Properties Magazine May 2017 : Page 65

Plumbing & HVAC Systems Tradition of Competition Plumbers, pipefitters face off at 15th annual UA State of Ohio Apprenticeship Contest By Thomas Wanner Mechanical and Plumbing Industry Council F orty-five of the best pipefitter, plumber and sprinkler fitter apprentices in Ohio competed recently in Columbus for the Best in Category. They came from 13 United Association local unions across the State of Ohio and competed in five different categories: Pipefitter, Plumber, Sprinkler Fitter, HVAC Service Tech and Welder. All candidates have been involved in a five-year State Certified Apprenticeship Program. The training includes on-the-job training in the field for which they are paid a wage and benefits; and class-room training, involving theory behind the craft as well as math and other subjects to help the apprentices become well-rounded employees. The apprentices are supervised by a joint committee of local UA union officials, and contractors from the Mechanical Contractors Association (MCA). The committee is called the Joint Apprentice and Training Committee (JATC) and it is respon-sible for setting policies, developing a curriculum, employing a training direc-tor, hiring and supervising instructors, monitoring the apprentices’ progress, disciplining apprentices and enforcing the State Approved Standards. “These are great career paths for young people because the jobs are in high demand with lifelong opportuni-ties as well as good pay and excellent benefits,” says Training Director Jason Shank. “Once these apprentice graduate and become journeymen, their cards allow them to work any-where in the country, so the options are limitless.” Of five representatives from Pipefitters Local 120 and Plumbers Local 55, rep-resenting Cleveland, one candidate placed in the contest: Ryan Covell, of Dunbar Mechanical, who took second place in the welding contest out of 10 total welders from across Ohio UA/ MCA training centers. The UA State of Ohio Apprenticeship Contest was not just fun and games. TESTING SKILLS Separated into five categories, including Pipefitter, Plumber, Sprinkler Fitter, HVAC Service Tech and Welder, 45 top apprentices from 13 UA local unions gathered to compete in a statewide contest in Columbus recently. It was strenuous work with tasks that could take three days to complete. All of the hard work and stress came to an end with a final banquet and awards ceremony at the event’s end at which winners were announced. P Thomas Wanner is executive director of Mechanical and Plumbing Industry Council (MAPIC). MAPIC is composed of the Mechanical Contractors’ Association of Cleveland (MCA); the Cleveland Plumbing Contractors’ Association, Inc. (CPCA); the Certified Pipe Welding Bureau of Cleveland, Inc. (CPWB); and the Mechanical Service Contractors Association (MSCA). 65 Photo courtesy of MAPIC

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