This year’s contest marks the first time the UA has held an apprentice competition in more than three decades, and the union will make it an annual event again.


The United Association of Plumbers, Pipefitters and Sprinklerfitters announced the winners of its 2007 Apprentice Contest:
  • Plumber Greg Bartus, representing Local 690, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Pipefitter Andrew Kennedy, representing Local 50, Toledo, Ohio
  • Sprinklerfitter Kevin Holbrook, representing Local 669, Columbia, Md.
  • HVAC Service Technician John Johnson, representing Local 50, Toledo, Ohio
  • Welder Gerald Arnold, representing Local 208, Denver, Colo.
“These apprentices represent the best of the best because we consider United Association tradespeople as the most highly-skilled and well-trained workers in the piping industry,” said UA General President William P. Hite. “They have worked hard to get here, and they are competing at a level that is truly extraordinary.”

The local and regional competition was organized earlier this year throughout the United States and Canada. In the end, 30 apprentices - five from each of the union’s six districts - competed for top honors in welding, pipefitting, plumbing, HVAC service technicians and sprinklerfitting in the final rounds held Aug. 12-17, Ann Arbor, Mich., in conjunction with the UA’s annual program to train its instructors.

The apprentices were tested with a wide variety of tasks designed to measure their specific craft skills, productivity and general knowledge. Independent judges and proctors monitored all the activities and jointly determined the winners in each category.

This year’s contest marks the first time the UA has held an apprentice competition in more than three decades, and the union will make it an annual event again.