Bricklayers Local 1 apprentices place in Western Region contest

Bricklayer Jeremy Bercier, above, and tile setter Mitch Corbin, below, took part in a regional apprenticeship contest in the LA area after winning earlier competitions in Local 1. Bercier took third for his barbecue and next goes to national. | PHOTOS BY MATT ELEAZER


The apprentices of Portland-headquartered Bricklayers Local 1 are some of the best in the West. That’s official, based on the results of the union’s 2022 Western region apprenticeship contest. 

Joint apprenticeship training centers affiliated with the Bricklayers and Allied Crafts (BAC) union hold local contests every year, and the top finishers move up to  regional contests. 

This year the Western Region contest was held June 11 at the Bricklayers Local 4 training center in La Verne, California, near Los Angeles. It drew 36 contestants from throughout BAC’s Western region, which encompasses 13 Western states. Apprentices competed in one of four categories: brick, tile, marble, and Pointer/Caulker/Cleaners (masonry restoration).

BAC Local 1—which includes Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana in its jurisdiction— sent six apprentices to the regional competition: Chelsea Collson, Luis Jimenez, Mitchell Corbin, Jeffrey Morris, Jeremy Bercier and Tori Wright.

In the brick category, Tori Wright of Oregon took second place and Jeremy Bercier of Montana took 3rd place. Both are in their third year of apprenticeship. For their bricklayer challenge, they had five hours to build a brick and cinder block barbecue. Contestants were judged on their accuracy. The most plumb and level barbecues made the grade.

“I’m really proud of the work and dedication our apprentices put into their trade,” said Local 1 business manager Matt Eleazer. “It obviously shows.”

Apprentices get class credit for taking part, and all travel expenses are paid for by the training trust.

Their achievement means Wright and Bercier will be going to the national contest, which is set to take place Sept. 24 in Boston.

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