National apprenticeship competition begins

Joshua Breedlove, L-69 (Little Rock, Ark.) goes to work in the arc gouging exercise.

Eight contestants test at L-169

DEARBORN, MI, Sept. 24, 2012 – Eight graduate apprentices who placed first or second in their area apprenticeship competitions earlier this year began competing for national honors at Local 169 facilities yesterday.

Candidates took extensive written tests Sept. 23 and today began their practical tests, including reeving, ropes, and knots, arc gouging and safety, and tool identification and CPR.

Over the following two days, contestants will continue their practical tests with exercises in rigging and hand signals, welding and burning, and boiler tube rolling and layout.

Results of the competition will be announced Thursday, Sept. 27, during a banquet at the Hyatt Regency Dearborn hotel.

Contestants include, from the Great Lakes Area, Blaine Coulter, Local 169 (Detroit), and Timothy Keck, Local 85 (Toledo, Ohio); from the Northeast Area, Daniel Spencer, Local 7 (Buffalo, N.Y.), and Brian Cook, Local 5 Zone 197 (Albany, N.Y.); from the Southeast Area, Jerry Gifford, Local 40 (Elizabethtown, Ky.) and Joshua Breedlove, Local 69 (Little Rock, Ark.); and from the Western States Area, John Bowman, Local 242 (Spokane, Wash.), and Patrick McCoy, Local 500 (Portland, Ore.).

Full competition results and additional photos will be published following completion of the event.