Millermatic® Passport® Helps Sheet Metal Worker Apprentices Compete to Find the Best of the Best
Each year, sheet metal worker apprentices from across the country vie to see who’s the best. They compete in one of five categories: HVAC, TAB (test, adjust and balance), service, architectural sheet metal and industrial sheet metal. The winners of local level competitions move onto the regional level. Those winners will compete at a national level.
Bragging rights are at stake, says Jim Calloway, a sheet metal instructor for local 162 and proctor for the regional competition. “It’s bragging rights for the student, the apprentice, the school, the instructor and the apprentice’s employer. The apprentices have a lot of pride and they’re very competitive.”
|A finished wood chip separator. At this level, judges are expected to be highly critical and expect the competition to be close.|
The tests include a written examination, a drafting test (or communication and sketching, as it’s now referred to) test and a shop project. By the time they get to the regional level, the competition will be tough, and the winner will likely be decided by a percentage of a point, according to James Lee, an instructor for Sheet Metal Workers Local 162 and a test proctor.
Lee is proctoring the metal shop portion of the test, in this case a miniature version of a wood chip separator, such as the kind found in a lumber yard that separates the chips according to size. At 11 places around the U.S. and Canada, details of the project were opened simultaneously. Until then, not even the judges knew what the projects were.
|Jim Calloway, a sheet metal instructor for local 162, proctors the apprentice competition.|
In order to ensure that each apprentice had advantage of the same welding equipment, Miller Electric Mfg. Co. donated eight Millermatic® Passport® MIG welders for the event. Passports are portable all-in-one welders that weigh about 50 lbs., feature internal shielding gas cylinders and run off 115V or 230 V. They are the same type of equipment the apprentices can expect to use in their careers.