best Drywall Installer in the UBC. He brought the title to the Midwest District but more importantly, to Chicago. Congratulations goes out to Jose Reyes and his entire family.