Craft championship recognizes construction, safety skills

More than 100 competitors showed off their skills and construction knowledge at the National Craft Championships Feb. 25-29 in Honolulu.

Participants in the competition first had to qualify or win at a regional level, and then were allowed to compete during the national event. Participants completedA three-hour written exam covering trade and safety topics, and competed in “hands-on” building projects in their specific craft areas, including carpentry, electrical, fire sprinkler, HVAC, masonry, millwright, pipefitting, plumbing, sheet metal and welding.

“The Craft Championships competition is always one of the most inspiring events of the year for ABC,” said Carole Bionda, national chair of the Associated Builders and Contractors for 2004. “These young people are all champions, and they should be saluted for their commitment to excellence in their respective construction crafts. These craft championship competitors are the future of our industry, and we’re proud of them.”

The judges, who are specialty contractors and ABC members, took into account the participants’ scores on the exam, their expertise in their craft and their reliance on good safety practices and procedures. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were given to the top three scores in each craft.

Chad Fisher of Henry H. Lewis Contractors won the gold medal for carpentry, Donald Wagner of Bergelectric won gold for electrical, James Randall Smith of Georgia Piping and Fire Protection received the gold medal for the fire sprinkler specialty, Shawn McClain of ACI Mechanical won gold for HVAC, Zach Reinert of Nester Brothers received gold for masonry, Jaren Lanry of Harmony, LLC, won gold for millwright, Brian Patrick of Notch Mechanical Constructors received the gold for pipefitting, Thomas E. Snyder of Ace Brothers Plumbing and Heating won gold for plumping, Ryan Reuter of American Heating and Air Conditioning received gold for the sheet metal division and Sloan Monk of BE&K Construction won the gold medal for welding.

The competition, sponsored by ABC, was developed in 1987 to recognize craft training in construction careers. It takes place annually at the ABC national convention.