FAIRFAX, Va. The list of past inductees into the Testing Adjusting and Balancing Bureau (TABB) Hall of Fame read like a list of mentors to Pat Pico, the 2018 inductee. Jack Webster (2004) taught him how to maintain his grace in the industry; Tim Perry (2006) taught him TAB in his fifth year of the apprenticeship; Vince Del Vecchio (2009) showed him how to be tenacious; and Mary Coffee (2010) to never give up no matter how hard things get.

“Those are the people who shaped the TAB person I am,” Pico said. “All of them have professional class and give up their time for people who are coming up the line.”

In reality, passing on information to the next generation is something Pico has been doing since he began his apprenticeship in 1989. A computer science major at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Pico followed in his father’s footsteps when money for college ran out. When he learned testing, adjusting and balancing, all the things he liked about computer science — math, problem solving and recalling formulas — brought his career into focus.

“I figured I wouldn’t do what my dad did, but I went and looked into it and decided it was a good career,” he said. “All the math really suited my personality. That’s the good thing about sheet metal — there is always something to fit your personality and skills.”

Once Pico graduated in 1995, he taught beginning computer classes at Local 104, his home local. Two years later, he became the training coordinator, a position he held for nearly a decade. At that time, he went back into the field and, like his dad, opened his own company, Advantage Construction Services. The economic downturn a few years later got the better of it, and Pico started teaching again, working as a full-time instructor at Local 104 and helping the ITI to certify TAB labs, judges and proctors across the country. During that time he also assisted in the creation of ITI’s Mechanical Acceptance Test Technician curricula and trained proctors in the TAB certification process as well as helped prepare tests for the new TAB labs.

A subject matter expert, Pico also was instrumental in the two-year process of updating the TAB curriculum with the ITI.

“I forgot how much I enjoyed the teaching part of it,” Pico said.

With the new distinction of 2018 TABB Hall of Fame inductee, Pico can continue to pass information on to those just discovering a career he loves.

He said, “Now, it’s my role to pass on information to the next generation.”

Publication date: 6/27/2018

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