Five Cianbro and five Starcon team members traveled to Birmingham, AL last week to compete at the 2013 National Craft Championships competition, held at the association’s 21st Century Workforce Development Conference, April 30 – May 3. A field of 137 craft trainees competed for top honors in 13 crafts. Competitors first took an intense, two-hour written exam and then competed in daylong hands-on practical performance tests in: carpentry, electrical-industrial, electrical-residential, fire sprinkler, HVAC, instrumentation fitting, insulation, millwright, pipefitting, plumbing, sheet metal, welding-pipe, and welding-structural.
Not only were Cianbro and Starcon well represented by team members who displayed professionalism and integrity, they also returned home with gold, silver, and bronze medals.
Shaun Gronda of NNE won the Gold in the Millwright competition. In Pipefitting, Nate Hall from NNE won a bronze medal. Shane Federico from NNE competed in the Industrial Electrical contest against more than a dozen other electricians. Brandon Hartford from NNE competed in the Pipefitter competition and had an excellent performance but unfortunately Brandon and Shane did not place. For Starcon, Shawn Wilson competed in the Structural Welding competition, Jeff Tressel competed in Insulating, Matt Maier and Charles Price took part in the Pipe Welding competition, and Mark Oxford entered the Pipefitting contest. Matt and Shawn came home with gold medals, and Mark earned a silver medal.
Cianbro Craft Training Manager Tony Ayotte also won national recognition at this year's ABC event for his outstanding work. Stay tuned for details of Tony's award.
Each competition is designed and run by a project manager from the industry. In order to compete, the contestants must be students or within six months of completing a training program. They cannot be classified as Journeymen Crafts Workers. Each contest consists of an in-depth written exam and a six hour practical exam. The contestants were given project specifications and the materials required to perform various tasks. They were judged upon craftsmanship, how well they understood and followed the specifications, safety, housekeeping, and accuracy. Time management was an enormous component of the contest. The scope of projects demands that the competitors read and interpret specs, select the proper material, and build a project which would normally be budgeted for more than six hours; all while being observed by hundreds of spectators.
The reward for the hard work came on Friday morning during the awards breakfast when all of the contestants were recognized for their effort and leadership in participating at the national competition. The winners were awarded medals by the CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors Greg Hoberock.
“This year’s winners truly were the best of the best," Greg said. "Displaying high-quality workmanship, technical knowledge and safe work practices, each of them helped prove that the future of the construction industry and ABC is bright. ABC is proud to recognize these winners as champions.”
ABC represents more than 23,000 merit shop companies throughout the U.S. and territories. The competitors who took part had each been selected by winning their state, local, or company-based contest. Each Cianbro team member who competed expressed appreciation for having the opportunity to compete and represent both Cianbro and Starcon in Birmingham.
"It was a pleasure to be part of such a highly skilled team of young craftsmen," said Starcon Vice President Reggie Williams. "What really put them over the top was the support they received from their wives and families, who stayed by them through all phases of the competition. These craftsmen represent a bright future for Starcon and Cianbro."
Brian Watson, Director of the Cianbro Institute, said, "Shaun and Nate have represented Cianbro as champions. Their performance at the National Craft Championships was world class and reflects the overall quality of the men and women who work in our crafts. Hats off to all the competitors at Cianbro and Starcon for a job well done."
Brett Richardson, Starcon's HSE Director, summed up the achievements this way: "This is yet another outstanding example of our team members creating opportunities to succeed. We are proud of their accomplishments and recognize the professionalism and hard work that each of them underwent to accomplish this achievement. We are excited about what the future holds for each one of these team members.”