Locals embrace spring apprenticeship contests

Competition was in the air this spring as apprentices across the country competed for cash, prizes, and most importantly – bragging rights. While some locals have been hosting contests for a while, others were venturing out for the first time in years.

At Local 124 in Oklahoma City, first- through fourth-year apprentices competed within their years; however, fourth-year apprentices also had the option to compete in testing, adjusting and balancing (TAB) or industrial/welding.

“This was our first local contest in several years, and it was nice to see it happen again,” said Trent London, Local 124 training coordinator. “It went very well. Next year, we plan to participate in the Great Plains Council in a regional contest.”

First-place winners from Local 124 included Ryan Campbell, first year; Bennett Ritter, second year; Luis Duran, third year; Laban Watson, fourth-year TAB; and Houston Ward, fourth-year industrial/welding.

Region 1’s contest was held at Local 83’s newly opened training center in Clifton Park, New York. As with many of the contests, help from business managers, coordinators and instructors to proctor and judge the contest was key to the success, said Bob Dutra, Region 1 contest secretary and training director at Local 38 in Brewster, New York.

Region 1 includes Local 17 in Boston, Mass.; Local 17 in Raymond, New Hampshire; Local 28 in Jamaica, New York; Local 38 in Brewster, New York; Local 40 in Rocky Hill, Connecticut; Local 46 in Rochester, New York; Local 58 in Syracuse, New York; Local 63; Local 71 in Buffalo, New York; Local 83 in Clifton Park, New York; and Local 112 in Jamestown, New York.

“I was at their new building in January, and the shops were not set up. In a matter of weeks, they transformed the facility into a great place to host a contest. All the contestants enjoyed competing there,” Dutra said. “If it wasn’t for the dedication from people like Mark Landau and Larry Warzek, we probably couldn’t have pulled it off.”

Winners from Region 1 included, in the second-year category, Brian Foley, third place, Local 112; Matthew LaFleur, second place, Local 63; and John Dunlevy, first place, Local 28. The third-year apprentice winners included Derek Cooke, third place, Local 17; Evin Leclerc, second place, Local 40; and Kevin Papaj, first place, Local 71. Fourth-year winners were Devon Crampton, third place, Local 112; Joshua Mead, second place, Local 83; and Kyle Schlesinger, first place, Local 63.

Local 17 near Boston hosted apprentices from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire March 10 for its annual contest. First-year apprentice winners included Frank Powers III, third place; John Gildea, second place; and Alexander Seelig, first place. Second-year apprentices included Kyle Panora, third place; Matthew Pacheco, second place; and Ryan Cullivan-Marston, third place. In the third-year apprentice category, Thomas Mancini earned a third place finish with Derek Cooke placing second and Barry Durnin taking home first place. The fourth-year apprentices were John McClellan, third place; Christopher Wool, second place; and Andrew Polese, first place. Fifth-year apprentice award winners were John Deyoung, third place; Greg Cann and Robert Mulvaney, who tied for second place; and Adam Urrutia, first place.

More than 30 apprentices from Local 20 Indiana competed in TAB, service, industrial, architectural and HVAC during the Indiana Apprentice Contest April 12-14 at the Indianapolis training facility. This year’s contestant T-shirt color was yellow in respect to DeWalt tools, which not only donated tools to schools statewide, but provided tools apprentices used during the contest.

Apprentices weren’t the only ones tested during the contest as each participating instructor – including Joe Potesta, Jim Dempsey, Scott Bush, Ricky Coleman, Brent Hoag and Zach Smith – was tasked with creating a project, sketch and written test for their respective disciplines to go along with the plans and specs portion of the apprentice contest. This year, two first-year apprentices, Travis Ray from Terre Haute and Chad Snyder from Lafayette, earned the right to compete and were recognized at the awards banquet for their accomplishments.

“Several apprentices won door prizes, including Shane Krilich, a fifth-year apprentice from the Gary area,” said Jason Benson, Local 20 training director. “In perhaps the one moment that summed up why we have a contest in the first place, Shane handed Travis (Ray) his door prize that included a welding hood and other gifts donated by Lincoln Electric and told him to keep his head up. A very classy move by a fifth-year apprentice to a first-year just starting out.”

Winners from the architectural category included Ryan Kalis, Gary, third place; Kenny Hoy, South Bend, second place; and Matt Pruitt, Evansville, first place. In the HVAC category, Joe Everson, Gary, took home third place with Jason Connelly, Indianapolis, in second place and Tyler Little, Terre Haute, with first place.

In the industrial category, Shane Krilich, Gary, came in third place with Corey Kruse, Indianapolis, in second place and Aaron Garcia, Evansville, in first place. In the service category, Evan Steiner, Terre Haute, took home third place with Joseph Heintzelman, South Bend, in second place and Mike Besse, Gary, in first place. In TAB, Keaton Sumner, Terre Haute, won third place with Josh Ribar, Gary, in second place and Tom Rizzi, Indianapolis, taking home first place.

The Northwest Apprentice Contest, which held its first contest last year after years of absence, brought in 36 contestants from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska to the newly renovated Western Washington Sheet Metal Training Center in Dupont, located about an hour south of Seattle. There, instead of years, contestants competed in specialty categories including HVAC, industrial/welding, architectural and service.

The winners were, in the HVAC category, William Hayes, third place, Local 103; Mark Barnes, second place, Local 55 (Spokane); and Wayne Petty, first place, Local 66 (Everett). In the industrial/welding category, Josh Baird from Local 55 (Spokane) took home third place while Eric Westfall from Local 55 (Boise) was awarded second place and Brook Swingley from Local 103 won first place.

In the architectural category, Randall Pearson from Local 55 (Tri-Cities) earned third place with Justin Kuykendell from Local 16 won second and David Turner from Local 55 (Spokane) took home first place. In the service category, winners included Derek Dillard, third place, Local 66 (DuPont); Eugene Kenney, second place, Local 55 (Spokane); and John Sauers, first place, Local 66 (DuPont).

If your local has a contest planned for this fall or next spring, please let the ITI know about it. Information can be sent to Mike Harris at mharris@sheetmetal-iti.org.





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