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Construction, craft apprentices graduate from training program

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Fifty proud apprentices and craft trainees, surrounded by family and friends, celebrated the culmination of many years of hard work at their June graduation from the Associated Builders and Contractors Apprenticeship Training program.

Graduates have successfully completed a state and federally approved apprenticeship program or craft training program, mastering skills to work as professionals in crafts such as plumbing and pipefitting, electrical, electronic systems and sheet metal. Their course of study includes up to four years of classroom and hands-on lab training, plus thousands of on-the-job hours of practical field experience with San Diego area contractors.

Special awards recognizing exceptional achievements were presented to the following students.

Electrical apprentices celebrate at their graduation ceremony in June. Photo by Gayle Lynn Falkenthal

The 2015 Outstanding Graduates of the Year are: David Doyle, employed by Bergelectric; Andre Sannmann, employed by Laser Electric; and Aaron Travis, employed by Rowan Electric. All have achieved straight-A averages and no absences during their entire four years in the ABC Apprenticeship Training Program.

This year’s Academic Achievement Graduates with straight-A averages and minimum absences are: Bryan M. Metros, Reina M. Montoya and Kevin Sugimoto, electrical apprentices all employed by Bergelectric; Daniel R. Siordia, Rowan Electric electrical trainee; and Tyler J. Vesterby, plumbing apprentice with Advanced Plumbing.

Five graduates achieved perfect attendance without a single absence from classroom training in their four-year apprenticeship program: Brian T. Dellosa, electrical apprentice, Laser Electric; Jesus E. Gomez, electrical apprentice, Bergelectric; Steven A. Hopwood, electrical apprentice, Rowan Electric; Miguel K. Lanswick, Helfers Electric; and Bradley S. Meyer, plumbing apprentice, Countywide Mechanical.

The 2015 Instructor of the Year is Al Riso, plumbing instructor. Selection is based on student evaluations and overall performance.

All graduates earned college credits through the San Diego Community College District, which can be applied toward an associate of science degree.

“This program is rigorous for a reason,” said William Smyth, ABC Apprenticeship Training Trust chairman. “Construction work relies on highly skilled craftspeople to safely and successfully build our homes, workplaces, businesses and leisure facilities. They must know not only the technical skills, but also be able to read and follow complex directions and codes, perform high-level calculations, be able to use high-tech tools and computers on the job, and work together in large teams.”

“Our graduates are well prepared for the workplace when they graduate. For four years they spend a full day on the job and then spend additional nights in the classroom, week in and week out,” said Sherry Yarbrough, ABC Apprenticeship Training Trust executive director. “Many also have families and other obligations, like we all do. Without the family support, it would be even tougher to finish this program. Graduation is a celebration for our students, but it is also to thank the family and friends who saw them through it all.”

In 1970, 30 percent of the nation's construction was performed merit shop and six of the top 400 construction firms were ABC members. Today, merit shops accounts for more than 80 percent of all construction across the country, and ABC's membership has grown to include more than half of the top 400 construction companies in the United States.

ABC San Diego’s program has been awarded Accredited Training Sponsor Status from the National Center for Construction Education and Research, assuring all its members of nationally recognized training for their craft professionals. NCCER is a nonprofit education foundation created to develop standardized construction, maintenance, and pipeline curricula with portable credentials, and helps address the critical skilled workforce shortage. NCCER is affiliated with the University of Florida's M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction.

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