June 18, 2012
Contact: Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR
(619) 997-2495 or Email Gayle
Skilled Craftworkers Graduate from ABC Apprenticeship Program
ABC trained apprentices and journeymen employed at businesses throughout San Diego County
(San Diego) -- Years of dedication and hard work have paid off for apprentices and craft trainees who graduated June 15 from the Associated Builders and Contractors Apprenticeship Training program.
Fifty-five students from the San Diego region have completed a skilled trades apprenticeship and craft training program in crafts such as plumbing and pipefitting, electrical, electronic systems technician and sheet metal. Their course of study included up to four years of classroom training and thousands of hours of practical field experience.
Electrical trainee Frederic Sannmann of Ocean Beach was named the Outstanding Graduate of the Class of 2012 for overall performance and achievement. Sannmann works for Laser Electric. He achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA with all A grades, and zero absences.
This year’s Honor Graduates are Richard Raynor of Santee, with Pacific Rim Mechanical; and Andres Meza of Chula Vista, from Alpha Mechanical. Both are sheet metal apprentices. Raynor was the National Gold Medalist at the ABC National Craft Championships in 2011 in sheet metal. Shawn Hudson of Alpine, electrical trainee from Rowan Electric, was also named an Honor Graduate.
Graduates with perfect attendance throughout their apprenticeship training are sheet metal apprentice Fernando Gomez of Imperial Beach with Pacific Rim Mechanical; plumbing apprentice Craig Pierson of Poway with R.J. Lanthier; and plumbing apprentice Raymond Rall of Temecula with Pacific Rim Mechanical.
Sheet metal instructor Dale Kilgore was named the Instructor of the Year.
See the graduation photo album on ABCSD's Facebook page.
Thanks to a unique partnership between ABC and the San Diego Community College District, all of the graduates also earned significant credit toward an Associate of Science degree through supplemental classroom instruction specific to their hands-on training programs in the various construction trades. Completion of remaining general education courses plus electives allows apprentices to graduate with their Associate’s degree at the same time they earn their apprenticeship certificates.
“With the economic slowdown, it is more important than ever to be competitive for the remaining job openings in our industry,” said ABC Apprenticeship Training Trust Chairman Matt Harbin. “Our training programs must stay current to meet and exceed the high industry standards today that employers want from their skilled work force. We’re proud of our students and their accomplishments.”
“We know that the bar gets set higher and higher every year. Even if we have turned out quality professionals in the past, we have to prove ourselves every year,” said ABC Apprenticeship Training Trust Executive Director Sherry Yarbrough. “No matter what we ask of our students, they never disappoint us. We are extremely proud of their accomplishments.”
Until the late 1970s, mechanical and electrical contractors were forced to join a union if they wanted to train their employees in a skilled trades apprenticeship program. A small but dedicated group of merit shop contractors founded ABC San Diego in 1976. The chapter’s first apprenticeship program standards were submitted to the state’s Department of Industrial Relations/Division of Apprenticeship Standards for approval several years later and ABC began training apprentice electricians. Plumbing and pipefitting programs were added, followed by the chapter’s sheet metal program. In 2005, the first class of Electronic Systems Technicians graduated. Since then, thousands of individuals have graduated from the ABC Apprenticeship Training Trust including this year’s graduates.
In 1970, 30 percent of the nation's construction was performed merit shop and six of the top 400 construction firms were ABC members. Today, merit shops accounts for more than 80 percent of all construction across the country, and ABC's membership has grown to include more than half of the top 400 construction companies in the United States.
ABC San Diego’s program has been awarded Accredited Training Sponsor Status from the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), assuring all its members of nationally recognized training for their craft professionals. NCCER is a nonprofit education foundation created to develop standardized construction, maintenance, and pipeline curricula with portable credentials and help address the critical skilled workforce shortage. NCCER is affiliated with the University of Florida's M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction.
About ABC San Diego
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national trade association representing 22,000 members from more than 19,000 construction and industry-related firms. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work. The San Diego Chapter of ABC represents construction and construction-related firms throughout San Diego County. To find out more about ABCSD, visit, www.abcsd.org.