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San Diego Competitors Win Record Number of Medals

(Long Beach, Calif.) –San Diego based construction craft apprentices and journeymen brought a record six craft medals and two safety awards home from the 2019 Associated Builders and Contractors National Craft Championships competition held at the Long Beach (California) Convention Center.

This prestigious competition brings together the top apprentices, trainees, and journeymen in the United States, who battle in a test of their skills to determine the top apprentices in 13 different trades. The wins extend San Diego’s multi-year winning streak to ten consecutive years, with 30 total medals won.

Watch a video recap of the competition:

Craft Competition medalists for 2019 include:

Electrical: Silver Medal: Tyler Tarr, Laser Electric (at left)

Electrical: Bronze Medal and the Safety Award: Alexander Willeford, Rowan Electric

Plumbing: Silver Medal: Miko Martinez, Collins Plumbing

Sheet Metal: Silver Medal: Alexis Uribe, WR Robbins Co

San Diego teams won Silver and Bronze Medals in the Commercial Project team competition. It was the first time the San Diego Chapter entered journeymen teams.

Journeyman Team 2 won the Silver Medal. The winning team members are Joey Burke, Helix Electric; Trevor Burnett, Lusardi Construction; Colin Villarino, HR Plumbing; and Scott Vorarach, WR Robbins Co.

Journeyman Team 1 won a Bronze Medal and the Safety Award. Congratulations to team members David Blickenstaff, Mason Blick Electric; Clayton Courter, Southcoast Heating & Air Conditioning; Daniel Fortini, Alpha Mechanical; and Rolf Wachter, Interpipe Contracting.

The San Diego Chapter received the prestigious “Charles Mullan Award,” which recognizes ABC Chapters demonstrating membership and dues revenue growth. The Mullan Award is one of the most prestigious awards an ABC Chapter can receive from ABC National. It reflects on both the staff and every Chapter member who contributes to ABC San Diego programs and initiatives - so we share this honor with you.

ABC San Diego President/CEO Shandon Harbour was also recognized for her five years of service at ABC.

Kevin Strahler, 2019 ABC Young Professional of the Year Finalist

Kevin Strahler of West Coast Air Conditioning, a former National Craft Championship medal winner, was also honored as a finalist for the 2019 “ABC Young Professional of the Year.”

The construction apprentices and the journeymen teams matched their professional skills against the winners of other regional and state competitions around the country. Prior to the competition, many of them spent several weeks studying and practicing their skills at the ABC Apprenticeship Training Trust lab facilities in Poway.

]“The San Diego Chapter’s multi-year winning streak speaks for the high quality of our training program, and the dedication of our apprentices to learn the skills they apply to building our region’s businesses, schools, hospitals, homes, infrastructure, military complexes, and more,” said Harbour. “It never gets old!”

National Craft Championships a true test of craft training in construction

A conference highlight, the ABC National Craft Championships event started in 1987 as a way to recognize the high quality of craft training in construction careers. The competition emphasizes the important role craft skills training plays in construction, by evaluating contestants’ knowledge of their craft as well as their skill and talent.

The first part of the competition features a written test of the competitor’s technical and theoretical knowledge. On day two, apprentices and craft trainees are assigned their workspaces, and given the plans, tools and materials they need to build professional projects. Judges observe and inspect the ongoing work being performed. When time is called, the judges move in for the final inspection. All of this takes place before a live audience. Results are announced in award ceremonies the final day.

To compete in the national event, contestants must first complete hundreds of hours of classroom training and thousands of hours of practical field experience to be eligible for preliminary local competitions.

About ABC San Diego

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national trade association representing 21,000 members in 70 chapters nationwide. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 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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