When 20 of the nation’s top plumbing apprentices competed for the title of “The Nation’s Best” during PHCC’s annual Plumbing & HVAC Apprentice Contests, the contestants, each sponsored by an industry manufacturer, were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Leading water heater manufacturer A. O.Smith sponsored the first place winner, James Peterson, an apprentice with John J. Maurer, Inc.,of Cataumet, Mass.
“I’ve been in this industry for over 40 years and the level of talent that James possesses issomething you don’t come across often,” said John Maurer, owner of John J. Maurer, Inc. “This is a kid who attends night school so he can work a full-time job during the day, and still manages to finish first in his class.”
The competition featured hands-on tasks that consisted of installing both the plumbing rough and finish for a full bathroom, including setting of the water closet, lavatory and trimming out the shower.
Six industry professionals observed the competitors, judging them on accuracy of measurement,neatness, quality of workmanship, accuracy of plan interpretation, written instruction, andfinally, a pressure test.
“This is a challenging competition that serves as a great reflection of each contestant’s dedicationto knowledge and growth within the industry,” said Maurer. “You really have to be familiar withday-to-day, on-the-job training, and the benefit of participating in something like the PHCCApprentice Contest is seeing how you measure up against your peers and competitors.”
In addition to walking away with a vast amount of new tools, which were donated by theindustry’s leading manufacturers, Peterson was also awarded two trophies and $1,000 in prizemoney.
“Everyone at A. O. Smith is extremely proud of James and the hard work he put forth to preparefor this competition,” said David Chisolm, A. O. Smith’s vice president of marketing. “A. O.Smith is committed to ensuring that our contractor partners have the tools and training they need to be successful on any job.”