LAS VEGAS - More than 325 sheet metal apprentices from the United States and Canada headed to Las Vegas for the Annual International Sheet Metal Competition hosted by the International Training Institute (ITI). Five apprentices from four Sheet Metal Local Joint Apprenticeship Centers around the United States took top honors in the five sheet metal disciplines.

Michael Collins, an apprentice from Sheet Metal Local #17 in Boston won first prize in the HVAC category.

Two apprentices from Missouri took home first place finishes as well; Ryan Burton, an apprentice from Sheet Metal Local #2 in Kansas City won in the industrial/welding category and Dustin Walker, an apprentice from Sheet Metal Local #36 in St. Louis, won in the service category.

Washington state was also represented by two first-place finishes, both from Sheet Metal Local #66 out of Tacoma, Wash. Casey Wilson-Williams won top honors in the TAB (testing, adjusting and balancing in heating and air conditioning) category, and Lee Posey, an apprentice from nearby Gig Harbor, Wash. won in the architectural discipline.

Each competition consisted of a written test, sketching projects, a shop project, and a blueprint reading test.

“The competition is challenging because those who make it in are the United States’ and Canada’s top apprentices,” said James Shoulders, executive administrator for ITI. “These men and women are dedicated to perfecting their craft.”

ITI is jointly sponsored by Sheet Metal Worker’s International Association (SMWIA) and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA). ITI offers apprenticeship and advanced career training for union workers in the sheet metal industry throughout the United States and Canada.

For more information about the contest or ITI, visit

Publication date:03/29/2010