Apprentice from Philadelphia training center places third in competition
LAS VEGAS – As winners in six categories gathered for a group photo at the International Sheet Metal Competition in Las Vegas March 9, Jennifer Lohr from New Jersey stood out. It wasn’t her red dress or the fact she placed third in the Testing and Balancing category. Out of everyone, Lohr was the only woman to place in the apprentice competition.
Lohr, 30, a former pre-school teacher, followed her family tradition into the labor trades – her father is a steam fitter and her sister recently became a journeyman in the sheet metal industry. Last year, she placed fifth in her category and finished her final year this year in the apprentice competition a satisfying third. More studying and experience made the difference, she said.
“Now, you go back to work, you work harder for more certifications and you keep pushing forward in the industry,” Lohr added.
More than 275 sheet metal apprentices and their families from the United States and Canada ventured to Las Vegas March 6-10 for the Annual International Sheet Metal Competition hosted by the International Training Institute (ITI) for the sheet metal and air conditioning industry.
Five apprentices from Sheet Metal Local Joint Apprenticeship Training Centers around the United States took top honors in the five sheet metal disciplines open to apprentices only: HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning), industrial/welding, service, architectural and TAB (Test Adjust Balance in heating and air conditioning). A journeyman from Wisconsin won first place in the detailing category, the only category open to apprentices and journeymen.
Aside from detailing, each category consisted of a written test, sketching projects, a shop project and a blueprint reading test.
More than 15,000 apprentices are registered at training facilities in the United States and Canada. The International Training Institute (best known as ITI) is jointly sponsored by Sheet Metal Worker’s International Association (SMWIA) 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 industry throughout the United States and Canada. Located in Alexandria, Va., ITI 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, visit www.sheetmetal-iti.org or call 703-739-7200.