L-169’s Nevedal wins 2015 graduate apprentice title

L-169’s Jonathon Nevedal accepts the first place award as top graduate apprentice for 2015 from BNAP National Coordinator Marty Spencer, left, and IVP Larry McManamon (Secretary, National Joint Apprenticeship Board).

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Runner-up spot goes to L-502’s Coulter; Great Lakes Section takes team honors

JONATHON NEVEDAL, A member of Detroit Local 169 (Great Lakes Area), won top honors in the 2015 National Apprenticeship Competition held at Local 456 (Rock Hill, S.C.) August 30 through September 3. A U.S. Navy veteran, Nevedal, joined the Boilermakers through the Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) program. He scored best overall in a field of eight select candidates from across the United States. It was the second time in three years that a Local 169 member who had joined the Boilermakers with assistance from H2H won the event. In 2013, U.S. Army veteran Christopher Opalewski was named top graduate apprentice.

The 2015 competition included a 10-hour-limit written exam and three days of practical exercises testing Boilermaker skills including tool identification and use; rigging; welding; arc gouging; tube rolling; burning; knots and reeving; and layout and fabrication. Judges scored contestants on safety as well as overall knowledge and demonstrated skills.

Casidhe Coulter, a member of Puyallup, Wash., Local 502 (Western States Area), was named runner-up. Team honors went to the Great Lakes Area, which paired Nevedal and Local 107 (Milwaukee, Wis.) member Trenton Styczynski.

Also competing were, from the Western States Area, Justin Faudree, Local 242 (Spokane, Wash.); from the Southeast Area, Anthony Hoggatt, Local 69 (Little Rock, Ark.), and Roger Smithhart, Local 263 (Memphis, Tenn.); and from the Northeast Area, Thomas Pelto, Local 29 (Boston) and Michael Mechling, Local 154 (Pittsburgh).

To reach the national competition, which is held under the auspices of the Boilermakers National Apprenticeship Program (BNAP), contestants had to finish in the winner or runner-up spot in their respective area competitions.

Judges for the event included, by area: Western States — Bert Martin (Western Combustion) and Oscar Davila (Local 92, Los Angeles); Great Lakes — Marty Mahon (Local 744, Cleveland); Southeast — Chuck Harvey (Babcock & Wilcox), Monte Causey (International Rep) and Steve Speed (IR-CSO/SAIP); Northeast — John Cammuso (Babcock Power, Inc.); and National Transient Division — George Deem (Fisher Tank Co.) and Shon Almond (International Rep).

Michael Stanton (Local 154, Pittsburgh) served as test administrator, and Shaun Estes (Key West Metals) served as assistant test administrator.

The candidates were recognized and awards were presented at a banquet held September 3 at the Hilton Center City in Charlotte, N.C. Presenters included Ken Wasilewski, BNAP Program Chairman; IVP Larry McManamon, BNAP Program Secretary; and Marty Spencer, BNAP Program Coordinator. Spencer also served as master of ceremonies.