RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Thousands of people will chow down on food, hop onto rides and play games at the North Carolina State Fair today – but some people are also learning career skills there.

On Monday morning, CBS 17 took a look inside the fair’s masonry competition.

Apprentices from across N.C. took to the fairgrounds for the annual competition, showing off their skills when it comes to building, laying brick and making mortar.

Organizers with Apprenticeship NC said it’s a mixture of fun and a challenge for the apprentices who get real life work experience and training in different programs.

“It’s an opportunity for a young person or an adult to identify a career pathway, whether it’s in masonry occupation or other trade occupations,” said Dale Yarborough with Apprenticeship NC.

Contestants at the 2023 State Fair masonry competition. (Deana Harley/CBS 17)

Organizers said with the backdrop of the fair and fairgoers walking by that they are even garnering interest from people who may have never considered apprenticeship before.

“A lot of these folks, they’ve been doing it for years, but now we want women, minorities, folks from all different backgrounds to see how apprenticeship can benefit them, how they can be successful,” said Yarborough.

There are more competitions from different programs, including plumbing and HVAC, that will be held throughout the week at the fair. You can see the full lineup of competitions here.