The International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Northwest Region 12 held an apprenticeship contest March 30-31 in Pasco, Washington.
Thirty-five apprentices from 11 locals in the U.S. and Canada took part in the competition, which had been on hiatus since 2012.
Four apprentices from Portland-based Local 16 competed and placed in the top three in each of four disciplines. Local 16 selected the contestants to send to the competition based on a review of their academics, said Kevin Roth, training coordinator at the Sheet Metal Institute. The four represented the local well.
Leading the way was Brandon York, a 10th term (90 percent) apprentice who finished first in architectural sheet metal. Stephen Serniotti, a 7th-term (80 percent) apprentice, placed second in HVAC; Chad Acheson, a 10th-term apprentice, was second in HVAC service technician, and Jared Bonney, an 8th-term (80 percent) apprentice, finished third in industrial/ welding.
Each apprentice was tested in shop fabrication, plans and specs, drafting/sketching, plus a written test consisting of 150 questions. Each was timed and judged for quality. Judges were volunteer business managers, business agents, coordinators and instructors.
The Sheet Metal Institute in Northeast Portland currently is training 220 apprentices. The program is accepting applications for those who want to get into the trade, Roth said. Sheet Metal apprentices are required to have 8,000 hours of on the job training and 920 school hours in order to reach journeyman status. The program typically takes five years to become a journeyman. Apprentices are paid as they learn, and receive college credit for classes taken in their apprenticeship through Mt. Hood Community College towards an associates degree.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED. For more information, call 503-257-1022 or visit their website, sheetmetalinstitute.org.
Locals competing in the SMART Northwest Region 12 Sheet Metal Apprenticeship Contest: Local 8, Alberta, Canada; Local 9, Colorado; Local 16, Oregon; Local 23, Alaska; Local 55, Pasco, Washington; Local 66, Western WA; Local 103, Montana; Local 276, Vancouver Island, British Columbia; Local 280, Burnaby, B.C.; Local 296, Saskatchewan, B.C.; and Local 511, Winnipeg, Manitoba.