Monroe Student Wins Big at Craft Championship

Gabe Roberts connecting a few wires before claiming the title

Year three electrical apprentice will compete in national competition in Florida

A busy college football Saturday in November was not stopping top electrical apprentices from competing for the title of regional craft champion.

Ten SEMCA students spent the day participating in a contest that would test their skills as year three and four apprentices. Students were given blueprints for a complex electrical project to be completed in eight hours. All while under the watchful eye of SEMCA instructors who were judging the competition.

The winner this year was Gabe Roberts, a year three electrical apprentice at the Monroe location and currently working at Deere Electric. This was Roberts’ first year competing and he was up against many worthy competitors.

“It is such an honor to have won and to have my parents, fiancée and kids here to see it,” Roberts said. “Working on this project was one thing, but factor in the time constraints and the judges circling around you, just adds to the pressure, but it certainly made me want to work that much harder to impress everyone in that shop.”

Roberts continued saying he is ready to take his skills down south and hopefully give a repeat performance.

“My boss told me that if I won, he’s packing up and heading to Florida with me to cheer me on,” Roberts said. “So that kind of adds to the pressure, but I’m up for the challenge.”

Event coordinator and SEMCA instructor, John Danic noted that in previous years, one, maybe two, competitors would complete their project—but this year, five competitors finished their project and were ready to have them tested.

“I am amazed at the dedication displayed by our students here today,” Danic said. “These guys have been working hard and I’m so glad to see we have five who finished this year.”

Marissa Downs, the director of education for SEMCA, said that this competition shows the kind of hard work students put in to make a successful career in the trades.

“I am so proud of each of the participants here today,” Downs said. “No matter if they finished or not, they pushed themselves way out of their comfort zones and learned something about themselves.”

To be invited to participate in the competition, all year three and four students were asked to complete a rigorous written exam and the top 10 were selected to compete.

We ask our ABC community to wish Gabe well as he heads to Kissimmee, FL in March to compete at the ABC National Convention.

  • (left to right) Ryan Hester, Russell Ferguson, Stephen Flaga, Blake Goerlitz, Eric Shock, Trevor Barndollar, Maxwell Simon, Gabe Roberts, Deus Walker, and William Dickerhoff stand together after the competition all walking out with a bundle donated by Milwaukee