Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, Fellow PRSA: 619-997-2495 or

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Tough Competitors Take on The Competition at San Diego Craft Championships

Poway, Calif.) – Three tough competitors won first place honors in their individual crafts at the 14th Annual San Diego Associated Builders and Contractors Craft Championship Competition. These winners handled the pressure, with an audience of several hundred looking on, and beat out a field of 21 seasoned apprentices and craft trainees. The event took place at the Training Trust Academy in Poway on December 6. The winners in each of three crafts - electrical, plumbing and sheet metal - won the right to represent San Diego in the 2015 ABC National Craft Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Florida next March.

Above: ABC San Diego 2014 Craft Championship Winners Daniel Siordia, Daniel Baldwin, and Kevin Strahler

In the Electrical competition, the winner was Daniel Siordia of Clairemont, representing Rowan Electric in San Diego. Second place went to Bryan Metros of Bergelectric, and third place to Dave Blickenstaff of Prime Electrical.

The 2014 Plumbing champion is Daniel Baldwin of El Cajon representing Interpipe Contracting. Baldwin came back to compete after placing second in 2013. Keegan Donahue of Pacific Rim Mechanical placed second this year, and Jack Geyer of J Geyer Plumbing came in third place.

Kevin Strahler of Murietta with West Coast Air Conditioning won in the Sheet Metal category.

Kyle Lewis of Buxcon Sheet Metal came in second place.

Strahler, a third year apprentice, said his hard work and training paid off. “I came in from 4 to 6 a.m. to train, then went to work from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m., and then came back (to the Training Academy) to go to school every night for three months,” said Strahler. Strahler is married and a father, with his second child due in January.

The Associated Builders and Contractors San Diego Apprenticeship Craft Champions Competition tests the skills of the best of the best. The 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 and then score each project. The project scores and written test scores are combined to determine the winner.

Apprenticeship Training Executive Director Sherry J. Yarbrough looked forward to the national championships. “We are extremely proud of the showing our apprentices and trainees make at the national competition each year.” The San Diego ABC Apprenticeship Program has a long tradition of national winners, having won 16 medals in the last 13 years. Last year, all three San Diego representatives came home with silver medals in their craft competition.

ABC San Diego thanks the sponsors of the 2014 Craft Championships event: Bergelectric, Laser Electric, Certified Air Conditioning, W.R. Robbins, Pacific Rim Mechanical, J Geyer Plumbing, Buxcon Sheet Metal, West Coast Air Conditioning, Goss Inc., Ideal Industries, Milwaukee Tools, DeWalt, Klein Tools, One Source, and GreenLee. About ABC San Diego

Associated Builders and Contractors is a national trade association representing nearly 22,000 merit shop contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers and construction-related professionals in 70 chapters across the United States. The association’s membership includes all specialties within the industry, and is comprised primarily of firms that perform work in the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors of construction. ABC is recognized as one of the leading organizations representing America’s business community and the construction industry. Visit ABC San Diego at

ABCSD  I  13825 Kirkham Way Poway, CA 92064  I  Tel: 858.513.4700  I  Fax: 858.513.2373  I  I

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