May 17, 2012
Contact: Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR
(619) 997-2495 or Email Gayle
ABC San Diego Apprentice Medals at National Competition
Jason McElveny wins bronze in Sheet Metal title at 2012 ABC National Craft Championships
(San Diego) – Continuing a winning tradition, Associated Builders and Contractors of San Diego boasts a new national construction craft champion for 2012.
Jason McElveny, sheet metal apprentice employed by West Coast Air Conditioning, competed at the ABC National Craft Championships, held at the ABC Education Conference & Expo in San Antonio, Texas. This prestigious competition brings together the top apprentices and trainees in the country who vie to be named “number one” in each of thirteen trades.
McElveny faced off among national finalists from local, regional and state competitions around the country after winning ABC San Diego’s local competition in December. McElveny won a bronze medal, making him the 12th national medalist to date from San Diego.
Also competing in the event and representing their crafts were electrician apprentice Jorge Sevilla, employed and sponsored by Bergelectric; and plumbing craft trainee Chris Fields, employed and sponsored by Pacific Rim Mechanical.
After winning their local titles and the right to represent ABC San Diego in December, competitors spent several weeks honing their skills at the ABC Apprenticeship Training Trust facility in Poway and at their employers’ shops.
Sherry Yarbrough, ABC Apprenticeship Training Trust Executive Director, traveled to the competition in San Antonio along with several employer representatives to support McElveny, Fields, and Sevilla. “We take great pride in the level of skill our apprentices attain. Our San Diego competitors demonstrate the kind of high quality work that comes from the combination of our merit shop apprenticeship training program and their excellent work ethic,” said Yarbrough.
The San Diego ABC Apprenticeship Program has a long tradition of national winners having won 12 medals in the last 11 years of competition. It is the second year in a row that a competitor has won in the Sheet Metal category. Richard Raynor of Pacific Rim Mechanical won the Gold Medal in 2011.
A conference highlight, the ABC National Craft Championships event started in 1987 as a way to recognize the high quality of craft training in construction careers. The competition emphasizes the important role craft skills training plays in construction, by evaluating contestants’ knowledge of their craft as well as their skill and talent. Seasoned apprentices and craft trainees from around the country compete toe-to-toe to determine the top three craftpersons in each trade.
To compete in the national event, contestants must first successfully complete hundreds of hours of classroom training and thousands of hours of practical field experience to be eligible for preliminary local competitions.
The first part of the competition features a written test of the competitor’s technical and theoretical knowledge. On day two, apprentices and craft trainees are assigned their workspaces, and given the plans, tools and materials they need to build professional projects. Judges observe and inspect the ongoing work being performed. When time is called, the judges move in for the final inspection. All of this takes place before a live audience. The results are announced in award ceremonies the following day.
“These guys underestimate the amount of pressure on them from the time limitations and having an audience watching their every move,” said Yarbrough “We add to it with our high expectations. Our champions performed well and bringing home a medal is a huge accomplishment for our program.”
“The exceptional level of skill that contractors have come to expect from ABC Apprenticeship Training program graduates is also what makes them so successful in this competition year after year,” noted Yarbrough.
About ABC San Diego
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national trade association representing 22,000 members from more than 19,000 construction and industry-related firms. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work. The San Diego Chapter of ABC represents construction and construction-related firms throughout San Diego County. To find out more about ABCSD, visit, www.abcsd.org.