Vanmeter, Knox win SE contest

Southeast Area apprentice contestants include, l. to r.: Guy Bing II, L-105; Ricky Ashworth, L-587; Shawn McDaniel, L-30; Joshua Holdway, L-453; Macklin Rogers, L-454; (runner-up) Christopher Knox, L-83; Phillip Terry, L-108; Michael Tidwell, L-455; Michael Bryan II, L-667; (winner) William Vanmeter, L-40; and Rickey Wooley Jr., L-110.

Local 40 takes top spot for second year in a row

FOR THE SECOND 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 Vanmeter took the top honor at the competition, which was held July 16-20 at the Southeast Area Joint Apprentice Committee (SAJAC) training center in La Marque, Texas. Christopher Knox of Local 83 (Kansas City, Mo.) was the runner-up.

Winning the 39th annual event entitled the two men to compete in the national contest Sept. 23-27 in Kansas City, Kan. Knox went on to win the national competition, with Vanmeter placing second. The two men also took the Boilermakers National Apprenticeship Area Team Award.

Other graduate apprentices competing in the Southeast Area contest included Shawn McDaniel, L-30 (Greensboro, N.C.); Guy Bing II, L-105 (Chillicothe, Ohio); Phillip Terry, L-108 (Birmingham, Ala.); Rickey Wooley Jr., L-110 (Hattiesburg, Miss.); Joshua Holdway, L-453 (Knoxville, Tenn.); Macklin Rogers, L-454 (Chattanooga, Tenn.); Michael Tidwell, L-455 (Sheffield, Ala.); Ricky Ashworth, L-587 (Orange, Texas); and Michael Bryan II, L-667 (Charleston, W.Va.).

Union judges for the contest included Intl. Rep Stephen Speed, AIP Mark Vandiver, and retired Intl. Reps William Elrod, Barry Edwards, and Louis Novak. Contractor judges included Randall James, B&W Construction; Kelly Lykens, Enerfab; Jeff Sutherland, APCom Power; Scott Szeghi, Enerfab; and Hank Varnum, Central Maintenance and Repair.

SAJAC Coordinator Mike McCluskey served as the testing coordinator. Testing assistants included SAJAC instructors Laura Bell, Eugene Garcia, and Roger Simek, all members of Local 132 (Galveston, Texas).

Mike Peterson, SAJAC Director, noted: “This year’s competition was the first ever hosted by us, SAJAC, at a training center we built, own, and operate.” Peterson wishes to thank Local 132 BM-ST Mark Thompson and the members of the lodge for hosting a dinner for the SAJAC meeting attendees and the Wedge competition candidates and judges July 17. He also extends his thanks to Ron Keck, Lone Star District BM-ES, and the Lone Star District for hosting a dinner July 18.

The 2008 competition will be held in Tampa, Fla.