A group of nearly 2,000 dedicated United Association instructors gathered for a week in August at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, MI, to obtain professional development and complete degrees.
It was a tough choice on what sessions to attend as there were over 80 to select from. During their occasional breaks from classes, instructors had the opportunity to visit dozens of mobile, educational, traveling classrooms the United Association uses for recruitment and training.
While instructors were busy in the classroom, the top apprentices competed in a week long competition to earn the titles of best in: HVACR, plumbing, sprinklerfitting, steamfitting, and welding.
In order to get to the International competition in Ann Arbor, these apprentices had to win a competition at their local training center, state competition, then regional competition. Win or lose, all of those who made it to Ann Arbor can hold their heads high as they had the opportunity to compete for the title of being the best of the best.
The United Association Instructor Training and Apprenticeship Contest is an opportunity for the skilled trades to unite around education. The event allows companies that may often be competitors to come together for the good of the industry's they represent, and provide training or help judge the competition.
The HVACR competition was made possible with the cooperation of team members from: ESCO Institute, , HVAC Excellence, the Air Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) and hand-picked instructors who served as judges:
- Andy Erbach,CMS
- Mike Mack and Rich Hoke, CMS from Elgin Community College
- Jose Vital from Harper College.
The instructors were selected to judge as part of a commitment to create partnerships between the top community colleges, technical colleges and the United Association training centers.
During the event a large number of industry leaders and dignitaries attended to witness the future of the skilled trades at its best. Congressman John Dingell, the longest serving member of the House of Representatives stated during the event, "Thank you to the United Association for training your members to the highest standards so that we can remain competitive on the global level," Dingell said.
The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices represents approximately 370,000 members in North America and Australia. For more information visit United Asssociation website.