Editors Blog

The World Series of the Crafts

August 25, 2011
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
Last week I got the chance to sneak out of the office for a few hours to visit and report on the 2011 UA Apprentice Competition. Held in Ann Arbor, Mich., it is an intense contest designed to test the skills of UA apprentices.

I was told by Pete Marzec, the chair of the competition, that it’s essentially the World Series of the crafts. The contestants at the finals have had to win their way through local, state, and regional competitions to make it to the finals in Ann Arbor. The finalists represent five U.S. regions and Canada, and they come to compete in their respective craft: plumbing, pipefitting, HVAC service, steamfitting, or sprinklerfitting. It’s easy to figure out who’s who by what they’re wearing: contestants wear denim shirts, judges wear yellow polos, and last year’s winners wear red polos.

One of the guys walking around in a red polo was Kyle Cunningham of Oakland, Calif. Cunningham was the overall winner in HVAC service last year, and he was excited to come again this year as a mentor to the current contestants. He said that winning the competition had opened up new opportunities for him, and he is now training to become a UA instructor.

Not only was I impressed by Cunningham, I was also impressed by the determination and focus of this year’s contestants. Since I got there during the final hours of the hands-on portion of the competition, I didn’t dare interrupt them for interviews, but I could see how hard they were working. And despite the pressure they were under, they were still very courteous.

My favorite sidelight were the small, quiet cheering sections of wives and girlfriends, who had obviously been sitting and watching for hours as their significant others competed in their craft. When’s the last time your better half came to cheer you on as you serviced a split system?

Of course, it was also nice to see all of the industry support for the contest, as evidenced by the generous sponsorship and donations of companies like Carrier, Ridgid, Appion, Victaulic, and many others. It’s good to see the industry recognize and support the young talent coming in to the industry.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2014 Energy Efficiency Forum

Highlights from the 25th annual Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington, D.C.


NEWSMakers: John Missell

John Missell, vice president and COO of Spectrum Design, joins the program to discuss how his company has utilized geothermal technologies, and we examine the future of renewable energy resources. Posted on Aug. 15.

More Podcasts


NEWS 08-18-14 cover

2014 August 18

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Prohibiting HFCs

EPA is proposing a rule that would prohibit some HFCs in select refrigeration applications. Do you agree with this move?
View Results Poll Archive


2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con