Regional Craft Championship Takes Center Stage

ABC SEMI, in conjunction with their training academy, Southeast Michigan Construction Academy (SEMCA), recently hosted their Craft Championship (apprentice craft competition) at their training center in Madison Heights. This year’s winner was Joshua Smart of Daniel Electric Co. of Auburn Hills.

“Events like the craft championships are a great way to raise the profile of careers in construction and gives both SEMCA and ABC SEMI the opportunity to demonstrate how our craft professionals stack up against the best of the best from across the country,” says ABC/SEMCA Vice President Mickey Mortimer. “We believe Detroit has some of the most skilled construction workers in America and this is one way we can prove it.”

2018 Regional Craft Championships – 1st Place Winner – Joshua Smart

The SEMCA has been training workers in the skilled trades for over 33 years. They currently have over 350 students enrolled in their training program, recently launching satellite centers in Lapeer, Monroe and Adrian. SEMCA provides evening classes, which allows their students to work during the day while taking classes at night. The school has a 97 percent employment rate among their students, with the average first year student earning between $10 and $14 an hour.

Mortimer says the National Craft Championship for apprentices includes a daylong hands-on performance test in each of the crafts, including carpentry, electrical, fire sprinkler, HVAC,

instrumentation fitting, insulation, millwright, pipefitting, plumbing, sheet metal, welding and masonry. This weekend will focus on the electrical portion of that competition. He feels this competition really tests their ability to do their best work under tough circumstances in a real-world setting.

“When you’re on the job you must think on your feet,” Mortimer explained.

“Challenges and issues arise when you are on a project that forces you to think out of the box—having an audience of judges and attendees monitoring your every move provides some real pressure one might expect to experience when faced with similar circumstances on the job.”

Mortimer stated that the SEMCA Craft Championship is expected to attract local career and technical education teachers and students as well as local elected officials and other leaders who have direct and indirect impacts on our workforce. The winner of the day-long competition will won an all-expense paid trip to ABC National Craft Championship in Long Beach, California on March 18.

“As the vice president of SEMCA, I’ve had many reasons to be proud of the ABC members in our community that have some of the most highly qualified, best trained, safe workers ready to create a stronger economic future for the trades in Michigan,” Mortimer said. “Even with all the current skilled workers, Michigan will need to train more to achieve our goals of maintaining the aggressive pace our commercial construction is undergoing. We at SEMCA are proud of our part in helping to meet this need for quality skilled crafts-men and women.”

For more information regarding the National Craft Championship, ABC SEMI or SEMCA, please call: (248)298-3600.