Competing for Gold in the Skilled Trades


Where can you find 175 participants competing for gold in 15 different competitions? Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) National Craft Championships in San Antonio, TX! Craft trainees and apprentices travel from across the country to compete, and we had three team members join them. In this two-day event, the 175 participants compete in one of the 12 craft areas to demonstrate their skills, training, and safe work practices. Our three team members each participated in one craft—Instrumentation Fitting (Kevin Grothaus, Instrumentation Technician), Electrical: Residential-Commercial (Brenden Hansen, Journeyman Electrician), and Electrical: Commercial-Industrial (Matthew Schwab, Journeyman Electrician).

Hansen comments on the competition, “For me, it was difficult and fun at the same time! I’ve gotten used to industrial electrical, so the residential side brought me back to my roots and pushed my boundaries. I feel honored to compete against very talented individuals from around the US.”

Each of the 15 competitions consists of an NCCER online exam and a six-hour project. The exam accounts for 25% of the total score, and the project is 75%. The competition aims to demonstrate safety, simulate working conditions for planning, and highlight individual leadership and workmanship skills. Schwab shares what he learned from the competition, “Time management is key to completing a task effectively. Overall, it was a great opportunity to represent Interstates and challenge me.”

Congratulations to each Interstates team member who participated. A special congratulations to Kevin Grothaus for placing second in the Instrument Fitting craft and receiving the Safety Award. “The hands-on project challenged my skills and ability to complete the task on time. This competition reminded me of the important role craft professionals play to keep America running.”


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