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

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Apprenticeship Graduation Event Honors New Construction Craft Professionals

Media Contact: Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR -- (619) 997-2495 or

(San Diego) – Eighty-nine apprentices and craft trainees realized the reward for years of hard work, graduating with their apprenticeship and journeyman certificates on Friday, June 9 from the Associated Builders and Contractors Apprenticeship Training program as proud family and friends cheered them on.

Graduates in five craft professions (plumbing and pipefitting, electrical, electronic systems technician or sheet metal) must successfully complete a state and federally approved apprenticeship program or craft training program to receive their journeyman status in California. They must be employed full time as part of their training program with San Diego area contractors.

Apprentices attend courses after their work day, and put in lab time mastering skills in their specific field. Their course of study lasts three to five years. All graduates earned college credits through the San Diego Community College District, which can be applied toward an Associate of Science degree.

Special awards recognizing exceptional achievements were presented to the following students.

2017 Outstanding Graduates of the Year:

  • Ryan Cevolani, Plumbing Apprentice, employed by Alpha Mechanical

  • Rolf Wachter, Plumbing Apprentice, employed by Interpipe Contracting

Cevolani and Wachter achieved a perfect straight A grade average and only a single class absence with positive employer evaluations during their entire four years in the ABC Apprenticeship Training Program.

2017 Academic Achievement Graduates:

  • Justin M. Herdman, Electrical Apprentice, employed by Bergelectric

  • Josue Luna, Electrical Apprentice, employed by Precision Electric

  • Raymond B. McDonald, Electrical Apprentice, employed by Laser Electric

  • Kevin F. Wright, Electrical Apprentice, employed by Rowan Electric

  • Marc A. Atienza, Sheet Metal Apprentice, employed by Pacific Rim Mechanical

  • Travis E. Docherty, Sheet Metal Apprentice

All achieved straight A grade averages during their entire training program.

2017 Academic Achievement Graduates:

  • David T. Dam, Electrical Apprentice, employed by Bergelectric

  • Sheridan R. Farris, Electrical Apprentice, employed by Roman Electric

  • Derek J. Langeland, Electrical Apprentice, employed by Ace Electric

  • Adrian J. Ochoa, Electrical Apprentice, employed by Gould Electric

  • Rickey Phanmanivong, Electrical Apprentice, employed by Calhoun Electric

  • Liusberl Raffim Electrical Apprentice

  • Christopher A. Silver, Electrical Apprentice, employed by Ace Electric

  • Jame Vang, Electrical Apprentice, employed by Stronghold Electric;

  • Joshua D. Wakeland, Electrical Apprentice, employed by Vector Resources;

  • Brian E. Abat, Electronic System Technician Apprentice, employed by Standard Electronics

  • Steffen S. Powell, Electronic System Technician Apprentice, employed by Intersect Technology Institute

  • Richard A. Luna, Plumbing Apprentice, employed by HPS Mechanical

  • Ryan M. Cobb, Sheet Metal Apprentice, employed by Pacific Rim Mechanical

  • Scott V. Vorarach, Sheet Metal Apprentice, employed by Certified Air Conditioning

All achieved zero absences during their entire three to five year training program.

Daric Kleppe, ABCSD 2017 Instructor of the Year

Daric Kleppe was named the 2017 Instructor of the Year. His selection is based on student evaluations and overall performance. Kleppe has been an instructor in the Electrical program for 16 years. Kleppe distinguishes himself by his desire to go above and beyond in helping students full understand the course curriculum. Students said the following about Kleppe:

  • “Daric knows what he’s talking about. Makes it easy to understand.”

  • “Honestly the best instructor I’ve had at ABC.”

  • “Daric is always willing to walk you through a problem until you understand.”

  • “Mr. Kleppe is very passionate about teaching and has been my favorite instructor.”

  • “Mr. Kleppe is very knowledgeable, answers all the student’s questions.”

“This celebration is about recognizing the achievements of our graduates,” said San Diego Training Trust Executive Director Shandon Harbour. “For the last four years they have labored to successfully complete the requirements of this challenging curriculum.

“Their investment pays off as they enter the world of their chosen profession as highly qualified members of a safe and productive work force. Our graduates are ready, willing and able to provide their employers the competent and productive workforce ABC’s contractor members require in order to compete and thrive in today’s business environment,” added Harbour.

ABC San Diego’s training program has been awarded Accredited Training Sponsor Status from the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), assuring all its members of nationally recognized training for their craft professionals.

NCCER is a nonprofit education foundation created to develop standardized construction, maintenance, and pipeline curricula with portable credentials and help address the critical skilled workforce shortage. NCCER is affiliated with the University of Florida's M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction.

In 1970, 30 percent of the nation's construction was performed merit shop and six of the top 400 construction firms were ABC members. Today, merit shops accounts for 85 percent of all construction across the country, and ABC's membership has grown to include more than half of the top 400 construction companies in the United States.

About ABC San Diego

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national trade association representing 22,000 members from more than 19,000 construction and industry-related firms. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work. The San Diego Chapter of ABC represents construction and construction-related firms throughout San Diego County. To find out more about ABCSD, visit

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

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