CAROL STREAM, Ill. - Three students of Sheet Metal Workers Local 265 in Carol Stream, Ill., won first place honors at the 35th Annual International Apprenticeship Contest held in Indianapolis, March 20 to 23. 

Justin Gotsch, 24, of Hinkley, Ill., who works for Wiesbrook Sheet Metal in Plainfield, Ill, is a 5th year HVAC Service Apprentice. He competed in the Service competition.

Brian Dahlman, 24, of New Lenox, Ill., is a 5th year Sheet Metal Apprentice and works for Dahlman Sheet Metal in Frankfort, Ill. He competed in Industrial/Welding.

David Wille, 25, of Harvard, Ill., works for Metalmaster/Roofmaster in McHenry, Ill, and is a 3rd year Sheet Metal Apprentice who competed in Architectural Sheet Metal.

Sheet Metal Workers Local 265 in Carol Stream serves apprentices and journeymen from the entire northern Illinois area surrounding Lake and Cook counties. Apprentices at the school undergo a five-year training program before becoming journeymen sheet metal workers or HVAC service technicians.

Currently, there are about 325 students at the school, which also offers training in safety, blueprint reading, residential installation of furnaces and air conditioners, AutoCAD drawing, sheet metal layout and fabrication, and commercial heating, air conditioning, and ventilation.

“We’re extremely proud to have three first place winners out of more than 13,000 total apprentices in the international association,” said Joe Remes, director of training at Local 265.  “The success of our students at this contest is due to the emphasis on the importance of training by our local members and contractors.”

Every year students compete for local, then regional honors. This year’s regional contest was held in Portage, Ind.

Winners of the regional contest go on to compete at the international contest sponsored by the International Training Institute in Alexandria, Va. This is the first time in the 35-year history of the international contest that three students from one local have won first place.

“The students and instructors worked really hard preparing for the competition, and the results show,” said Remes. 

Further information about the union and its apprentice programs can be obtained by calling 630-668-0110 or visiting

Publication date:06/11/2007