Roofers Local 49 apprentice declared # 1 in national competition


The best roofing apprentice in the nation is a member of Roofers Local 49. 

Vancouver resident Dylan Butler, 32, works at ABC Roofing in Portland, and is three months away from becoming a journeyman. On May 6 he flew to St. Louis, Missouri, to take part in the first-ever apprentice competition hosted by his national union, the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers. Butler qualified for the three-day national competition after taking first place in a Western region competition in Pomona, California, in February. 

On May 9, Butler took first place nationally in Level 3, the category for the most senior apprentices. The skills contest was judged by roofing manufacturers’ reps based on speed, quality, and ability to meet product specifications. Contestants were judged on single ply, shingle, waterproofing, and torch down. There was also an obstacle course and a math test.  Winning meant a check for $6,000, a trophy, and a new set of Milwaukee tools.

Jason Barthel, director of Local 49’s Joint Apprenticeship Training Center, traveled with Butler and celebrated the win. Butler was also supported by his employer: ABC Roofing paid his normal wages while he was away so he wouldn’t lose income for taking part in the showcase of industry skill. 

“It was a pretty cool experience,” Butler said. “It’s given me the opportunity to open my eyes to how big the roofing industry actually is.”


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