Local 10 hosts contest for 430 apprentices

Sheet Metal Workers Local 10 near Minneapolis hosted its annual apprenticeship contest in November and December with more than 430 apprentices in competition. The contest has been in existence for more than 70 years.

As part of the curriculum, all apprentices in Local 10’s Metro training center participate in the contest and complete portions of the competition during their normal classroom time. To accommodate all apprentices, the contest was held over two consecutive weeks from Nov. 26 through Dec. 7 and consisted of written, sketching and practical exams in architectural; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); and industrial categories.

Training coordinator Carl Zitzer; instructors Pat Alfonso, Mario Salute, Donaven Chase and Rick

Ventrelli; retiree volunteers and Business Manager Matt Fairbanks helped to judge and facilitate this year’s contest.

Those who finished at the top of the competition include, in the HVAC category, Michael Blackbird, first place; Tanner Greenlun, second place; and Jason Pearson and Thomas Hofstede, third place. In the architectural category, standouts included Michael Farmer, first place; Bryton Kullhem, second place; and Wayde Salwei, third place. In the industrial category, they included Chad Price, first place; Casey Reid Peterson, second place; and Joseph Minar, third place.

Although it’s a competition, apprentices guide and mentor each other through the process.

“No one is too competitive, not in my class anyway,” said Andrew Busche, a second-year apprentice. “It’s just something that’s done.”

During the course of the five-year program, every apprentice will compete five times, leaving lessons learned in time management and problem solving.

“It makes you work on a time table,” said Roderic Olson, a fourth-year apprentice. “That’s the biggest learning experience.”

More than 14,000 apprentices are registered at over 150 training facilities across the United States and Canada. The ITI is jointly sponsored by SMART, the International Association of Sheet Metal Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (formerly the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association) and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA).

ITI supports apprenticeship and advanced career training for union workers in the sheet metal heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), welding and industrial, architectural and ornamental, and service and testing, adjusting and balancing industry throughout the United States and Canada. Headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, the ITI develops and produces a standardized sheet metal curriculum supported by a wide variety of training materials free of charge to sheet metal apprentices and journeymen.

For more information about ITI and its available training curriculum for members covering sheet metal trade work, visit their website or call 703-739-7200.

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