Scott Dombowsky-Oneski proved he was the best in Alberta, and then in all of Canada, so now he’s ready to take on the world.
The 20-year-old won provincial and national titles in cabinet-making last year and that qualified him for Worldskills Abu Dhabi 2017, which will take place in the United Arab Emirates from Oct. 14-19.
For his previous competitions, Dombowsky-Oneski created a custom shelf unit that is around hip high, but for those he had the benefit of practising what he needed to do over the 12-hour, two-day competition.
Last year, the national event was held in Moncton, N.B., but he’s prepared to go much further this year.
At the Worldskills, the competition will last four days and span 22 hours, but it will at least feature his favourite thing in cabinet-making: Hand-cut dovetail drawers.
Dombowski-Oneski spends the majority of his weekdays apprenticing at Allstar Corporation in Langdon before heading into SAIT on Fridays and most Saturdays to get extra instruction on the finer details of his craft.
He’s hoping it will all pay off in a couple of months, as his precision at hand-cut dovetail drawers is getting better all the time.
“This will make or break that competition for the winning person,” Dombowsky-Oneski said. “As we get closer I will be going a couple more times a week as well as Friday.”
The competitors will find out what the project looks like about a month prior to the event, but the one curveball for the Worldskills is they will change around 30 per cent of it to add an extra wrinkle and make the competitors think on their feet.
It’s something that Dombowski-Oneski is preparing for, which is like preparing for the unknown, because in the previous competitions he knew exactly what he would be making.
“What I did for provincials was do the project 10 times,” he said. “You don’t even have to look at the plan at that point. You already know everything. When they throw the change in it throws guys off.
“I have at least 10 of them at SAIT I’ve done for practice. Once I’m done I will give them all away. My parents house is filled. There are cabinets everywhere.”
Going to Abu Dhabi won’t come cheaply so there is a variety of funding sources helping the Langdon area resident join the Team Canada delegation, which will number around 40 people.
Dombowski-Oneski has thrown in around $15,000 of his own to help get him there as the experience will be invaluable for his future.
He’s also getting plenty of support from Allstar Corporation owner and operator Hans Bigler, who has run his business out of Langdon since 1987.
Bigler is excited to have had the youngster in his shop for the past three years, shortly after he caught the cabinet-making bug in high school shop class.
“He’s very self-motivated and he’s a fast-learner,” Bigler said. “He’s a serious respectable young man. He knows where he wants to go in life. He deserves recognition and deserves to be noticed for his efforts.”