ABC of Wisconsin apprentices earn gold and silver medals in National Craft Championships

SAN ANTONIO, TX, March 18, 2022 – Two apprentices from Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin member Royal Construction, Inc., Eau Claire, took home gold and silver awards at the National Craft Championships in San Antonio, Texas this week.

Drew Hawkins earned first place in Carpentry while Tony Ehrike earned second place in Carpentry. Hawkins also earned the safety award for Carpentry. Hawkins advanced to the NCC after finishing first in the ABC of Wisconsin Apprenticeship Skill Competition in January. Ehrike placed third in the 2020 ABC of Wisconsin Apprenticeship Skill Competition and was planning to compete on the state level in 2021, but the competition was not held because of COVID-19. Both have attended the classroom portion of their apprenticeships at the Northwood Technical College Rice Lake campus.

The medal winners for all crafts were announced last night during the NCC awards ceremony.

ABC of Wisconsin apprentices earn gold and silver medals in National Craft Championships
Silver medalist Tony Ehrike (left) and gold medalist Drew Hawkins (right).

2022 NCC short video view

ABC of Wisconsin apprentices earn gold and silver medals in National Craft Championships
Drew Hawkins early on in his six-hour practical portion of the competition.

ABC presents the National Craft Championships annually to highlight the achievements of the men and women who represent the future of the construction industry. Craft trainees and apprentices travel from across the country to demonstrate their superior skills, training and safe work practices and compete for top honors in their chosen craft.

“The annual National Craft Championships honors the best the merit shop construction industry has to offer,” said ABC of Wisconsin President John Mielke. “I’m always proud of our apprentices who perform well up against the nation’s best.”

The NCC featured a field of 176 competitors in 12 different crafts over two days. Wisconsin sent five participants in four different trades, including carpentry (2), electrical, plumbing and HVAC.

Each competition consists of an online exam based on craft curricula developed by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). The online exam accounts for 25% of the total score. Held on the second day, competitors are tested on their skills during a six-hour project. This practical performance test accounts for 75% of the total score.

There are three competition objectives:

  • Demonstrate safety along with craft interdependency and teamwork
  • Simulate working conditions where planning is critical to success
  • Highlight individual leadership and workmanship skills as the project is assembled and completed.
ABC of Wisconsin apprentices earn gold and silver medals in National Craft Championships
Drew Hawkins is well into the practical portion of the competition.
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