INDIANAPOLIS, IN — The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors — National Association’s (PHCC) Educational Foundation has announced the winners of the national plumbing and HVAC apprentice contests. The contests were held October 2nd & 3rd in Indianapolis, Indiana on the tradeshow floor during the PHCC—National Association’s CONNECT 2019 event. A total of nineteen plumbing and ten HVAC apprentices from across the nation took part in the contests.
Plumbing Apprentice Contest Winners
- 1st Place: Christopher Redfern, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 553 in Staunton, Ill., Sponsored by RIDGID.
- 2nd Place: Mark Morcos, Eastwick College of HoHoKus Trade School in Bushkill, Pa., Sponsored by Tyler Pipe.
- 3rd Place: Carter M. Hagen, UA, Local 25 in Davenport, IA, Sponsored by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO).
HVAC Apprentice Contest Winners
- 1st Place: Kyle Robert Dennis, Pipefitters Local 539/Yale Mechanical in Saint Francis, Minn., Sponsored by the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).
- 2nd Place: Nicholas S. Cruz, UA Local 393/Pacific Coast Trane in San Jose, Calif., Sponsored by Emerson.
- 3rd Place: David Wark, Lee Company in Pulaski, Tenn., Sponsored by Rheem.
The HVAC competitors were required to complete a written test, demonstrate proper brazing techniques and perform a hands-on diagnostic on an HVAC package unit, with system errors created by the Foundation’s contractor volunteers for the competition. The competitors also had to perform a pressure and leak test, demonstrate proper refrigerant recovery procedures and the ability to accurately take a variety of instrument readings.
The plumbing apprentices were required rough-in a bathroom system. The set-up includes a toilet, sink and shower, complete with supply, waste and vent lines, plus cleanouts and extra features designed to test the contestants’ knowledge and skills. The test set-up includes a variety of pipe materials – cast iron, copper, PVC and PEX, and corresponding joining methods.
A dedicated team of contractor volunteers arrived two days before the competitions to assemble the competitor test benches, distribute the materials and supplies and setup the testing areas. They monitor the competitions, evaluate the apprentices’ work and provide constructive feedback on each competitor’s performance following the event.
The contests are made possible by the generous support of several industry sponsors who provide monetary support and in-kind material and tool donations. Sponsors for the 2019 competition include, with headline sponsors appearing in bold: AB&I Foundry; AHRI; A.O. Smith; Bradford White Corp.; BrassCraft Manufacturing Co.; Chemours, Copper Development Association, Inc.; Delta Faucet Co.; Emerson; IAPMO, Kohler Company; Mechanical Hub Media; Milwaukee Tool; North American Technician Excellence (NATE); NIBCO INC.; Oatey; PHCC-National Auxiliary, Reed Manufacturing Co.; Rheem; RIDGID; State Water Heaters; Tyler Pipe & Coupling; Viega, LLC; and Zoeller Pump Company
Milwaukee Tool made a major contribution to the Apprentice Contests this year by donating most of the tools needed by the contestants for the competition. This gift allowed the competitors to skip the trouble of shipping their own tools and to go home with a new set of tools to power their work long after the competition ends.
“I’m proud that we can present this opportunity for the apprentices to show off their skills,” reports Foundation Chair Craig Lewis. “The contests give these participants a chance to get away from home, be a part of a national event and see that how much support all of us in the industry are putting behind their success. It can be the experience of a lifetime. I am so thankful for the sponsors and the hard work put in by our volunteer committee members and staff in pulling it all together in a new exhibit hall every year.”