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Competition celebrates, honors importance of craft training

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The ABC Craft Championships program was developed in 1987 to help celebrate and recognize craft training in construction careers. The distinguished competition emphasizes the important role craft skills training plays in construction, by evaluating contestants' knowledge of their craft as well as their skill and talent.

Each year the San Diego Chapter holds a local Craft Championship competition (pictured here), selecting the best and brightest apprentices from the ABC San Diego Training Academy to send to the national competition, to compete against skilled apprentices and craft trainees from around the country in a toe-to-toe race. The competition determines the top three craftpersons in each trade nationwide.

For the last two years, all San Diego contestants have returned home with either Gold, Silver or Bronze medals - competing against dozens of other seasoned apprentices from around the country - and earning the highest recognition possible for their knowledge and skills in their respective trades.

"It's a tremendous feeling to watch ABC San Diego apprentices and craft trainees take top honors at the national competition," said an elated Sherry Yarbrough, executive director of ABC San Diego Apprenticeship Training Trust. "And to have that experience two years in a row is nothing short of exhilarating! We're so proud of our students. Their accomplishments are a true testament to the caliber and quality of all ABC San Diego apprentices and trainees, teachers and sponsoring ABC employers."

Third year craft trainee, Jefferson Arns, Pacific Rim Mechanical Contractors, took the Silver Medal in the National Craft Champions, competing against dozens of other third- and fourth-year plumbing apprentices from around the country. San Diego has won the Silver Medal in plumbing two years in a row.

After winning the local Craft Championship competition, Bergelectric apprentice Chris Villano won the Bronze Medal at the National Craft Championships in Orlando, Fla., earlier this year. He followed in the footsteps of another San Diego Bergelectric apprentice, Donald Wagner, who won the Gold Medal in electrical in 2004.

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