Top 12 detailers from around the country compete for grand prize

Sheet metal detailers vie for new truck during international competition in March

LAS VEGASThe International Training Institute (ITI) recently announced 12 of the nation’s top detailers were selected to participate in the newly added detailing category at the Annual International Sheet Metal Competition March 6-10 in Las Vegas.

The detailing category, which allows certified apprentices and journeymen to compete for a new pickup truck, is new to the annual competition. This is the first year journeymen are allowed to compete in the annual competition; the detailer category is the only category in which journeymen will be allowed to take part.

Clyde Fujimoto, a project manager and detailer at Air Center, Inc. in Hawaii, is one of 12 of the nation’s top detailers participating in the competition.

“Talk about opportunities,” he said. “This is one of the most significant opportunities in my sheet metal career.”

The winner of the detailing category will drive away from Las Vegas in a fully loaded Dodge pickup truck provided by Towbin Dodge of Las Vegas.

Each of the 12 detailers is from a different state from across the nation, including Hawaii. They are Dan Beyersdorf, Saginaw, Mich.; Charles Dario, Howell, New Jersey; Steve Datwyler, Las Vegas; David Dias, San Ramon, Calif.; Jaymes Fleming, Woodinville, Wash.; Clyde Fujimoto, Honolulu; Randy Girard, Madison, Wis.; Joey Hovarter, Moore, Okla.; Ryan Israel, Kansas City, Mo.; Josh Menz, Rochester, N.Y.; Charles Wolff, San Antonio; and Jason Yager, Chicago.

“I have been drawing for almost 40 years, and to be a part of this contest experience is the highlight of my career,” said Dario, a CAD and drafting instructor with Sheet Metal Workers Local #27 and a sketcher for Thomas Sheet Metal in New Jersey. “The qualifying round was a bit more difficult than I expected. It was, however, not too far removed from the day-to-day type of scenario we are all accustomed to on the job.”

Hovarter, a draftsman at Matherly Mechanical Contractors LLC in Oklahoma, is a second-generation sheet metal worker and also shares the excitement with his uncle, who is also in the trade.

“Competition is a cool thing, and it’s the first time for a detailing competition, so being a part of it is a good thing,” he said. “I feel good being in the top 12. That was my only goal. I’m sure there will be some tough competition in the final.”

For some, being in the top 12 brings recognition they don’t receive often and a chance to show everyone, including their families, what they can do.

“For all the time we spend doing this stuff and doing what we do, to be recognized is amazing,” said Girard, an instructor for Sheet Metal Workers Local #18 and CAD coordinator for Illingsworth-Kilgust Mechanical in Wisconsin. “I look forward to meeting the other 11 detailers in March. It’s going to be a different competition than all of us are used to as apprentices. It’s a second chance to come back and show everyone what we can do.”

Wolff, a project manager and detailer for L.C. Mosel/M&M Metals in San Antonio, is sharing his experience with his whole family.

“My kids are also very excited about this, and I hope they will learn that you can achieve things in life if you work for them and apply yourself,” he said.

The competition will take place at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino – located at 3700 W. Flamingo Road – as well as at the Sheet Metal Local #88’s Joint Apprenticeship Training Center – located in Las Vegas at 2540 Marco Street.

In addition to the detailing category open to apprentices and journeymen, apprentices will compete in five sheet metal disciplines including HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning), industrial/welding, service, architectural and TAB (Test Adjust Balance in heating and air conditioning).

Hosted by the ITI, the contest will take place Monday and Tuesday, March 7 and 8, with the awards banquet Wednesday, March 9.

More than 15,000 apprentices are registered at training facilities in the United States and Canada. The 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 the contest or ITI, visit www.sheetmetal-iti.org or call 703-739-7200.

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