The United Association will hold an apprentice contest this summer for the first time in more than 30 years. Contestants will be able to compete in one of five categories: plumbing; pipefitting; sprinkler fitting; welding; and HVAC technician.

The United Association will hold an apprentice contest this summer for the first time in more than 30 years.

Contestants will be able to compete in one of five categories: plumbing; pipefitting; sprinkler fitting; welding; and HVAC technician.

The Apprentice Contest will begin with local competitions in the five categories. Local unions will then send the winners to state or provincial contests. These winners will then advance to six regionals based on the six regional vice presidents of the UA.

The winners in each craft will finally compete in the international finals, Aug. 12-16, at the Great Lakes Regional Training Center, Ann Arbor, Mich., home of the UA University.

The four days of competition will include a 200-question exam. Contestants also will have a drawing-related project, rigging project, copper project, leveling project, oxy-fuel project, troubleshooting project and other projects deemed appropriate. In addition, a full eight-hour day will be devoted to a trade-specific project. Methods of piping may involve threading, soldering, brazing, bending, grooving and welding, and may be a part of any and all projects.

The final contest will be held in conjunction with the UA Instructor Training Program, an annual event that brings together some 200 local union apprentice instructors and training coordinators from every state in the United States and all the provinces in Canada. Contest winners will be announced at the instructor training graduation ceremonies, Aug. 16.

Contestants may be in any year of their apprenticeship, must have worked for a contributing contractor for at least 1,500 hours in the previous year, but can only represent their region one time.

“The contest always brought a lot of excitement, and many members were disappointed to see it discontinued in 1973,” said Peter Marzec, a UA special representative and chairman of the Apprentice Contest Committee.

At that time, Marzec explained, the thought was to let the UA’s training department spend more time meeting the demand for more instructors.

For more information about the contest, contact Marzec at 845/735-0887 or peterm@uanet.org.