Southeast area apprentice contestants include, first row, l. to r.: Brian Coln, Local 263; Christopher Carpenter, Local 667 (runner-up); Herschel Brown, Local 26; Brent Sexton, Local 105; and Asbury Waltz IV, Local 687. Back row, l. to r.: David Tidwell, Local 108; William Dietsch, Local 40 (winner); Jason Abeln, Local 83; Zachary Sisk, Local 455; and Richard Walker, Local 453.
Local 40 places first for third consecutive year
FOR THE THIRD year in a row, a Local 40 (Elizabethtown, Ky.) member has won the Paul D. Wedge Memorial Award for the Outstanding Graduate Apprentice of the Southeast Area. William Dietsch took the top honor at the competition, which was held July 28-31 at Local 433 in Tampa, Fla. Christopher Carpenter of Local 667 (Charleston, W.Va.) was the runner-up.
Winning the 40th annual event entitled the two men to compete in the national contest Sept. 21-25 in Kansas City, Kan.
Other graduate apprentices competing in the Southeast Area contest included Brian Coln, Local 263 (Memphis, Tenn.); Herschel Brown, Local 26 (Savannah, Ga.); Brent Sexton, Local 105 (Chillicothe, Ohio); Asbury Waltz IV, Local 687 (Charleston Heights, S.C.); David Tidwell, Local 108 (Birmingham, Ala.); Jason Abeln, Local 83 (Kansas City, Mo.); Zachary Sisk, Local 455 (Sheffield, Ala.); and Richard Walker, Local 453 (Knoxville, Tenn.).
Union judges for the contest were Intl. Rep William “Dusty” Garmon and retired Intl. Reps Barry Edwards, William Elrod, Gene Lofley, and Louis Novak. Contractor judges included Chuck Harvey, B&W Const.; Randall James, M&D Const.; Kelly Lykins, Ennerfab; Jeff Sutherland, AP Com Power; and Scott Szeghi, Ennerfab. SAJAC Coordinator Mike McCluskey served as the testing coordinator.
Mike Peterson, SAJAC Director, said this was the fifth year in a row that the welding segment of the competition did not affect the overall outcome. Every contestant did well on the test. He added, “We want to thank the members of Local Lodge 433 and Business Manager James Barnes for hosting the competition and a dinner for the participants. And we’d like to thank H&S Tool and F&M Mafco for once again loaning the equipment used in the competition. Their support is vital to our program.”