ICYMI: Apprentices to showcase talent at competition

From the West Bend Daily News:

Apprentices from across Wisconsin will showcase their skills during a competition Friday in the town of Polk.

The public is invited to watch as those skilled in carpentry, HVAC, electrical, plumbing and heat and frost insulating participate in Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin Apprentice Skill Competition. They will also compete in a written competition.

Elizabeth Roddy is the recruitment and training coordinator with Madison-based ABC.

She said there is a “huge worker shortage” in the construction industry and the event allows apprentices to share their talents. It is also designed to get the public interested in the trades. Construction workers are a necessity to have the roads and buildings we use everyday, she said.

“We need to encourage our young to be proud of their work,” Roddy said.

Gary Roehrig of New Holstein is an instructor with ABC of Wisconsin Apprenticeship Program at Moraine Park Technical College and agrees there is a shortage.

“The good news is we are starting to see increasing numbers,” he said. The economy was doing really well, but as it began falling in 2007 so did the number of people interested in construction. “We pretty much lost a whole generation of workers.”

Tuesday he worked with apprentices from across Wisconsin at the West Bend campus, including the winner of last year’s Wisconsin ABC competition, Charlie Vine of Fond du Lac.

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