Second-year Iron Worker Local 5 Apprentice Andrew Hernandez (right) topped apprentices across North America to win the 2014 Iron Workers International Apprenticeship Competition. “Our entire local is so proud of Andrew!” said Local 5 Business Manager Kendall Martin (left)...
Apprentices in the US and Canada compete on the local level to represent different District Councils. Hernandez won the Mid- Atlantic States Apprenticeship Competition in Richmond, VA last June and joined some 65 finalists in Toronto, Canada on September 26-28 to compete in the Iron Workers International Apprenticeship Competition.
“They compete over three grueling days in various aspects of our trade, starting with the written exam,” said Martin. “They’re also tested on their skills at welding and burning, timed at reinforcing rod tying and knot tying and the highlight is the column climb. Andrew did an outstanding job by taking first place in this tough competition!” The Competition is held every two years; Local 5 apprentices have won three of the last five competitions.
Iron Workers General President Walter Wise congratulated all the competition finalists. “Not only will the outstanding men and women in apprenticeships today become the best Iron Workers the world has ever seen,” said Wise, “but will form the future of our industry as foreman, superintendents, project managers, contractors and leaders of our great union. They are worthy of the upmost attention, investment and respect. We had the opportunity to witness a demonstration of that knowledge, skill and attitude that we demand our Apprentices and the pride instilled by being one of the best, a union Iron Worker. We must all commit to strengthening the lifeblood of our union and the future of our industry- the apprenticeship system with career-long training.”