TUSTIN, CALIF. — GF Piping Systems donated materials and welding equipment at the United Association Intl. Apprenticeship Competition, conducted by the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the U.S. and Canada, Aug. 8-14, 2009, at Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor, Mich.
The yearly contest is held during the UA’s Instructor Training Program for apprentices who undergo an intensive one-week session of troubleshooting, rigging, bending, cutting, leveling, welding and brazing. The continuing education program allows participants to refine and expand their skills in one of five areas of expertise — sprinkler fitting, pipe fitting, welding, plumbing, and HVAC servicing. This year was the third year the program was held, following its resurgence after a 30 year hiatus.
GF Piping Systems’ products were used during two competitions — GF Piping’s PROGEF pipe, valves and fittings; IR Welding Machine; and Fuseal pipe and fittings with the MSA250 Electrofusion Machine were used by contestants.
“It was very gratifying to see the skill of these young tradesmen at their craft,” said Kevin Klaum, GF Piping’s area sales manager, who provided hands-on training during the event. “With tradesmen from all around the country as well as Canada, it was interesting to discuss the diversity of codes and materials in different areas.”
“Manufacturers like GF Piping Systems are very forthcoming in helping the program,” said Pete Marzec, national chairman of the UA’s Intl. Apprenticeship Program. “We ask them to provide their latest technology and products, technical expertise, develop a competitive project that the contestants can work on, and act as one of the judges. If the apprentice hasn’t yet been exposed to the technology, the manufacturer’s representative quickly gives them instruction.”