by Rick Griffin
Two East County residents were winners at the recent Associated Builders and Contractors San Diego (ABC) 2013 Apprenticeship Craft Championship. Santee resident Richard Ederer with Sherwood Mechanical won in the plumbing category and Alpine resident Kevin Sullivan with Brian Cox Mechanical was tops in sheet metal. Sullivan was second in last year’s competition and came back to win this year. Both Ederer and Sullivan will represent San Diego in the 2014 ABC National Craft Championships in May in Birmingham, Ala.
The ABC competition emphasizes the important role craft skills training plays in construction by evaluating contestants’ technical knowledge of their craft as well as their skill and talent. Contestants must first successfully complete hundreds of hours of classroom training and thousands of hours of practical field experience to be eligible to compete. Apprentices and craft trainees who score high marks on the written exam are invited to participate in the skills portion of the competition to determine the San Diego local champions. The competitors must race against the clock to complete a project as close to the specifications provided as possible, with only the materials they are provided. Judges observe them, with a particular emphasis on safe work practices, and then score each project. The project scores and written test scores are combined to determine the winner. The ABC San Diego apprenticeship program has a long tradition of national winners, having won 13 medals in the last 12 years.