Twelve top plumbing and HVACR students received honors in the plumbing and HVACR competitions of the annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Contest, held June 22-26 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.

The PHCC Educational Foundation supports the plumbing and HVACR contests each year. Its Plumbing Apprentice and Journeyman Training Committee makes up the majority of the SkillsUSA Plumbing Technical Committee, and members were on hand to set up and help with contest judging. The PHCC Educational Foundation also has a representative on the SkillsUSA HVACR Technical Committee.

Throughout the week, nearly 6,100 secondary and post-secondary career and technical education students competed in more than 100 trades contests.

Plumbing contestants rough-in hot and cold water lines with copper tubing, and rough-in sanitary drainage, waste and vent lines with cast iron and PVC plastic for a water closet, a lavatory, a washer box and a floor drain. Water pipe is pressure-tested on completed projects. Professional plumbers and pipefitters judge the contestants on the basis of accuracy, workmanship, proper selection and use of tools and supplies, and proper safety procedures.

This year’s plumbing honors went to:

• 1st Place, Secondary — Robert Fluke, Upper Cape Regional, Bourne, Mass.

• 1st Place, Post-Secondary — Jesse Hornback, Elizabethtown Technical College, Elizabethtown, Ky.

• 2nd Place, Secondary — Christian Weeks, Papillon LaVista South High School, Papillon, Neb.

• 2nd Place Post-Secondary — Jonathan Hill, Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College, Ogden, Utah

• 3rd Place, Secondary — Mason Steiner, Paso Robles High School, Paso Robles, Calif.

• 3rd Place, Post-Secondary — Travis Slankard, Kansas City Community College Technical Education Center, Kansas City, Kan.

HVACR contestants are tested in the following areas: brazing skills, refrigerant component service, air measurement and troubleshooting, refrigerant recovery and electrical troubleshooting. Industry equipment may include ice machines, refrigerated display cases, small package HVAC units, furnaces and split-system air-conditioning units. They are judged on the basis of their use of tools and test equipment, speed, accuracy and safety. A written exam also is taken.

This year’s HVACR honors went to:

• 1st Place, Secondary — Andrew Shupert, Warren County Career Center, Lebanon, Ohio

• 1st Place, Post-Secondary — Matthew Boden, Mitchell Technical Institute, Mitchell, S.D.

• 2nd Place, Secondary — Krzysztof Zamajtys, Eastern Suffolk BOCES – Milliken Technical Center, Oakdale, N.Y.

• 2nd Place, Post-Secondary — Josiah Tiegs, Saint Cloud Technical and Community College, Saint Cloud, Minn.

• 3rd Place, Secondary — Dustin Curtis, Red River Technology Center, Duncan, Okla.

• 3rd Place, Post-Secondary — Brandon Martin, Rowan Cabarrus Community College, Salisbury, N.C

Committee members, sponsors

Technical committee members for this year’s event included these PHCC members: Robyn Bucknam, DeWalt Industrial Tools (plumbing); Bob Carpenter, SharkTech Academy, Atlanta, Ga. (plumbing); Danny Crigler, L & D Associates, Aroda, Va. (plumbing); Laurie Crigler, L & D Associates (plumbing); Plumbing Co-Chair Robert Hahn, Eastwick College, HoHoKus School of Trades, Union, N. J.; Plumbing Co-Chair Merry Beth Hall, PHCC Educational Foundation; Victor Hatcher, Tyler Pipe and Coupling (plumbing); Tim House, Kentucky Association of Master Contractors (plumbing); Bill Jones, Raven Mechanical, Houston (plumbing); Stephanie Kamba, Milwaukee Tool Co. (plumbing); Harold Moret, Copper Development Association (plumbing); Dennis Peters, DKP Plumbing, Paso Robles, Calif. (plumbing); Patrick Peterson, SharkTech Academy (plumbing); Dale Powell, Copper Development Association (plumbing); Joe Pritchard, Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute (plumbing); Tony Senninger, Senninger Plumbing Co., Louisville, Ky. (plumbing); Jamie Simpson, Schaal Heating & Cooling, Des Moines, Iowa (HVACR); Jim Steinle, Atomic Plumbing, Virginia Beach, Va. (plumbing); and James Walls, Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute (plumbing).

Additional members of the national technical committee for the HVACR contest include: Co-Chair Bob Mikell, Carrier Corp.; Co-Chair Bill Roberts, Lennox Industries; Jeff Croy, Lennox Industries; Mike Eckstein, Refrigeration Service Engineers Society; Bob Feathers, Emerson Climate Services; Bob Henson, Harris Products Group; Les Karcher, Carrier Corp.; and Warren Lupson, Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute.

The plumbing competition was made possible by headline industry sponsors A. O. Smith, the American Supply Association, the Copper Development Association, Kohler, Viega and Zoeller Pump Co.

Additional prizes, materials and on-site support provided by: A. O. Smith; ASA; BrassCraft Mfg. Co.; Caddy; Calculated Industries; Carhartt; Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute; Charlotte Pipe & Foundry; CDA; Delta Faucet Co.; DeWalt Tools; Harris Products Group; Irwin Industrial Tools; Kentucky Assn. of Master Contractors; Kohler; Lenox; Matheson Gas; Milwaukee Tool Co.; NIBCO; Oatey; the PHCC Educational Foundation; PHCC – National Association; Plumbers Supply Co.; RIDGID; Rothenberger USA; Senninger Plumbing Co.; SharkBite; Sioux Chief Mfg. Co.; Tyler Pipe; UA Local 502; Viega; and Zoeller Pump Co.

Supporting organizations for the HVACR contest include: Apex Tool Group; Appion; Calculated Industries; Carhartt; CPS; Fluke Corp.; Kasko; Irwin Industrial Tools; JB Industries; Lowe’s Companies; Midwest Tool and Cutlery; Milwaukee Tool Co.; Malco Products; Ranken Technical College; Regal Beloit Corp.; Southwire Co.; Supco; Universal Enterprises; University of Northwestern Ohio; and Yellow Jacket.

SkillsUSA is the national organization for students in trade, industrial, technical and health occupations education. It sponsors the SkillsUSA Championships annually to recognize the achievements of career and technical education students and to encourage them to strive for excellence and pride in their chosen occupations.

More than 11.6 million people have been annual members of SkillsUSA since its founding as The Vocational Industrial Clubs of America in 1965. SkillsUSA programs teach leadership, citizenship and character development to complement technical skill training. The organization emphasizes respect for the dignity of work, ethics, workmanship, scholarship and safety.