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

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Apprenticeship Graduation Event Recognizes New Craft Professionals

Ninety-three percent of Class of 2019 grads are employed in full-time jobs

Contact: Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR

(619) 997-2495 or GLF@SAN.RR.COM

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Eighty four apprentices and craft trainees graduated with their

apprenticeship and journeyman certificates on Friday, June 7 from the Associated Builders and Contractors Apprenticeship Training program, and were back at work the following Monday as full-time employed craft professionals.

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

Apprentices attend courses after work several nights each week, putting in lab time mastering skills in their specific field. Their course of study lasts three to five years. All graduates earned college credits, which can be applied toward an Associates degree.

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

2019 Outstanding Graduates of the Year

The five graduates honored completed their entire training program with a straight A average all four years, and no absences from any classes or lab work. They also received positive employer evaluations.

  • John Pranger, Electrical Apprentice, Bergelectric

  • Nathan Roles, Electrical Apprentice, MJC Electric

  • Kyle Toczek, Electrical Apprentice, Vector USA

  • Anthony Stallings, Pipefitting Apprentice, California Comfort Systems

  • Michael Kidd, Electrical Apprentice, Laser Electric

2019 Academic Achievement Graduates

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

  • Electrical Apprentices: Ryan C. Becker, Brian J. Dekoekkoek, Hilario L. Hernandez, Michael Marin, Jared L. Mello, Teng Vue, and Jason Zelinka.

  • Electrical Trainee: Robby W. Dadiego

  • Electronic Systems Technician: Jason J. Decker

  • Sheet Metal Apprentices: Oscar N. Dominguez, Fidel Pedraza, and Robert J. Vogeler

2019 Perfect Attendance Graduates

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

  • Electrical Apprentices: Tobias Romero, Tyler Tarr.

  • EST Apprentices: Edgar Candelario, Jose M. Casas Medina, Herman Martinez Lopez

  • Plumbing Apprentices: Steven M. Anacker, Jason C. Haffner, Matthew Ramirez

  • Sheet Metal Apprentices: Robert Fukushima, Shanon E. Jackson

Sheet metal instructor Sean Ryan was named the 2019 Instructor of the Year. His selection was based on student evaluations and overall performance. Ryan has taught in the Apprenticeship program since 2012. His enthusiasm keeps his students engaged, and he incorporates real-life experiences into the field into his lesson plans. Students said the following about Ryan in recent evaluations:

“He is a super cool instructor! He always makes sure we understand and includes real life job experiences.”

“Always has a positive attitude and connects well with the students.”

“ He is very enthusiastic, he makes learning fun, students want to engage.”

“Best instructor! He takes the time to explain and helps each student.”

“This year’s class is 50 percent larger than in 2018, and this is good news for the San Diego region’s construction employers who need skilled craft professionals. Our graduates are ready, willing and able to provide their employers the competent and productive workforce our members require in order to compete and thrive in today’s business environment,” said Shandon Harbour, President and CEO of ABC San Diego.

“Not only are nearly all our graduates working full-time in their chosen profession on the day of graduation, they graduate debt-free without the crushing college costs weighing down so many of their peers. Many will take the credits earned in our program and go on to finish a degree in construction management or business. In five years’ time, several will own their own construction business. The sky truly is the limit for our graduates,” said 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 69 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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